How Far The Trumps Got In School

Long before Donald Trump was elected to the nation's highest office and took the White House by storm, he set a good example for his eldest children by obtaining a college education. Most of his children have followed in his footsteps by graduating from his alma mater, which is further proof that the Trumps are a family of scholastic overachievers, and they have their college degrees to back it up.

Having the Trump last name meant some of Donald's children were well-known on their college campuses ... but not always in a good way. His son, Donald Trump Jr., was an alleged party animal, and a former classmate of daughter Ivanka Trump described her as not being "all that super intelligent." Wowzers. There are quite a few Trumps who have advanced through the higher education system, including Donald's ex-wife, Ivana Trump. As for first lady Melania Trump? Well, her school history is murkier than Donald's tax returns. Let's discuss all this and more as we examine how far the Trumps got in school.

Donald Trump is an Ivy League graduate

Not only does he describe himself as being "like, really smart," but Donald Trump also boasted about having "one of the highest IQs" in a May 2013 tweet. Perhaps it was his mental prowess that earned him admission into an Ivy League college after he graduated from high school ... or maybe not. Donald attended Fordham University for two years, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. While rehashing the information provided in author Gwenda Blair's book, The Trumps, The Washington Post reported that Trump squeezed his way into Wharton "because he had an interview with an admissions officer who had been a high school classmate of his older brother." 

Though he's now known for his boisterous and cocky demeanor, the president reportedly made a less memorable impression at his prestigious college. "His former classmates said he seemed a student who spoke up a lot but rarely shined in class, who barely participated in campus activities, shunned fraternity parties," reported the Boston Globe. Commencement details from his 1968 graduation show that he didn't exactly graduate near the top of the class, according to the The New York Times. Oh well. He did obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, according to Metro, and his alumni status certainly opened up many doors for his entire family.

Don Jr. partied his tail off

Donald Trump Jr. graduated from a boarding school and followed in his dad's footsteps by enrolling in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, but while his dad supposedly shied away from the party scene, Don Jr. reportedly immersed himself in campus life, earning the reputation of a wild child. "Every memory I have of him is of him stumbling around campus falling over or passing out in public, with his arm in a sling from injuring himself while drinking," Don Jr.'s former classmate, Scott Melker, shared on Facebook

While speaking with New York Magazine in 2004, he looked back on his college years and all but confirmed the rampant rumors. "To be fairly candid, I used to drink a lot and party pretty hard," he said. "And it wasn't something that I was particularly good at. I mean, I was good at it, but I couldn't do it in moderation." Nonetheless, Don Jr. managed to hit the books hard enough to earn a degree in finance and real estate, according to the Trump Organization's website

Ivanka Trump was a 'polished' student

Ivanka Trump was living the lifestyle of a socialite long before she was old enough to hail a cab on her own, but instead of hitting the charity circuit and being content as a New York City debutante, she headed off to pursue her education. She attended Georgetown University for two years, before transferring to her dad's alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Are you noticing a theme here? Maybe it's about time they rename the institution to the University of Trump!

The Daily Pennsylvanian reached out to some of Ivanka's old classmates, and many of them had nothing but kind words to say about the first daughter. "I think she was always a good student — well prepared, poised, et cetera," one classmate said. "My sense was that she was a little removed from the typical bar scene in college, but I feel like she always handled herself with a lot of class and dignity." However, not everyone was impressed by Ivanka's college years. Another student claimed Ivanka "didn't seem all that super intelligent" but added, "she seemed nice enough."

Opinions aside, Ivanka's intelligence was superb enough for her to graduate with a degree in economics in 2004.

Eric Trump broke the mold

While Donald Trump's eldest children chose to attend his alma mater, Eric Trump bucked the family tradition, bypassing the University of Pennsylvania following his 2002 high school graduation to become a student at Georgetown University, reported Business InsiderWhen he wasn't cramming for tests, Eric and some of his university pals would reportedly jet off for fun weekend trips, and when Donald Trump is your dad, finding suitable luxury accommodations is a breeze. According to The Washington Post, Eric and his buddies used to stay at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. for $Free.99, of course. 

Believe it or not, Eric didn't have to try too hard to fly under the radar while on campus. "I don't think I've had a person come up to me all year and ask me if I'm in the Trump family," he told CBS News during his sophomore year. Eric graduated in 2006, according to Georgetown Voice, with a degree in finance and management. The publication also noted that this brainy Trump kid didn't leave his alma mater in the dust following his commencement ceremony. As of 2017, he was a member of Georgetown's Business, Society and Public Policy Initiative advisory board, while simultaneously acting as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

Ivana Trump: a model student

The glam and flamboyant mama bear of the group, Ivana Trump – mother of Eric, Ivanka, and Don Jr. — grew up in the town of Zlin, Czechoslovakia and was known by her childhood friends for being "enviably beautiful and hardworking," according to People magazine. She reportedly went to work as a model and also attended Charles University in Prague, and earned a masters in physical education

She married her first husband, Alfred Winklmayr, in 1971. Years later, while attending a party in Montreal, Canada, she met real estate mogul Donald Trump, and the pair got married nine months later, according to People. Becoming Mrs. Trump signaled Ivana's entrance into New York's elite circles, and her eventual divorce from Donald left her with a cool $14 million in her bank account, according to The New York Times. So, perhaps she doesn't really need a college degree after all.

Tiffany Trump, Esquire?

Tiffany Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump and his second ex-wife, actress Marla Maples, may not be as well known as some of her half-siblings. However, she's making some major moves behind the scenes, pushing her education to levels that no other Trump has ever gone before. 

While her big sis, Ivanka Trump, decided to work in the White House as an advisor to their dad, Tiffany has remained focus on her studies. She enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a double major in sociology (with a concentration in law) and urban studies in May 2016, People magazine reported. "She's got all A's at Penn, so we're proud of her," her father told the magazine prior to her graduation. Well, would you look at that! Brains and beauty!

Tiffany didn't hang up her cap and gown and make a beeline for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to snag a gig at the White House. Instead, she threw herself right back into the books by enrolling at Georgetown Law in 2017. In 2020, CNN reported that she graduated from the institution, but she did not make it clear on "whether she intends to take the bar exam." One this is for sure, though: her dad was proud. "Congratulations to my daughter, Tiffany, on graduating from Georgetown Law," he tweeted, adding, "Great student, great school. Just what I need is a lawyer in the family." 

Melania Trump: Did she or didn't she graduate?

When her husband was President-Elect Donald Trump, first lady-elect Melania Trump had a rather robust biography on their government website. The site initially claimed she obtained a degree in architecture and design from a university in her native Slovenia, according to NBC News. However, that contradicted an April 2016 GQ piece, which stated she had "decamped to Milan after her first year of college, effectively dropping out." So what's the truth?

NBC News contacted Blaz Matija Vogelnik, a professor who claimed he briefly instructed Melania at Slovenia's University of Ljubljana. He had this to say: "She hasn't finished university, at least not in Ljubljana." He added, "My personal opinion is that, because she was very beautiful girl ... I believe that she realized that she could gain more with that, than to have long studies."

Eventually, Melania was forced to address the speculation, writing in a July 2016 tweet that the aforementioned official website didn't "accurately reflect my business and professional interests." The bio was revised to state she had "paused her studies to advance her modeling career in Milan and Paris," according to NBC News. That's cool, but there's one more newsy twist: Melania's official White House bio also didn't list her educational achievements. At. All.