What Grade Would You Give Donald Trump?

The president won’t release his college transcript. But we can guess what it says.

Comments: 229

  1. I found this to be extremely well written with insights and connections beyond the usual pundit boxes. One of the most enjoyable reads I have experienced lately. Kudos!

  2. If Wharton graduated him without a big donation from Fred T. I would not talk about it. His daughter, Ivanka, also went to Wharton. I wouldn't talk about that either. We don't need to see his grades. Just listen to him talk.

  3. @hw I concur immensely. Just look at how he speaks, his grammar, sentence structure, etc. He's a great mime of David Duke but at anything above that he's completely inarticulate considering the who's who he's hobnobbed with all these years. One would think that through sheer osmosis he could have learned how to construct thoughts and project them forward.

  4. Those New Haven Dead concerts are legendary. It's understandable how a person under the influence of such an experience might envision a golden road ahead.

  5. Hah The unlimited devotion of education

  6. @JimmyMac I can remember -- sort of -- several of those moments of "intellectual rarefaction."

  7. Trump's transcript says whatever his father paid them to have it say. Rich kids have skated through institutions of higher learning for a couple of centuries now.

  8. @ Vandal fan My divorce attorney attended the University of Michigan Law School. He had deep pockets. His son also attended Michigan Law and his son submitted a transcript where a grade had been changed from B to A. The attorney who was reviewing this young man’s application for a summer internship at a very elite law firm thought he should challenge this transcript. Which was done. The young man was confronted by administration and was expelled from law school after his first year. His law student career ended then and there. Don’t generalize. Not all schools are like the current elite schools that engage in unethical practices. Michigan Law School is an institution where rules are followed. Maybe in Idaho, Daddy can call the shots, but not at all universities.

  9. Considering Trump's inability to tell the truth about anything at all, how can we accept his word that he graduated? Any pics, activities, fraternities, or club groups in an annual or anything like that which usually is an indicator that he even reached the senior level at Wharton?

  10. @Texexnv Good point. Surely some folks out there have yearbooks of attended schools for those years- and we know the president is not shy about photo-bombing.

  11. @Texexnv He has obvious severe ADD. It is highly doubtful that he was ever able to sit still long enough to complete any exam in school. His brain just doesn't work that way. His professors said he was the dumbest student they ever saw.

  12. I had never heard of the grade "E," but I did have a professor who took fiendish delight in giving grades of F-plus.

  13. I attended Wharton in that era. The academic curriculum was rigorous. Trump does not appear to understand what was taught in Economics 101. It's also obvious that if his grades and SAT were those of a "stable genius," he would have no hesitation to make them public -- comparable to hiding his tax returns, isn't it? Whatever he's hiding, his performance hasn't been stellar in any arena other than drawing attention to himself.

  14. @Knowledge Is Power He transferred in after two years so he probably took the first two semesters of econ at Fordham, not Penn.

  15. @Knowledge Is Power Ah, but he is termendously outstanding at squandering money, The Best. He gets an A+ in losing.

  16. @Shaun Eli Breidbart If we could see his transcript, we would know, right? But if someone takes a college econ class that Wharton would consider sufficient for its degree, this would ensure he would know something about trade deficits, money supply, effects on taxation, etc.

  17. I would like to see if Mr. Trump has a juvenile record. We will never know.

  18. @Mark Dobias I'd call his record since his election pretty juvenile.

  19. Trying to grade Donald Trump using traditional methods amounts to falling in his trap. Trump got to be president in large part because of his contempt for norms. He accepted help from a foreign enemy, publicly mocked a disabled journalist, gave equivalent status to racists and those who protest racism, and bragged about being a practitioner of sexual harassment. Lately, as he's been exposed to huge business losses and tax dodges, he's bragged that those incidents amount to displays of intelligence. Instead of trying to grade Trump, we should be evaluating his supporters. They're the ones who will bear the ultimate judgments of history, and rightly so.

  20. I wonder if "gentlemen" recorded academic dishonesty. He cheats in about everything else. It would be astonishing if his academic career were the exception.

  21. I don't think they give out grades in Pre K and that's the grade I'd put him in.

  22. What grade? The only college this man would have, legitimately, gotten into based on the level of intellect I've seen so far, is Trump University.

  23. @mark Good one, thanks for the laugh. The problem is if he went to Trump University he'd have to sue himself for fraud and theft. Of course he could settle out of court with himself.

  24. @mark Just think, if his University hadn't been a scam, he could have given himself an "A" and a Doctorate in one semester. Such a genius. /s.

  25. He could only get in to Trump U via a legacy admission - sort of like a self-pardon.

  26. I found that people who did well in college are often eager to show their transcript, when asked. The fact that Trump is going to such extremes to shield his, begs the question as to why?

