Malia Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent Friday taking private tours at multiple universities in New York City, attracting attention of those on campus.
The duo checked out New York University, Barnard College, and Columbia University—President Obama's alma mater. Malia reportedly wants to be a filmmaker, and last summer also toured Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley.
"Given the educational attainment of her parents, which is exceptional in itself, I can only assume she is going to be a bright and well-qualified student," says David Hawkins, an official at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Adding in her celebrity makes her even more of a desirable candidate, he says.
However, being one of the "First Kids" means additional factors—such as security and her safety—will play into her college decision. The campus visits themselves must be carefully orchestrated too, so that they are not seen as an endorsement.
Other presidents' children have applied for college while their fathers were in office—most recently Barbara and Jenna Bush—but because Malia has been in the public eye since she was 10 years old, her decision in 2016 may be watched more closely (Laine, Christian Science Monitor, 2/7).
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