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Some colleges have a pretty decent track record when it comes to producing presidential alumni. Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, the College of William & Mary, West Point, and the University of Pennsylvania have all taught more than one student that went on to become president of the United States. But plenty of other schools have helped to mold the 44 people who went on to take the White House.
It’s a question that any American history buff — or future White House hopeful — is bound to ask. Which college has the distinction of producing the most US presidents?
That’d be Harvard University. It’s an unsurprising win, considering Harvard is the oldest school in the country.
But a number of other schools also happened to help shape the minds of the 44 men who served as president of the US. Ivy League institutions, small Christian colleges, and state research universities all made the list.
Keep in mind, these presidents didn’t necessarily graduate from all of the schools on this list. A number, like the ever-nomadic William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter, bounced around between a number of institutions due to financial reasons, health difficulties, or changing preferences. But the people who went on to become US presidents did study at an undergraduate level at all of these institutions.
But don’t take any of this as an unabashed endorsement of collegiate-level study. Plenty of other presidents, including George Washington, never even attended college.
Here’s a look at which undergraduate schools have produced the most US presidents:
Fordham University: One president Wikipedia; iStock; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Donald Trump attended this Bronx-based Jesuit school before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
According to “The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate,” the president’s sister Maryanne said that Trump chose to attend the college because “That’s where he got in.”
Occidental College: One president Wikipedia; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Before attending Columbia University, Barack Obama studied for two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Columbia University: One president Wikipedia; iStock; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Obama transferred to Columbia University as a junior. There, he studied political science with a specialty in international relations, as well as English literature.
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