  27. And that's his MO. I'm so smart, I won't show you my transcripts, just like Mueller exonerated me so I can't show you the report.

  28. I was at Penn when Trump was there. I was in the Class of 69, he was in 68. I knew many people in his class, including the class officers. Like most people who were there when he was there, I never saw him or knew him. I was in ROTC, in fact, while he was getting his military deferment for bone spurs, so I sure didn't see him in the "Military Science" areas either. I'd have to guess he didn't spend much time with his Wharton studies as most of the Wharton people I knew were free market folks, not tariff apologists. In fact, his lack of business acumen - demonstrated by his vast financial losses during the 80s - and ignorance of economics and history makes me wonder who actually did his course work. I'm not alone among Penn alumni having such thoughts. This column would be more amusing amusing if a minority of our fellow citizens hadn't put him in the White House.

  29. @NH Has anyone seen his diploma from the Wharton School? Did he indeed graduate?

  30. @thecancerdoctor I believe he is listed officially as having graduated. I have no idea who has seen his diploma (assuming he has one.) It's curious that he has never flashed it in public, considering how ostentatious he is. Then again, one of his resorts, I believe, had copies of him on the cover of Time Magazine as "man of The Year" and those were completely fake, much like his self-professed narrative as a successful businessman.

  31. @NH Or the Russians!

  32. "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done," "And to the C students, I say, you, too, can be president of the United States. "So now we know: If you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president." George W Busch, Yale Commencement 2001 US History shows no correlation between a President's education and his achievements. George Washington was uneducated compared to Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, but is ranked higher by historians.

  33. @talesofgenji Trump has ADD so severe and so obvious that it is impossible to believe that he was ever able to complete any one-hour exam in school at any time. That's why he is the only President in our history who doesn't know how tariffs work.

  34. Are you kidding me? Donald Trump deserves no grade at all for lack of moral compass, pathology lying, and delusions of grandeur. He should have need placed on a medical leave and hospitalized for severe mental illness. An involuntary hospitalization for he is a clear and present danger to others.

  35. President Trump is an abject failure. He fails (or willfully refuses) to understand simple principles, such as the separation of powers and the rules and boundaries around our institutions (for example, the Justice Department). He lies routinely to the public, whom he is supposed to be leading. He violates laws and norms. He he does not study for his office, and he cannot plan logically and methodically, taking into account consequences of actions. He does not care about this nation and us, the public. He is well on the way to ruining our economy, our alliances, and our relationships with one another. There is no grade low enough to express the disaster that this man is in the office of president.

  36. @Practical Realities Trump is not ADD. He simply lacks intellectual curiosity. Much different.

  37. @Practical Realities. Also subject to the lack of knowledge are his Senate and House Republican enablers. Never in history has the voting public been so ill served by its Representatives, who suffer from the same ailments that the President suffers from: incuriousness, lack of patriotism, inability to keep promises, need to prevaricate and obfuscate, need to self- aggrandize, need to violate oath of office, refusal to acknowledge reality, inability to show human empathy, addiction to corporate money . . . There are other problems and we all know them.

  38. @Practical Realities The story goes: Having been elected, some one suggested he read the Constitution. Seeing the first three words, he immediately put down the document--it didn't apply to him.

  39. The answer to this question is easy and obvious. Trump has severe ADD. You can see it in everything he does. He can't read a full page of printed text. He can't complete a spoken paragraph on the same subject he started with. Written transcripts of his speech are a jumbled word salad. He walks out of important meetings after five minutes because he gets bored. He can't pay attention to anything for more than a couple of minutes, if that. Therefore, we know what his grades were. He never got a grade on any exam that was more than "spelled his name right". There is no chance that he could sit still for a one-hour exam on any subject. His brain simply won't allow him to do it. It is hopeless to try to educate him on anything. It would be like trying to train a dog in a room full of squirrels. That explains why he obviously knows nothing about even the really important things like "How do tariffs work?"

  40. @Wolf Man - I have a fairly severe case of ADD and yet I graduated with High Honors from the University of Illinois and received an MBA from Northwestern. ADD is a blessing and a curse. The curse, for me, is only being able to focus when I have a "gun to my head." When I am on a deadline and MUST get something done, I hyperfocus - very common for us with ADD - and can achieve a miraculous amount in a very short period of time. I agree with you about Trump, he never figured out how to manage his ADD and he holds the most important job in the world. Trust me, I absolutely know I could not do the job of president, because of my inability to focus. Read anything about Obama and you find he was nothing but focused and disciplined - what the job of president requires.

  41. @Wolf Man Lots of people have ADD (my son, for one) and can sit through exams, read, and be well educated. My son, a junior in high school, can explain exactly how tariffs work (honors econ) and knows far more than Trump about U.S. history (AP U.S. History). Trump is just lazy and his father's wealth has insulated him from most of the consequences of that.

