Kanye West High School:
|Polaris High School, Oak Lawn, Illinois, West Aurora High School, Aurora, Illinois (1995).|
Kanye West College:
|American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois, Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois (dropped out).|
Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Ray West, a former Black Panther, and Dr. Donda C. West, a professor of English. Raised in Chicago, Illinois with a middle-class lifestyle, West attended Polaris High School in the suburbs after briefly moving to China with his mother at the age of ten. He did well in school, receiving A's and B's, and was encouraged by his mother to take his education seriously. She noticed his passion for music when he was in third grade and even retired from her position as Chair of the English Department in order to manage his music career years later. As an adolescent, it was already clear to West what he wanted to do with his life; he began recording his music at age thirteen and received his first sampler at age fifteen. After graduating from West Aurora High School in 1995, the budding musician attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago on scholarship, but transferred soon after to Chicago State University to major in English. At the age of 20, to his mother's chagrin, West left school to focus on his music. The Chicago State professor later accepted his decision, however, noting that he had followed his path and been quite successful at it. Indeed, Kanye West is today one of the best-selling and most highly-awarded pop-musicians. He has been named by TIME one of the most influential people in the world, runs his own record label, has directed several shorts, and has his own fashion label.