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Could that student in your Psych 101 class be the next President of the United States? It may depend on which college you’re attending. Some universities boast a disproportionately higher amount of presidential alumni than others.
The Ivy League is well represented, as you might expect, with the following statistics:
Harvard University—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy
Yale University—George HW Bush, George W. Bush, and William Howard Taft
Princeton University—Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy (though JFK graduated from Harvard)
Columbia University—Barack Obama
University of Pennsylvania—William Henry Harrison (withdrew)
So which non-Ivy League school can boast the most presidential grads? Though not part of the Ivy League, the College of William and Mary is a colonial university, and can boast three presidents among its alumni: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.
Whittier College—Richard M. Nixon
Stanford University—Herbert Hoover
Eureka College—Ronald Reagan
Kenyon College—Rutherford B. Hayes
Bowdoin College—Franklin Pierce
Allegheny College—William McKinley
Williams College—James Garfield
Georgetown University—William Clinton
Union College—Chester A. Arthur
Dickinson College—James Buchanan
Ohio Central College—Warren G. Harding
As might be expected from the Commander-in-Chief, military institutions can also boast a high number of presidential grads:
United States Naval Academy—Jimmy Carter
United States Military Academy—Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower
So while private and military institutions can boast presidents, what about state universities? Were there ever any presidents who went to state college?
Lyndon Johnson–Texas State University at San Marcos
Harry S. Truman–University of Missouri, Kansas City (attended but dropped out)
Gerald Ford—University of Michigan
James K. Polk—University of North Carolina
Among presidents who attended college, what were the top 4 areas of study?
7 presidents studied law;
2 studied business;
1 studied medicine; and
1 achieved his doctorate.
So while many prestigious schools can boast distinguished alumni, were there ever any presidents who did not attend college? Click the graphic to find out!
So the concept of presidential destiny? Does the school you attend guarantee your shot at the Oval Office? Even though the Ivy League can boast many presidents, the truth is that many presidents never even attended college. It looks as though modern presidents come not only from the Ivy League, but also from private colleges, the military, and state universities. So it may be that the college you choose has less to do with your shot at the presidency, with other factors playing a much larger role.