  42. @Wolf Man One common characteristic of people with ADD is the ability to hyperfocus on something that interests them -- to the point that the rest of the world fades away. I am too old to have been diagnosed, but I am pretty sure I have ADD. Earned a Ph.D. in physics from an Ivy and did research for 30+ years. My son is also ADD and he can work on things for hours without distraction if they interest him. Does Trump show any hint of that ability?

  43. Maybe just do away with grades altogether. The whole practice seems archaic. The level of stress this creates in the so-called learning process seems counter-intuitive. Switch the system to pass/fail at all levels of education. Mater's programs and elite institutions may administer their own admissions tests to select their student body. But ranking student based on silly memorization games. Ranking students as they learn to write? Who are we? Such a humiliating, degrading system.

  44. I know that colleges give letter grades, but if they gave numerical grades, I suspect Trump would receive a -5 the identical grade he will receive as his term ends as our president in this glorious and temporarily insane nation.

  45. He was very good at trying to pick up 16 year olds at Cotillions. Oops, never mind - He was in his 30s when he did that.

  46. I suspect he got mostly Cs. and Ds...pulling strings.

  47. @Ellie Yes, even his daddy couldn't get the "only the best people" to work for him to take DJT's tests and write his papers.

  48. @Ellie He has obvious severe ADD. He can't read even one page of printed text. It is highly unlikely that he ever got any further on any exam that writing his name at the top.

  49. @68Rocket Yes, but who knows how much he may have "donated" to the school.

  50. Diabolical teacher that I was, I once told a fifth grade class that I "had run out of points and wouldn't be able to give any more points for the rest of the year because the school district's warehouse was empty." Howling ensued, and overwhelmingly parents were the loudest, missing the sarcastic irony completely (though the sarcasm was noted by more 5th graders than parents). In another assignment, I decided to score all work with multiples of 1000 points. A quiz was 10,000 points and a major test was worth 1,000,000 points. A kid could get 1000 points for just asking a question. It only took a few days for a veteran colleague (27 years teaching English) to roundly berate me for "undermining the integrity of the point system by handing out points like candy." She complained that our common students refused to do anything unless they got 10,000 points for it. Educators are so educated.

  51. @Upwising I like the creative teaching. Nevertheless, your colleague seems to have had a (pardon me) point, if her students really insisted on getting 10,000 points in her class. It seems it was the students who didn't understand dividing by 1000.

  52. @Thomas Zaslavsky Unless the students were teasing her. Almost wish I'd been there.

  53. @Upwising I was trying to thin of the best way to make the point (haha) you make with your point system. Amazing job. I think this incident should be captured in a motion picture or perhaps a Netflix single run mockumentary.

  54. Are we grading on a curve?

  55. If Trump's so smart, you'd think he'd be a better liar. Then you remember he's spent the last three years making the truth irrelevant, so it's a mute point, anyway.

  56. @RJ Steele moot point, not mute point.

  57. @Amala Lane Well, I've embarrassed myself as I know the difference. Nice catch, and thanks for the correction.

  58. @RJ Steele Considering the amount of false and irrelevant information he spouts in his tweets and talks, I really wish he would reach a "mute" point.

  59. I Would definitely give him an F because he is a total failure. Any person who is that narcissistic does not deserve anything by shame and contempt. As a teacher I always reminded my students that no matter the effort, it was an effort even if it led to a low grade. Just the fact that they tried, showed respect for the other in class and did not prevent the other from learning was a feat in itself. The man who sits in the Oval Office has no clue about the other. He is in this for himself and is destroying the country as he goes along. That is definitely and F for that student who has proven to the world that he is just an error of history.

  60. Interesting...just today I was wondering how, say, a fifth-grade teacher would score his tweets (e.g., "their" for "there," inappropriate use of capitalization, etc.). I'm gonna guess a C at best.

  61. @Lyndsey YES! I'm proof-reading the comments, and the cumulative grade isn't very high!

  62. Trump a smart person ....... what a joke!! But, gotta admit he is street smart and knows how to con his base. And developed his image and skills on Reality TV. Now he is performing as the Reality President. Only it ain't going so well.

  63. @David2017 Not just smart, but a very stable genius.

  64. @David2017 Trump seems to possess cleverness and cunning as opposed to true intelligence. I doubt he could write a two-page, double-spaced essay on anything that would be readable or that would actually say anything intelligible about the subject. But he definitely knows how to fire up his base. Maybe he understands them so well because they have very similar mental capabilities.

  65. Whatever Trump's gpa was - was clouded by his machinations. No way did the non-reader-speller do his own work. I bet MY LIFE his gpa is as rotten as a peach on a tree in November.

