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Inside The Trump Family’s Strange College History

Donald Trump’s children have had various influences and upbringings throughout their lives. Much of that is due to the fact that the ex-POTUS has had five kids with three women over the course of 40 years. But despite having many children who were brought up differently, all of them went to Georgetown University or the University of Pennsylvania—that is, if they didn’t go to both. However, Barron Trump, the family’s youngest child, may decide to go another route. 


Sky News Australia Donald Trump and Melania cheer on son Barron at his high school graduation Former US President Donald Trump and Melania Trump swelled with pride as they attended their son Barron’s graduation on Friday.

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After graduating high school in May 2024, Barron’s plans for the future are uncertain, as is what college he decides to attend. Last year, Donald revealed that Barron might stick with the Trump tradition by heading off to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, admitting that while his youngest hadn’t fully decided, discussions were occurring. A month before that, rumors swirled that he might opt for New York University instead.

At a Mar-a-Lago event, Donald had nothing but kind words to say about his son. He confirmed that due to stellar grades, he would be heading to a prestigious institution no matter what, but that colleges were “different [than] they were two months ago.” 

Donald Trump didn’t start at Wharton

Although Trump graduated with an economics degree from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, that’s not where he started. The entrepreneur loves to remind people that he went to an Ivy League school and got into the notoriously difficult Wharton, but in fact, he spent his first two years after graduating high school at Fordham College. As a junior, he transferred to Wharton. 

Trump also didn’t get into Penn on his own. At the time of his admission, his oldest brother, Fred Trump Jr., had a close relationship with James Nolan, someone with influence at the Penn admissions office. Nolan claims not to remember the interview but said it was “decent enough to support his candidacy.”

Although Donald claims to have graduated at the top of his class, the evidence behind that is murky. In 1984, the New York Times reported: “Although the school refused to comment, the commencement program from 1968 does not list him as graduating with honors of any kind.” Nonetheless, it remains undeniable that Donald initiated the enduring tradition of Trump’s attendance at Penn.

Donald Trump Jr.  also attended Penn

Following in the footsteps of his father, Donald Trump Jr. enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1996, graduating four years later. Like his father, he was given some help getting into Wharton through the family and making significant donations. Unfortunately, Don Jr.’s reputation at the school didn’t have to do with his academic merits, which earned him some not-so-nice nicknames.  

Donald Jr. himself admitted that he had a bit of a drinking problem in college and struggled with drinking in moderation, though he couldn’t seem to put the bottle down. In 2003, he made the decision to become sober, revealing in his 2019 book “Triggered” that it was due to his uncle’s issues with alcoholism. 

Ivanka Trump enrolled in two colleges

Overachiever Ivanka didn’t just enroll in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, she transferred to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, graduating with an economics degree in 2004. There’s a photo of Ivanka on the day with her brothers and mother, and social media users would use the image years later to prove that her father, Donald, didn’t attend the event.

In 2017, Wharton grad Roland Oliver told The Daily Pennsylvanian, “The first time I saw her, she came into class late. She walked very confidently…there was an air of, ‘I am someone.’ Another classmate, Jared Work, added that she tended to be a lone wolf, sticking to herself and staying “a little removed” from the college party scene, instead acting with “a lot of class and dignity.”

After Ivanka, brother Eric Trump attended Georgetown

After Eric Trump graduated from the Hill School in 2002, he managed to get into Georgetown University, which surprised many who were aware of his less-than-ideal academic track record. But this underdog shocked everyone when he graduated from the school in 2006. He stayed for the full term rather than transferring like Ivanka, and it earned him a bachelor’s degree in finance and management from the McDonough School of Business.

Eric’s old schoolmates are always shocked to see him on TV. They say he acts like a completely different person with his speaking style and hand motions, which they believe he has trained himself to communicate in a certain way. After his father, Donald, became president, Eric was targeted at protests when he was invited by the Georgetown University College Republicans to speak at an event in 2020. 

Tiffany Trump went to Penn and Georgetown, too

The second youngest Trump is often overlooked, but she has the most impressive academic record. Like her father and siblings, she attended the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in sociology and urban studies with a concentration in law from the College of Arts and Sciences. After graduating in 2016, she continued her education at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated virtually in May 2020 due to the pandemic. After finishing law school but declining to take the bar exam, it’s said that Tiffany might support her father on the campaign trail or perhaps join the Trump family business.