Where will Malia Obama go to college? President Barack Obama walks with his daughter Malia on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington toward Marine One. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Where will Malia Obama go to college?
Lexile

Michelle Obama's message for high school seniors fretting about their college prospects is simple.
 
Do your research, visit college campuses, sit in on classes, talk to professors, graduates and students. In the end, picking a college "is a very individual decision."
 
The first lady could just as well have been talking to her older daughter, Malia, who is expected to head off to college next fall with the Class of 2020.
 
The 17-year-old is among U.S. high school seniors who are nervously taking standardized tests, completing college admissions applications, filling out financial aid forms and writing personal essays - all on deadline. Then they get to spend a few months waiting to find out if they got into their dream school.
 
Malia has some advantages, though. What school would turn away a president's daughter?
 
She also doesn't have to worry about how to pay for her college education, unlike many of the students President Barack Obama and his wife regularly encourage to pursue post-high school education.
 
Malia has visited at least a dozen public and private schools, mostly on the East Coast. Among them are six of the eight Ivies and a few with Obama family ties.
 
Dad is a 1983 graduate of Columbia while Mom graduated from Princeton in 1985. Malia's cousin, Leslie Robinson, is a sophomore forward on Princeton's women's basketball team. The president and first lady earned their law degrees at Harvard.
 
The other stops on her college tour: the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; New York University; the University of Pennsylvania; Barnard; Tufts; Brown; Yale and Wesleyan.
 
The bill for tuition (and fees, in some cases) alone at these universities costs between $40,000 and $50,000 for the current academic year. Tack on room and board, books, other fees and expenses and the total tab for Malia's undergraduate degree could top one-quarter of a million dollars for the four years.
 
It shouldn't surprise her parents, though, since they've paid hefty tuition bills for the past seven years to send Malia, and her younger sister, Sasha, 14, to the exclusive Sidwell Friends School. Tuition at the private school in Washington is $37,750 per student this year.
 
The Obamas planned ahead for their daughters' college educations. Like millions of families, the Obamas have been investing money in "529" college savings plans (which are named after a section in federal tax law). The couple has four of the tax-free savings accounts, each valued at between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the president's financial disclosure forms.
 
Mrs. Obama has said Malia wants to be a filmmaker, and NYU has the respected Tisch School of the Arts, which counts directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee among its alumni.
 
Malia spent last summer in New York City interning on the set of HBO's "Girls," the comedy-drama starring Lena Dunham. She decamped to California in the summer of 2014 to work as a production assistant on "Extant," a CBS sci-fi drama featuring Halle Berry.
 
Mrs. Obama recently disclosed that Malia has also done several internships at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington.
 
Malia's travels across the U.S. and around the world with her parents could inform her personal essays. Malia (and her sister) have visited Europe, Africa and Asia. They've met two popes, Queen Elizabeth and American civil rights leaders during this year's 50th anniversary commemoration in Selma, Alabama.
 
President Obama was in Malia's room the day she started her senior year of high school and says she told him it was probably the last time he'll ever send her off for a first day of school.
 
"I had to look away, I didn't want to just be such a crybaby," he said in September in Michigan while pushing for free community college. "It makes no sense. Michelle and I are way too young to have daughters who are both almost in college now. So as a parent, I was a little freaked out."
 
Through her "Reach Higher" initiative, Mrs. Obama encourages students to attend college or technical school after high school. During a panel discussion in September at Howard County Community College near Baltimore, students sought her advice on everything from how to figure out which school is best for them to what tips she's giving her daughters.
 
"We are talking about this in my household every night, every night. And there's really no magic formula," the first lady said. "It is a very individual decision."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 27 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why isn't Malia worried about college costs?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (16)
  • mennaj-2-glo
    12/07/2015 - 11:46 a.m.

    Malia Obama probably isn't worried about college costs because her dad is the President of the United States, and they can afford it. Also, I think that it is a major priority for them to send both of their daughters to college because their family leads the United States, and they need to be educated to be respected by who they are leading.

  • arianao-pay
    12/08/2015 - 10:36 a.m.

    Malia isn't worried about college costs because her parent's have already been saving money to send her off to college with, her family's current payroll probably really helps. She is very blessed to have to not worry about finances!

  • dillonb-pay
    12/08/2015 - 11:08 a.m.

    To know that its been 8 years and how Malia and her sister have changed and grown is beyond me even though I'm growing myself. I was 8 when Barack became president and Malia was 10-11 now shes going to college. Things have changed.

  • danellel-pay
    12/08/2015 - 11:12 a.m.

    I trust that Malia Obama will choose wisely in making college decisions. Her parents are very intelligent and their savings over the years along with the scholarships she obtains will help her to be comfortable financially.

  • neilm-pay
    12/08/2015 - 11:12 a.m.

    After reading this article , i feel like that she probably have a good chance in getting in a college. And she shouldn't waste these opportunties.

  • ivannac-pay
    12/08/2015 - 11:17 a.m.

    I believe that Malia is a regular senior in high school. She should be able to go to any college she wanted. Just cost she is the president daughter does not mean that she should go to the highest ranking schools in the country.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    12/08/2015 - 11:53 a.m.

    She's not worried because her dad, the president, has money and he has already been paying tuition for her to go to a private school so it will be the same thing basically.

  • maselic-pay
    12/08/2015 - 12:44 p.m.

    The Obama's planned ahead for their daughters' college educations. Like millions of families, the Obamas have been investing money in "529" college savings plans (which are named after a section in federal tax law). The couple has four of the tax-free savings accounts, each valued at between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the president's financial disclosure forms

  • jadenj1-pay
    12/08/2015 - 12:45 p.m.

    I feel Malia isn't worried about college costs because she doesn't have to. Her parents are the president and first lady and they're both in the financial position to pay for her college. Even if they don't pay I feel the the presidents daughter would have the intellectual capability to receive an academic scholarship.

  • sydneyd-pay
    12/08/2015 - 12:46 p.m.

    Well her father is the president of the United States of America. So, that's pretty much self-explanatory. Also, her parents have enough money to pay for her tuition with no problems.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT