While the Republican and Democratic parties have been internally warring about who will represent them in the November election, first daughter Malia Obama has been making a decision about what to do this fall. And unlike the politicos, she's made her choice: The White House announced Sunday that she'll be attending Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She will start college in fall 2017 after taking a gap year.
Malia, 17, is scheduled to graduate from the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., June 10.
She had toured Stanford University, the University of California Berkeley, New York University, Barnard College and Columbia University, with her father, mother and other family members, according to the Associated Press. But she hadn't dropped many hints about where she was planning to go.
"The only thing I’ve been telling my daughters is that I don’t want them to choose a name," first lady Michelle Obama told Seventeen recently. "I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh, I should go to these top schools.’ We live in a country where there’s thousands of amazing universities, so the question is — what’s going to work for you?
The Obamas have previously indicated they may move to New York City after the president's term ends in January. Meanwhile, Malia has demonstrated an interest in filmmaking, spending summer 2014 working on the set for Halle Berry's show "Extant" and last summer helping out with Lena Dunham's "Girls."
They can expect to pay big bucks for her higher education: The average annual tuition and fees for private colleges totaled $31,231 last year. Because she's going to Harvard, a private school, she wouldn't be covered anyway under Democratic candidates' debt-free college plans. The president has mentioned before that he has 529 savings plans for Malia and her sister, Sasha.
Though her choice may be exciting, Malia isn't the only first kid to head to college while her dad is still in office. Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea did it most recently, heading to Stanford from 1997 to 2001. Before she left home, then-first lady and now-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wrote an emotional newspaper column asking the media to leave her daughter alone.
"I remember well my own college years: the good, the bad and the ridiculous. The dates that didn't work out ... the long walks through city streets or across campus that ended in a tender moment with a handsome new boyfriend," Hillary Clinton said. "I can't imagine having any of those private experiences, all part of finding myself, being interrupted by the bright lights of cameras — and not because of anything I was or did but because of my parents' occupations. I hope Chelsea's college years will be her own."
Jenna and Barbara Bush started college at the University of Texas - Austin and Yale University, respectively, while their dad, George W. Bush, was running for president in fall 2000. They were not so under the radar: In 2001, both twins were charged after trying to order drinks at a Mexican restaurant.
The Los Angeles Times noted also that Amy Carter went to Brown University, while Margaret Truman and Lynda Bird Johnson went to George Washington University.
Michelle and Barack Obama are both Harvard Law graduates and have four Ivy League degrees between them.