Higher ed

Malia Obama chooses college, but won’t begin until after taking a year off

First daughter Malia Obama has completed an American teenage-hood rite of passage: she’s decided which college she’ll attend after graduating from high school. The White House announced on Sunday that Malia will attend Harvard University, but she will not begin classes there until 2017. Instead of starting school in the fall of 2016, as many people had expected, Malia is taking a “gap year” or “bridge year,” as some call it. Both President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama earned their law degrees at Harvard University. Malia’s decision about which college to attend was a closely-watched affair. The campus of Brown University went bananas — as did the news media — last October when Malia made a visit there and was spotted at campus party.

The idea of a gap year — a year of hiatus between the last year of high school and freshman year of college — has been somewhat of a controversial one, as The New York Times notes. Many think doing so is an unwise move, unless a student is wealthy and well-connected. Most American students, after completing the teenage rite of choosing which college to attend begin embarking on another related custom typical of American adolescence: Beginning to amass crippling student debt that won’t be paid off for decades. Malia will likely dodge participating in that rite of passage.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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