Trump's Wharton admissions officer says the president was no 'super genius' and that it wasn't that hard to get into the Ivy League program
- President Donald Trump has often claimed to be a "genius," but a former admissions officer at the president's alma mater has called that into question.
- Trump went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-1960s.
- At the time, his application was reviewed by James Nolan, who told The Washington Post, "I certainly was not struck by any sense that I'm sitting before a genius. Certainly not a super genius."
- When Trump applied to Wharton, the acceptance rate was much higher than it is today.
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President Donald Trump has frequently boasted about his elite pedigree and Ivy League education, often claiming to have an abnormally high IQ, but a former admissions officer at his alma mater has challenged that notion.
Trump went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most prominent business schools in the country. The president has referred to Wharton as "the hardest school to get into, the best school in the world" and "super genius stuff."
But Trump's Wharton admissions officer said the president was no "super genius" when he first met him back in the mid-1960s.
James Nolan, 81, who was working at the school as an admissions officer at the time, told The Washington Post that the president's brother, Fred Trump Jr., called him up in 1966 and asked him to help Trump get into Wharton. Trump's brother was a friend of Nolan's.
He called me and said, 'You remember my brother Donald?' Which I didn't," Nolan said. "He said: 'He's at Fordham and he would like to transfer to Wharton. Will you interview him?' I was happy to do that."
When Trump applied to Wharton, the acceptance rate was much higher than it is today. The school told The Post it didn't have exact numbers for 1966 but said that the 1980 rate was "slightly greater than 40%," compared to the rate of 7.4% in the present day.
Alluding to the relative ease of getting into Wharton in those days, Nolan said, "It was not very difficult."
Speaking of Trump, who came to the meeting with his father, Nolan added, "I certainly was not struck by any sense that I'm sitting before a genius. Certainly not a super genius."
Nolan was the only admissions officer to talk to the future president, and in that capacity was required to give him a rating. "It must have been decent enough to support his candidacy," Nolan told The Post.