  66. Trump probably does not know what his grades were. After all, you have to observe 4 or 5 letters on a piece of paper to see your grades -- too much reading for him.

  67. It is no shock that Trump lies about everything, all day, every day. It’s also not shocking that other world leaders know this and take what Trump WH says with a grain of salt. What is shocking, if US really needed help from our allies we wouldn’t get it because of all these lies. Vote every last Republican out of office for not protecting our democracy. Vote like your life depends on it, because it just may!

  68. @Palcah Interestingly enough, the US has never really needed help from our allies, but they have needed help from us, in a couple of world wars, with NATO, in rebuilding Europe, etc. Palcah's supposition that such a time may come to pass is not based on any predicate, and when he suggests that protecting our democracy demands that we vote 'every last' Republican out of office, surely he is demonstrating an attitude that is the very antithesis of Democracy. Even Donald Trump might recognize that. Palcah doesn't!

  69. @Joe Pearce After this run, US may indeed need help from our allies; any which are still allies.

  70. @Joe Pearce - and your point is what, exactly?

  71. He can't release his transcripts because they are under audit.

  72. @Jeff Ha! Good one.

  73. A "B" average is "failure" at an Ivy League school? Thanks Jennifer. I guess then a whole heck of a lot of us who attended Ivy League schools in the 80s and 90s (or before) before rampant grade inflation and when it was very difficult to graduate with an A average fall into your "gentlemen's failure" or "terrible students" category. I remember working pretty hard for my B/B+ grades and my overall B+ average.

  74. @John Smith Don't take that quotation so seriously. It's for humor.

  75. Ugh. "As Bob Dylan - who left the University of Minnesota, and his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, after one undistinguished year - observed: 'Nothing succeeds like failure. And failure’s no success at all.'" And up is down. Amazingly silly quotation for an English professor to employ. Perhaps it is an aftereffect of, "I seem to recall writing my application one night in October after a Grateful Dead show at the New Haven Coliseum. I got a ride home from the concert in the back of someone’s pickup truck, lying on my back, looking up at the stars." Zonked.

  76. It's a misquote, actually. The lyrics are from Love Minus Zero (Nn Limit): "She's knows there's no success like failure/And failure's no success at all." So it's not the Nobel Laureate speaking, but his love in one of his most beautiful songs.

  77. I would not accept trump into my class. He needs psychiatric care. One of my teachers used to joke to us, "I'll give you an 'E' for effort," she'd say. Trump does get an "A" for manipulation, however. He has mass-hypnotized his believers into believing anything that he says. Trump is master of the suspension of disbelief. But as education is based on truth and reason, trump fails.

  78. I don't need to see Trump's college transcripts. I know they will be mediocre at best. He got into an Ivy leave school because his hard working father was a rich man. Trump shows daily by his words and actions that he does not care about learning or knowledge. If the ancient Greeks reached the zenith in their appreciation for the importance of learning, Trump and his Education Secretary have found the nadir, as leaders of our country. Too bad for our kids.

  79. @Eric Holzman Did he get into "an Ivy leave school"? I'll bet you meant "Ivy League." C -

  80. One cannot help observing that DJT began his undergraduate years at Fordham. He never asserts that this is evidence of his remarkable intelligence and high achievement. Why omit reference to this otherwise excellent university? Shame?

  81. It would be interesting to know who Trump's father paid to attend classes, write papers and take exams for Trump when he was in college. As an adult Trump has clearly shown that he has difficulty paying attention, concentrating, and writing. And Trump does not like to read. It's highly probably that Trump has some learning disabilities that were surely present when he was a young man. There is no way he could have finished college without "assistance".

  82. @Mary Anne I've also thought for a long time that his dyslexic and suffers from ADD and probably Oppositional Defiant Disorder. His behavior seems to have never been treated and due to his father's fortune and "help", he's never had to face the consequences of dealing with it in a healthy way. He also seems to suffer from malignant narcissism which would explain his inability to tolerate any kind of criticism even when it's constructive and warranted. Too bad for all of us. We are all suffering as a result of his being promoted to a position well above his abilities due to his disabilities. Did I forget to mention his inability to experience shame, conscience and compassion? That is why he can be so nasty and vindictive I guess.

  83. @Rain From someone who is dyslexic - I don't see that in trump. He shows none of the dyslexic advantages of being able to understand broad concepts. ADD yes, but based only on my personal experience of being dyslexic for 70 + years I don't think he is dyslexic.

