Caroline Kennedy attended the school in the late '70s, but more recent first children have opted for other choices

By Adam Carlson
Updated May 01, 2016 02:00 PM
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Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

While the Ivy League has deep roots in the families of America’s presidents, Malia Obama‘s decision to attend Harvard University as an undergraduate actually makes her one of the only first children to do so in years.

Caroline Kennedy attended the school in the late ’70s, but more recent first children such as Jenna Bush, Amy Carter and Chelsea Clinton have opted for other choices – though the history of first children who are Harvard alums stretches back to the founding fathers.

Thomas Adams, son of President John Adams, attended Harvard in the late-18th century. Years later, all of President Franklin Roosevelt’s sons did the same – except Elliott.

(Myriad presidents and their kids have passed through the halls of Harvard’s post-graduate institutions, such as its law and business schools.)

Obama, 17, is set to graduate from the Sidwell Friends School, in Washington, D.C., this spring; and spent the past year touring Princeton, Brown and other schools. She’ll head to Harvard in 2017, after a gap year, her family said Sunday.

He father, who went to Harvard Law School three years after mom Michelle Obama earned her Harvard Law degree, gave her this guidance as she made her decision:

“One piece of advice that I’ve given her is not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college,” President Barack Obama said in September during a town hall on college affordability in Des Moines, Iowa.

“There are a lot of good colleges and universities out there … Just because it’s not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a great education there,” he said.