During a town hall on College Access and Affordability, on Monday, he opened up to students in Des Moines, Iowa about the tips he’s given his daughter about her college experience.
“Be open to new experiences when you go to college,” he said. “Don’t go to college just to duplicate the same experience you had in high school. Don’t make your decision based on, well, where are all my friends going so that I can do the exact same things with the exact same friends that I did in high school.”
While Malia’s choice of school is still unknown, the 17-year-old has toured some of the most elite universities in the country. Including Ivy Leagues, Harvard and Yale. But her father isn’t putting too much pressure on her to choose a college based on its brand.
“One piece of advice that I’ve given her is not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college,” Obama said. “There are a lot of good colleges and universities out there, and it’s important, I think, for everybody here to understand you can find a college or university that gives you a great education.
“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. So one is, lower the stress levels in terms of just having to get into one particular school.”
While the President’s thoughtful words seemed like sound advice; not only for his own daughter, but for the students he was speaking to, he was sure to note that he could only offer his help, “assuming that Malia will listen to [his] advice.”
Adding “she’s very much like her mother at this point. She’s got her own mind.”