  84. @Mary Anne When I see him struggle with phrasing like "a waist of time" (his staff must now grab these howlers and fix them) but his writing is primitive and one-dimensional, even for Twitter. His capitalization is infantile. You can tell that he doesn't read words but only hears them. His vocabulary screams learning disability: "it would be a very very very bad thing. A bad thing." In fact, he gives the learning disabled a bad name. He is incurious because he has such poor reading comprehension; how could he ever understand subtle legal concepts or historical precedents? He doesn't even realize the outrages he perpetrates. Trump must have grasped early on that he was not as sharp as other kids. That would have rankled, so he sought ways to aggrandize himself --- always being seen with pretty girls; lying about money. A real big shot. His father doubtless realized that Donald was academically below par and probably a behavior problem too, ergo military school. But he would never have let him sink of his own weight, so he pulled strings. Trump now believes all his lies because, like the bone spurs, they are part of his inner dialogue. He is even brazen enough to aaccuse others of having his own deficits. He's actually an embarrassment. I mean, aside from being a threat to the entire globe.

  85. While I totally agree with the main point, just one observation - Ms. Boylan only comments on private universities. Maybe the way students have become smarter (as the author posits) is that they know private schools give out As without regard to real comparative merit. If the average GPA at Harvard is 3.7, there is something really wrong. Public universities, I would guess, do not, and graduating with a B- in chemical engineering from any of the UCs, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, etc. is analogous to being on the short list for a Nobel Prize.

  86. @Gobears Harvard, I believe is a special case. 15 or so years ago, 20/20 did a piece on grade inflation at Harvard. They interviewed Deans at law schools, medical schools, and graduate schools from all over the country. The general statement was, "We don't look at the grades from Harvard. We look at test scores, writing samples (which we have candidates do on our campus), and their interviews. Everyone knows that Harvard's grades are meaningless." When I was in college, I read an article (probably in Newsweek) that said 85% of students at Harvard were on the Dean's list. That was 1973. One of my children went to Vanderbilt, where he and his friends said, "there is grade deflation." No more than 15 % of students made the Dean's list there.

  87. I was at that Grateful Dead concert! Great show!...Oh...and great article too! Grew up in Hartford, where my was a professor at Trinity. He joked about grading on a curve. He'd throw all the exams down the stairs. The ones that travelled furthest (or the least, not sure which) got the A's. I happened to go to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where we never had to see our grades...unless we were failing a class.

  88. A persons level of education, or as this article states, "a college grade or degree," does not give a person morality, decency, honesty, empathy, common sense, or the ability to govern fairly. Take a look at all elected official, look at Congress. How many have lied? How many have went to jail? Although education can assist a person in life, it does guarantee that the person will be anything but an educated person.

  89. @DS When the POTUS is imposing tariffs, and his education is obviously so bad that he doesn't even know how tariffs work, that's a problem. And that's still a problem whatever a real education guarantees.

  90. @DS I'm sure you meant: How many have GONE to jail.

  91. @DS Wouldn't that be "person's"? and shouldn't "How many have went to jail?" be "How many have gone to jail?" ? And your concluding sentence lacks "not" before "guarantee." If you're going to criticize tRump's education, it would be good to get your essay right.

  92. Passion, self awareness and curiosity are character traits that aren't necessarily going to show up in a grade book. And many types of education occur outside of universities and aren't subject to a teacher or professor's evaluation. Having apparently held no elected office before running for president, Trump doesn't come off as someone with a passion for public service or a curiosity about how policy affects ordinary people. Statements like 'Nobody knew health care could be so complicated' are indicative of someone who didn't even bother to study up on the benefits and complexities of the ACA before trying to undermine it.

  93. There should be a test that you have to pass in order to run for President. It is called the citizenship test. Every new American who has immigrated here must pass it. I used to administer this test on the first day of my college course on the Constitution. Most native born Americans failed it. Even now, two years into being President Trump would fail it.

  94. @David The only thing the Donnie Trumps (Sr. & Jr.) know is the Fifth Amendment.

  95. @David Sorry David, but I don't believe you have the right test for Trump. It would be closer to the truth if you gave him a citizenship test for the confederate states of America. Okay, he would probably flunk that too, but he'd enjoy it more. No, the test that Trump would pass would be for the country he really wants to create...Trumplandia. In Trumplandia...every answer Trump gives is always correct. He could take the test every day for a month, never give the same answer twice...and always be correct. A perfect score. How can you deny someone who always gets a perfect score, David?

  96. @rumple I guess I am just really impressed by immigrants who try so hard and just want to become U.S. citizens. Even those who cross without documents. And I just want people to know that it is not easy to become a U.S. citizen and immigrants should be celebrated not demonized. I am tired of Trump really and I just want to think about something good. Like the hopeful faces of new Americans!

  97. His fans would be delighted to find out how he pulled it off, got away with it, beat those low energy intellectuals at their own game. But we'll never know because, like his taxes, he's got nothing to hide.

  98. An SAT score that's acceptable to gain admission to Fordham may not be sufficient for an Ivy League school like the University of Pennsylvania. I've often wondered, during Trump's time, how many transfer students Penn accepted from other four-year colleges. I'll bet that was highly unusual, and I'd like to know what special magic was used to arrange that.

