Malia Obama is More Than Qualified for the Top Universities


Zoe Manzanetti

What college would dare to deny the President’s daughter entry into their school? Apparently, none of them. In an article by NPR earlier this week, many college admission officers said that they would be accepting Malia Obama’s application without any reservation, which really seems like the only logical solution. But is it fair?

People may be upset if they believe Malia Obama should have to be accepted through the admission criteria, just like any other student. While I do agree with this sentiment, I have no doubt that she will be accepted; I think it’s a safe prediction that she will be able to adequately compete in the Ivy League, which is essentially all the admissions office determines.

First of all, she is the President’s daughter. Like many of us, I’m sure Malia has had to sit at the dinner table and endure her parents gab on about the thrilling intricacies of their days; however, unlike many of us, her parents’ discussions were probably actually thrilling. She has been raised in a household where the most complex foreign and domestic politics were probably dinner conversations, and then, when they ran out of things to say about the Middle East, they would likely move on to discussing the Nobel Prize for Medicine’s candidates and their work. Sure, she probably zoned out during a lot of those discussions, but if she is anything like me, she is going to retain a lot of that information simply by being there.

Also, I’m sure a lot of the expectations of the President are immediately passed down to her. If she had to give a presentation for school and couldn’t adequately speak in front of her class, it would be a little embarrassing for her teacher to hold a parent-teacher conference with the President to talk about her public speaking issues. Not only has her father’s reputation given her large shoes to fill, but the school she attends currently has high expectations of her as well.

Malia attends a very high-end prep school filled with children of governors, senators and diplomats, and it costs more than my college tuition (by a lot). However, in this case, I don’t think the fancy price tag is too overrated. With the caliber of students at this school, based upon the parents of the children, I think it’s safe to say that those AP class discussions would be some of the most rigorous in the country. The only logical next step from a school with teachers and academics of that level has to be an Ivy League, at least.

Speaking of Ivy Leagues, I, again, don’t know why we are unsure of whether Malia Obama would get into the Ivy League schools she’s applying to, because both of her parents are very smart and intelligence isn’t some game of Russian Roulette. Her parents both attended Harvard Law School, which is considered the best law school in the world — even outranking Oxford and Cambridge, where Michelle graduated cum laude and Barack graduated magna cum laude. Before that, Michelle attended Princeton and Barack attended Columbia as a transfer after two years at Occidental College. Malia Obama does not come from an unintelligent family, which can assure us that she will be able to thrive at whatever school she chooses.

The final, and maybe most important, part of the college admission process is that numbers are averaged; it is and should be based upon the application as a whole. Student A might have above average test scores, Student B might have below average test scores but they are both admitted based on the determination that both students will do equally well, because they come from different backgrounds.

I agree that Malia should have to get into schools just like any other kid, but I feel as though she will do okay, especially if she chooses Political Science as a Major. Malia Obama is going to go to whatever Ivy League she wants, not because she is Malia Obama: President’s daughter, but because she is Malia Obama: intelligent and well qualified student who can hold her own in whatever environment she chooses.