Trump Sat Scores: Yesterday in his testimony to Congress that he had issued letters to Trump’s high schools, colleges, and the College Board (developer of the SAT) threatening them with legal action and jail time if they ever released Trump’s academic records on President Trump’s orders.
Cohen produced a copy of one such letter made to the president of Fordham University, where Trump spent two years before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to finish his undergraduate degree.
Trump Sat Scores Doesn’t Want Anyone To Know His Grades
Trump’s high school reported getting the same letter, while the College Board and the University of Pennsylvania declined to comment. It’s worth noting that letters like this are completely unnecessary—disclosing academic records without the student’s express permission is pretty much.
The most illegal thing you can do with those records under FERPA. Nonetheless, there are a few reasons why Trump would be anxious about his transcripts and standardised test results being made public.
1. Trump slammed Obama’s academic record, although his own is comparable
Trump and Obama shared a lot of similarities in their undergraduate years. For their first two years, both attended less competitive but nevertheless prominent institutions (Fordham and Occidental), before transferring to Ivy League schools and receiving bachelor’s degrees (Columbia and Penn, respectively).
Neither of them received honours, despite the fact that the way many colleges award honours makes it impossible for transfer students to get them. Furthermore, both Trump and Obama appear to have “kept their heads down”—Trump loudly chastised Obama for not being recognised by many of his Columbia classmates, while he and Wharton share the same fate.
Despite the fact that Obama went on to Harvard Law School and received a magna cum laude, Trump did not. Given Trump’s proclivity for projection, it’s logical to assume that his outspoken attacks of Obama’s alleged academic record are more like to his own than he’d admit. For one thing, he wonders how Obama was able to get into an Ivy League school when his own admission to Penn was based mostly on personal family connections.
2. Trump Lieged About Being “First In His Class” When He Graduated
Trump has claimed (and permitted media outlets to assert on his behalf) that he graduated from Penn’s Wharton School “first in his class.” Trump didn’t even come close to graduating with honours. Some institutions award honours based on GPA percentile, but Wharton does not.
This means that to graduate without honours, his GPA had to be less than 3.40—or he would have been sanctioned for academic integrity or student behaviour offences. What’s intriguing about this is that Trump may have been concerned about the falsehood rather than the GPA.
Trump’s undergraduate GPA wasn’t a huge problem until he made it one by guessing about Obama’s GPA, lying about his own records, and threatening to sue if they were revealed.
3. Trump believes that grades are more important than they are.
While researching this topic, I discovered a rabbit hole of articles, blog posts, and forum threads debating various presidents’ academic records. There are a number of these posts and stories out there, as well as a lot of individuals digging into past honours policies and yearbooks.
As someone who works in education consulting, coaching high school and college students on how to get the most out of their education and prepare for the real world, it’s disheartening to see so much speculation about public figures’ academic records, especially when their reputations are undoubtedly far more important than their college careers.
Much of the speculation was based on Trump’s own claims—both about his own records and Obama’s—and it’s depressing to me that a 72-year-old guy is still concerned about his high school and college grades and comparing them to others’.
One of my company’s fundamental concepts (and what helped me get into Yale) is that grades are significantly less crucial than people think for future success, including entrance to Ivy League colleges.
It’s comparable to Trump’s fixation with his own IQ—a measure that is basically meaningless, can be self-reported with no meaningful way of fact-checking it, and can be used to disparage others without personally interacting with their views. At the end of the day, a person’s GPA is significantly less relevant for future success—and for a much shorter period of time in their life—than their integrity, honesty, and work ethic.