  99. @Keen Penn started a masters program in real estate around that time, and that's what Trump joined. I doubt there were many applicants, so probably anyone could get in.

  100. @Keen It was the magic with lots of zeroes.

  101. @kwb Trump wasn't in the graduate school - he was an undergraduate. I believe he did major in real estate. Rumor has it that he got in because his older brother was friends with Penn's director of admissions.

  102. What grade should we give President Trump? Well, we know he fails on integrity, credibility, selection and treatment of subordinates, listening skills, and fidelity to his marriages. How about the economy, where he still claims success? To paraphrase Ben Franklin, upon better information and further consideration, I have concluded that Trump is indeed a stable genius: 1. Budget deficit up 60% in 2018 vs. CBO forecast when elected, and 40% over the 2018-2027 period, due to tax cuts and additional spending. We should be improving the deficit trajectory when the economy is indeed improving, as it did under Obama. Instead of $9.4 trillion in debt additions over 10 years, we're now looking at $13.0 trillion or more. 2. Job creation slower in Trump's first 27 months (5.4 million) than Obama's last 27 months (5.8 million). 3. Trade deficit rising to all-time dollar record and increasing as % GDP, despite entirely avoidable trade wars with our allies fought over fraudulent premises (e.g., national defense vs. Canada). 4. Higher inflation and mortgage rates, but lower real wage growth in 2017-2018 vs. 2015-2016. 5. Inequality much, much worse due to tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and their corporations. 6. About 1.2 million more without health insurance since the end of 2016; 2017 was the first year with an increase since 2010. Perhaps this is what happens when Republicans select the Russia-endorsed candidate to be their President.

  103. How can anyone fail 'Self-Paced Calculus"? If the student's pace is for a completion in 20 years, then the grade should be deferred. OTOH, if a grade is for a semester, the course isn't really self-paced, is it?

  104. @kwb Easy. Here's an example. You take a one-semester Self-Paced Calculus course. You get through the first 2 pages. Then, at semester's end, you take an exam on those 2 pages. If you ace the exam, you get an A in Self-Paced Calculus 101. I admit that I'm not sure how one determines the hours of credit toward graduation that should be awarded.

  105. That's an interesting question. Experience informs me that it is difficult for an expelled student to earn any grade at all.

  106. I would say a 'gentleman's C' but as we all know, this is no gentleman.

  107. I wonder how Wharton students today feel about Trump being an alumni - I hope it makes the whole experience seem like time spent in a sewer.

  108. @grace thorsen Alumnus

  109. "One person can't be "an alumni": he would be an "alumnus"; she would be an "alumna." I propose a new term one falsely pretending to have attended a particular school: Alumnot. "Steve, who habitually wears Harvard sweaters to family gatherings, despite having no affiliation there except having been rejected as an applicant, is a Harvard alumnot."

  110. Apparently, he excelled at writing fiction--a skill he still practices multiple times a day. (F in grammar and spelling, however).

  111. @Sandy Writing? Seriously? It seems evident that the only thing he actually writes himself is his own very tremendous signature with a Sharpie so nobody can miss it.

  112. @sashakl, Yeah, but he is so good at fabricating tall tales, that his name should have been Blarney Killarney. Except Donnie doesn't make shoes.

  113. @Sandy No - can't compare his mendacity with the truth-seeking of fiction - a different planet completely. Just like those accusing Loughlin of being the supreme actor for her admissions scheming - no - theatre is also the realm of reaching for stark reality. Let's not let the rampant obfuscation of our times confuse us.

  114. I know the feeling: I graduated with honors from NYU a few years after Woody Allen dropped out. (Then again, I've never been accused of molesting anyone...) Oh, well; I'm guessing that our feckless leader ended up with a "G" average at Wharton and still can't identify the author of "Age of Innocence." comment submitted 5/15 at 12:58 PM

  115. @stu freeman If only he could be considered innocent of destroying the government.....

  116. @stu freeman Truly astonished that a "G" at Wharton was the best Fred Trump could afford. I'm sure in light of the bribe scandal Hollywood stars caught in only extended to admission not to assurances of good grades.

  117. How about numerical grade? Can I use a negative number ! How many leading zeros can I use? Does it need to be in decimal or can it be binary or HEX? Is this acceptable? -- It would be lower except for his lovely shade of orange -00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.001

  118. I understand why no one at the IRS has leaked Trump's tax returns. But I'm equally surprised that no one at Penn -- or Fordham, which he attended before transferring -- has leaked Trump's college transcripts. Threatening lawyer's letter notwithstanding, I assumed someone would try nonetheless. I'm sure he was a terrible student, just as he's a terrible human being. Re: the headline, what grade would I give him? No letter grade. But I'd write in my Teacher's Notes "Donald is a liar and a bully, and is universally disliked by the other children."

