Malia Obama is going to Harvard – but not right away President Barack Obama jokes with his daughter Malia Obama as they walk to board Air Force One from the Marine One helicopter Thursday, April 7, 2016, leaving Chicago en route to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/Susan Walsh)
Malia Obama is going to Harvard – but not right away
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President Barack Obama's daughter Malia will take a year off after graduating high school in June. Then she will attend Harvard University in 2017, the president and his wife said.
 
Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way. The student must not enroll in a program at another college that would grant that student a degree.
 
Malia is the older of the Obamas' two daughters and is a 17-year-old senior at Sidwell Friends. It is an exclusive private school in the District of Columbia. The school also helped educate another first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, in the 1990s. Malia's younger sister, Sasha, 14, is a freshman at Sidwell. Malia is set to graduate high school in June. She turns 18 on the Fourth of July.
 
Obama has spoken publicly about dreading the day when Malia leaves for college. The decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition next year. They will leave the White House and return to normal life. Obama plans to live in Washington for a few more years so Sasha can finish high school. The president and his wife, Michelle, still own a home in Chicago.
 
The first lady has said Malia wants to be a filmmaker. Malia spent last summer in New York City. She was an intern on the set of HBO's "Girls," starring Lena Dunham. She spent the summer of 2014 in California. There, she worked as a production assistant on "Extant," a now-canceled CBS sci-fi drama that starred Halle Berry. Malia has also had internships at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington.
 
The president turned down an invitation to speak at Malia's Sidwell graduation. He said he would be too emotional.
 
"I'm going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing," he told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show.
 
Obama grew up without his father, who was born in Kenya and is now deceased. The president has spoken of his desire to be there for his kids. The bond between Obama and his children was readily apparent. He often has been seen holding hands with either daughter getting on or off the presidential aircraft or on the family's walks through Lafayette Park to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church.
 
"Both of my daughters are wonderful people. Malia's more than ready to leave but I'm not ready for her to leave," Obama told DeGeneres. "She's one of my best friends. It's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she's ready to go. She's just a really smart, capable person and she's ready to make her own way."
 
Malia visited at least a dozen public and private colleges during her search.
 
The president is a 1983 graduate of Columbia University. Mrs. Obama graduated from Princeton in 1985. The president and first lady earned law degrees at Harvard.
 
Malia also checked out the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; New York University; the University of Pennsylvania; Barnard; Tufts; Brown; Yale and Wesleyan.
 
She appears to have disregarded her parents' advice. The president and first lady have said college-bound students shouldn't limit themselves to just a handful of elite schools.
 
"The one thing I've been telling my daughters is that I don't want them to choose a name," Mrs. Obama said in an interview with Seventeen magazine. "I don't want them to think, 'Oh I should go to these top schools.' We live in a country where there are thousands of amazing universities. So, the question is: What's going to work for you?"

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How might Malia spend her “gap” year?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (78)
  • paigea-3-bar
    5/04/2016 - 06:55 p.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year traveling, spending time with her family, or doing community service. The article states, "Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way. The student must not enroll in a program at another college that would grant that student a degree." I chose this article because I had seen this breaking story on the news and I wanted to learn more about it. I think that it is interesting how Malia Obama chose Harvard University because her mother, Mrs. Obama, stated in an interview with Seventeen Magazine, "The one thing I've been telling my daughters is that I don't want them to choose a name. "I don't want them to think, 'Oh I should go to these top schools.' We live in a country where there are thousands of amazing universities. What's going to work for you?" Harvard is a name school, which Mrs. Obama specifically wanted her daughter to think otherwise, but I am wondering why Malia Obama chose this school.

  • lilyr-4-bar
    5/04/2016 - 08:04 p.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year with her family. This is shown where it says, "The decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition next year." I found this article interesting because I didn't know Malia was so old.

  • melissaj-Ste
    5/04/2016 - 08:05 p.m.

    Malia has all the options in the world. She will still be living in the White House come June and July, so she could do something local or go wherever she wants. She has already done internships with legitimate television shows and companies. If I were her and I heard about all of the racist comments based on my admission into Harvard, I would just take a long vacation. Or I would get an amazing internship in a beautiful area away from the racists and bigots that plague this terrible world.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    5/04/2016 - 09:26 p.m.

    The president's daughter, Malia Obama, had been accepted to Harvard University and she would go through a gap year, which is a difference of what the president's daughter would do, and not right away. Malia Obama had been able to get to Harvard University because both of her parents had been to Harvard University before they had been famous as a president of the United States. Mrs. Obama had been able to remember about the time they had been to Harvard University before their daughters would be able to go to the same University before they had been made president. Mr. Obama had been able to remember the same thing that Mrs. Obama had been remembering about going to Harvard University as for the same university they both went to.
    Critical Thinking Question: How might Malia spend her "gap" year?
    Answer: I know how Malia might spend her gap year by making out a difference of herself.

  • hannahd-nic
    5/05/2016 - 07:23 a.m.

    i think she might use her "gap" spending time with family and having fun with friends. She might spend that time traveling the world. This is a great opportunity.

  • michaelf-kut
    5/05/2016 - 07:52 a.m.

    Malia will probably spend her gap year by doing film making stuff. Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way. To Malia, this might mean spending time with her family or doing film making stuff.

  • caram-har
    5/05/2016 - 08:01 a.m.

    Malia will spend her "gap" year relaxing and making sure she keeps a bond with her family. Malia and her family will be moving out of the White House and live a normal life.

  • jeremiahy-612-
    5/05/2016 - 08:37 a.m.

    I think that Malia will spend her gap year studying for things that she will need to know in her first year at Harvard.

  • rachelh-612-
    5/05/2016 - 08:56 a.m.

    Like the article said, Malia has an interest of becoming a filmmaker as a career, so maybe she can travel around Washington and possibly other big cities in the U.S. to get more filming experience, and possibly be an intern on another movie set again, or possibly more. Also, she can try to spend as much time as she can with her family before she leaves for Harvard. Even if the President and his wife, and even his other daughter are busy people, they always try to make room for family when they can. And when they do have time, the entire White House family has loads of fun together

  • kenziej-nic
    5/05/2016 - 12:05 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year to get closer to her family as they make a major transition next year, which happens to be when her father is no longer president.

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