Ja Rule may have been stacking money and platinum plaques during his rap heyday, but one thing the veteran emcee never had was a high school diploma. But according to reports, the high school dropout recently amended his academic past and earned his GED in prison.

According to a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Ja, who is currently serving a two-year sentence on gun possession and tax evasion charges, explained that he’s making the best of his time in prison and has surrounded himself with a new posse of supportive friends, including disgraced politician Alan Hevesi and disgraced former Tyco Inc. CEO Dennis Kozlowski.

“Outside, you don’t meet guys like this every day. This place is amazing,” Ja said of his new prison friends and digs at Mid-State Correctional Facility in upstate Oneida, N.Y. And it is those two men, both of whom are college graduates, that Ja credits with encouraging him to try to get his GED, which he earned two weeks ago.

“I was studying for my GED and Koz came in and talked to me and said, if you need any help, let me know,” Ja said.

The incarcerated emcee now plans to take college level courses next month and at the behest of Koz, Ja will study business and begin investing in airline stock.

And though Ja admits that his newfound friendships may seem strange to outsiders, he contends that prison acts as the great equalizer, something  he has no problem benefitting from.

“It’s funny,” he said. “We’re from totally different walks of life. But when you’re here, you’re here.”

It’s great to see that Ja is turning what could have easily been a horrible ordeal into a resource for positive friendships, a new outlook on life and higher education. Clearly, Ja is already a strong man, but when his sentence ends in February 2013, we hope he comes out an even better, more educated man than before. And like Ja, below are some other stars who decided to get their diplomas later in life. –nicholas robinson

Nicholas Robinson

I'm a lover of quirks and writing compelling pieces for my readers.