  119. A+ in aggression and bluster and con jobs , F in knowledge of governance , history , science , math , etc. Probably paid the poor bright kids to do his homework . As for the republican party , it has regressed into " the know nothing " party , so of course he's their guy .

  120. Here are a few pearls of infinite stupidity uttered by our America's remedial President. "The beauty of me is that I'm very rich." "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." "Before a show, I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it...You know, they're standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that." "My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body." "That makes me smart." — Trump on perhaps not paying federal income taxes "I will build a great wall--and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me--and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words." "You know, I was dealt a lot of bad hands." (whines the son of a multi-millionaire) Hail to the Failure-in-Chief !

  121. @Socrates You gotta admit, every line he utters is a gem in the Jester's crown. He does a great job of keeping comedians in business. Can you spell Boston Red Socks?

  122. @Socrates, there is one truth in your list. He was dealt the “bad hand” of his family, who, sorry to say, made him what he is today. His brother died of alcoholism, which almost never appears in only one member or generation of a family. The addict’s distorted understanding of how the world works and how to make one’s way in it are handed down through generations, even if the household is dry. This childhood trauma does not discriminate, battering families across the social and economic spectrum. Left unresolved, its impact is lifelong and can lead to a seriously troubled adult life. Combine that with the extreme narcissism and amorality that can be handed down as a coping mechanism, and you get 45. He’s not only a terrifying president. He’s also example #1 of the deficiencies of our nation’s approach to mental health.

  123. Since he seems incapable of uttering a simple declarative in standard English, its hard to see how he would fare well. But then his daddy was rich....

  124. Hey, no problem. He has ALL the Degrees one could ever want. From Trump University.

  125. Whatever his grade, it doesn’t seem to include basic literacy. And he capitalizes nouns as the Germans do. Since then he has been able to by his way through Life.

  126. Will the real valedictorian of Trump's graduating class please stand up? And the salutatorian also, for good measure? We don't need to see his transcript to know he's lying. Honestly, I do not know which is more concerning -- the stupidity and shamelessness of lying about easily verified facts or voters who do not care that they are being lied to repeatedly.

  127. I'm convinced the Pres is learning disabled/probably dyslexic. Along w that poorly parented,poor limit setting, no childhood learning about other people's feelings (you have to be treated well as well as told). He has no real friendships, no cultural interests, no loyalties, just needs. Other than that.....

  128. What grade would I give Donald Trump? It's tempting to say that on a grade scale of A-F, he should get a "D" for Donald but that's way too generous. He should get a "T" for Trump.

  129. The duly elected POTUS, who never previously held elected office, ran several businesses into bankruptcy, settled a civil fraud case for $25 million out of court, has had his charitable foundation closed for fraud, appears to have violated campaign finance laws, and was found 'not not guilty' of obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller. These are the facts. Why does anyone care if he graduated college with 'gentleman's C's'?

  130. If the President was in my class he probably wouldn't receive a grade from me. He wouldn't have any time to study with the rest of the class owing to the fact that I would have him in perpetual time out.

  131. In the end, it doesn't really matter what Trump's grades were in high school or college. I suspect the man can hardly read a page in a book without losing his place due to his clinical ADD, but who knows? But in the end, I certainly understand the impulse to call Trump out on anything and everything, especially his experiences in college, and even more especially how he got his money. Trump's clinical narcissism is so toxic and noxious, and his lying so prevalent, that it almost demands constant humiliation as an attempt to somehow blight these forces of ill. And what if we did find Trump to have sub-par grades in college? When then? An endless barrage of tweets saying that the transcripts are "fake" or that his teachers "were idiots" all supported by nightly stories by Hannity and Friends (boltstered by live-in "experts" Dan Bongion, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Guiliani, et. al). And yes, we all know that's how it would go down. Don't even fool yourself. The clinical narcissist will never give up his shield. The pain (probably of a childhood lost) underneath is too powerful.

  132. @Chaparral Lover A "childhood lost." Seriously, Trump is on record for saying his favorite movie is Citizen Kane. Yet, he has so little introspection that he completely misses the point, which applies to him so well. This is what he said to Megan Kelly about his favorite movie: “I think you learn in Citizen Kane that maybe wealth isn’t everything. Because he had the wealth, but he didn’t have the happiness. The table getting larger, and larger, and larger, with he and his wife getting further and further apart as he got wealthier and wealthier—perhaps I can understand that. ... In real life, I do believe that wealth does in fact isolate you from other people.” Trump concluded that “It was a great rise in Citizen Kane. And there was a modest fall.” "Modest Fall"?

