Little Known Facts About the College Education of US Presidents


With the 2016 presidential elections looming, the future of the nation hangs in the balance.

There are a lot of things to consider in voting for the next president of the United States, one of which is educational background.

Before election begins, however, here are some facts about the college lives of some of the former U.S presidents.

College Education Facts of Former US Presidents

George Washington

Known as one of the best leaders in the country, George Washington became the first president of the United States after the liberation from the British forces.

As one of the country’s Founding Fathers, he oversaw establishment of the national bank and a permanent seat of government among others.

Unfortunately problems (involving his father’s death, among others) prohibited Washington from getting an uninterrupted education.

Washington had no formal degree, but at the age of 17, he attained a surveyor’s license from the College of William and Mary.

John Adams

Adams had studied in Harvard University at the age of 15, with a Bachelor of the Arts degree. He taught in Worcester, Massachusetts, before studying law.

Thomas Jefferson

Although Thomas Jefferson had arguments with the first, then the second presidents of the country, he became famous for his Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson was a well-educated man; he studied math, physics, and philosophy, and later on law in the College of William and Mary.

James Madison

Madison, hailed as the Father of the Constitution, had enrolled in Princeton University (then called College of New Jersey), where he studied Latin, Greek, science, math, philosophy, rhetoric, and geography.

James Monroe

Monroe enrolled in the College of William and Mary in 1774, but did not finish his studies because of the revolution. He was the last Founding Father president of the country.

John Quincy Adams

He studied in Harvard College in 1785, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, then studied law in Massachusetts. He later earned a Master of Arts from Harvard.

Ulysses S. Grant

Grant graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, the first president with a formal military education. Unlike those before him, he never formally studied law.

James A. Garfield

Garfield had quite a different college experience. When he learned that some college students worked while studying college, he resolved to do the same.

He applied as a janitor in Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College), where he cleaned rooms, taught, and studied.

Garfield then graduated from Williams College as a salutatorian. He went on to study law and passed the bar in 1861.

William McKinley

He enrolled at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, but only lasted there for a year. He went home because of illness and depression.

Then, McKinley studied in Mount Union College, but he didn’t finish there either. A few years later, he studied in Albany Law School, and after a year, attended the bar.

Theodore Roosevelt

One of the most famous presidents in the United States, Roosevelt attended Harvard College, where he gained popularity as a boxer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree as a magna cum laude in 1880.

William Howard Taft

He went to Yale and became part of the Skull and Bones secret society. He studied law in Cincinnati Law School, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws.

John F. Kennedy

Kennedy had wanted to study in the London School of Economics, but his health demanded that he return to the USA. He later studied at Princeton University, but was hospitalized.

He then enrolled in Harvard College and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in international government affairs.

Kennedy also studied in the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

George W. Bush

Bush attended a boarding school during his high school years, where he became a head cheerleader in his senior year. He enrolled in Yale University and graduated with a BA in History.

He also became a Skull and Bones society member during his last college year.

Later on, he received an MBA at Harvard Business School. He is the only US president with an MBA.

Barack Obama

The present president graduated from both Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

He first attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but then transferred to Columbia University, where he studied political science.

In 1991, he graduated from Harvard with a Juris Doctor degree, and as a magna cum laude.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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