‘Jersey Shore’: Vinny Guadagnino Once Said He Wouldn’t ‘Dumb Himself Down’ for the Show

Reality TV doesn’t always have the best reputation, and Vinny Guadagnino knew that going into his Jersey Shore audition. The college-educated Staten Islander told producers “straight-up” that he wouldn’t “dumb himself down” to be part of the show. Here’s why. 

'Jersey Shore' star Vinny Guadagnino speaking at Columbia University in 2011
Vinny Guadagnino | Michael Stewart/WireImagefor Dosomething.org

Vinny Guadagnino got his college education at CUNY College of Staten Island 

Like several other Jersey Shore roommates, Guadagnino has a college degree. Before auditioning for Jersey Shore, Guadagnino went from SUNY New Paltz to The City University of New York’s College of Staten Island. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA (via Us Magazine). During his college experience, Guadagnino was a political aide for Democratic state assemblyman Michael Cusick (via Vulture). 

‘Jersey Shore’ producers were aware of Vinny’s college education

“I straight-up told [MTV] when they picked me that I went to college,” Guadagnino explained during his Vulture interview in 2010. Before Guadagnino even knew what kind of success the show would experience, he told producers he wasn’t willing to “dumb [himself] down” just to get screen time.

As Guadagnino explained, his interview also consisted of him “eloquently [describing] how to party at the Jersey Shore.” Guadagnino said he’s comfortable with both sides of himself — the college-educated side and the side that likes to party. 

‘Jersey Shore’ wasn’t about ‘showcasing’ Vinny’s college career 

Some Jersey Shore fans might be surprised to learn about Guadagnino’s education. But that’s because it never came up in the original series. 

“[Jersey Shore is] not really about showcasing where we went to college, or law, or poli-sci,” he told Vulture, adding: 

“We don’t even have a TV, or a radio, or cell phones. We don’t even talk about current events. It’s not like they don’t make us talk about politics; it’s just that we’re in this cocoon. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t talk about politics. It’s just about having fun.” 

Even if they did want to discuss such things during the early seasons, there wasn’t any time. “There’s so much drama; we wouldn’t have time in that hour to sit around and talk about religion.” 

Vinny Guadagnino almost got a law degree

After studying political science in college, Guadagnino thought about law school. “I was studying for my LSATs and hooking that up,” he said at the time. Ultimately, he didn’t go to law school because his scores were “nowhere near” where they needed to be to get into his dream schools, Harvard or Yale. 

“When I wanted to go to law school, I didn’t really know what lawyers did,” the reality star elaborated. “I still didn’t want to be a lawyer, I just wanted the degree.” For Guadagnino, having a law degree would have been “very prestigious” and offered him various career paths in “politics, the FBI, [or] Wall Street” if he chose not to do reality TV. 

But Guadagnino ultimately stuck to the reality TV path. Today, he remains a cast member on the Jersey Shore spinoff Jersey Shore: Family Vacation and has pursued other reality TV shows like Double Shot at Love

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