After Deferring Her Harvard Enrollment Last Year, Grownish Success Might Force Yara Shahidi To Defer Again

February 9, 2018  |  

Yara Shahidi Harvard


It isn’t easy balancing personal and career aspirations for anybody, including 17-year-old actress Yara Shahidi.

It was just last spring that the teen (who turns 18 this weekend) graduated and announced her decision to go to Harvard. But when the opportunity came for her to have her own spinoff series from Blackish with Freeform’s Grownish, something had to give. She decided to defer her entry into Harvard until fall of 2018. And even though we’re only in the second month of 2018, Shahidi is already not 100 percent sure that she’ll be able to start as planned this fall.

“Everybody from the writers to the production understands how much I value my education and we’re doing our best to figure out how we want to make it work, but I feel pretty lucky to be able to make a commitment to a school… and to a show,” she told Winfrey. “I’m doing my best to figure it all out.”

When she shared the news of her decision to defer her enrollment into the prestigious Ivy League university, Shahidi made it clear that at a “certain point” she would definitely be on campus. That is a goal she is serious about, and rightfully so.

“I think no matter what, I know that I want to go to college,” she said at the time to PEOPLE. “I know that I’m going to defer a year and I’m willing to have a more unorthodox college experience, but at a certain point I want to be on a campus. I don’t know what that means for me at this moment, but I know that the creator of the show supports me and everybody on the show again supports how adamant I am about my education.”

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