  133. @Chaparral Lover How do you think he reads a TelePrompTer or any speech he’s given, especially the ones where he’s been praised for “acting presidential”?

  134. He hides his grades. He hides his taxes. He has lost more money over a decade that anyone but claims he's a 'billionaire'. He lies about his affairs. He pretends to be Christian. He displays the intellect and linguistic skills of a failing, and out-of-control, mean spirited fifth grader, Yet, he has 90% support of Republican voters. He is the poster boy of the decline of American values.

  135. One strongly suspects that our "very stable genius" probably graduated from Wharton with something less than a 3.4 GPA. In fact, significantly less. Even today, trump has trouble reading and writing. He was a transfer student from Fordham, the skids liberally greased with daddy's money. That hardly suggests a budding scholar. Then, as now, the only categories in which the guy might take high honors are mendacity, fraud, hypocrisy and tomfoolery.

  136. My son did his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Trump is not an alumni of that school. Wharton College? May be. How much money Fred Trump paid to Wharton? What grades Trump got? Definitely not As or honors other wise we wouldn’t hear the end of self grandiose bragging.

  137. @HCJ Your son might be able to straighten you out on a few details there.

  138. Education and wisdom has nothing to do with college grades, duh. The great mistake of college is the lack of teaching emotional education. Emotional I.Q. Is far more relevant to success and fulfillment. Reading great books at least helps open one’s mind. And, of course, developing an ethical framework is important for the individual and general society. Trump is an obvious FAILURE on these issues. His toxic behavior is destroying our society. Since millions of people still support this psychopath we see how much more work needs to be done. It’s a race between ignorance that leads to human extinction and wisdom that gives us a chance.

  139. @Malcolm They doesn't?

  140. Donald Trump only graduated Wharton after transferring, presumably with more than a little help from his father's donations. Donald Trump has never attended graduate school at Wharton or anywhere else. A point which makes his credentials less impressive even if we give him the benefit of the doubt which we shouldn't. Wharton undergraduate is "above average" just like every other business program in the nation and Trump only attended half of it anyway. But let's talk about grade inflation... The solution to grade inflation is really simple. You use bell curve grading. That's where the "curve" comes from when the entire class flunks the statistics exam Trump never took. The concept is simple. In a natural distribution, the curve is evenly distributed. Most students are average and should not graduate with honors. Graduating at all is honor enough. Most people don't. You're already above average. If the distribution is skewed, professors transform the grading scale to make the distribution normal. Hence, your test score is adjusted either positively or negatively. Usually positively. However, existing on normal distribution means there can only be a very few "A"s in the class and inevitably there must be some "D"s or even "F"s. You're being graded relative to the performance of your class mates. If you want to create a hostile learning environment, grade on a bell curve. Kids will go into all out thunderdome competing for those few "A" slots on the curve.

  141. This is why I do not grade on a curve. Each person legitimately earns his or her own grades. Theoretically, everyone could earn an A. Also, since when did a B become a “gentleman’s failure?”

  142. Honest to Pete, you folks have to have something better to do than constantly snark about Trump. I don't particularly like the man, but don't dwell on him 24/7, I have a life to enjoy.

  143. @TED338 Ted, Glad to see you're enjoying life reading this opinion piece and all 62 comments that follow.

  144. Shouldn't the question be what grades were earned by the people who took those classes registered as the trump?

  145. In the middle of George Bush's first term I was having a conversation with a colleague regarding how much we wished that the front pages were still dominated with the President's sex life. We're living the same nightmare now, but there's no adult supervision in the White House. Our country is being managed by an insecure child who constantly lies and changes history to confirm his point of view. I graduated with a B average, I'm pretty proud of that B. I worked full time during the 5 years it took me to achieve that B. Did "the Donald" have an onerous job that was physically taxing while struggling to pay the rent, keep food on the table and raise an infant? I sincerely doubt that "the Donald" worked at all, and if he did it was probably in the offices of his German born father wearing a suit and tie. No wonder he's ashamed of his college transcript - it would show that even with a life of privilege Donald Trump couldn't come close to the academic and intellectual achievements of many of the people he looks down upon.

  146. At the end of my college commencement in 1974, my youngest sister asked me why so many of my classmates had the same last name. There were over a thousand who graduated that day, and I asked her what she was talking about? "It was something like, 'Cumalada' and there were so many of them, especially at the end," she said. Oh -- that. At my college each graduate was given a small slip of paper with their name typed on it. They were to give it to the dean with the microphone who read their name as they crossed the stage. If you were graduating with honors, the honor was HANDWRITTEN after your name -- "cum laude," "summa cum laude," or "magna cum laude" -- and the dean would also say that into the mic as you crossed the stage. It didn't take long for some non-honor grad to figure out they could handwrite an honor after their name so that family members attending could have an extra moment of pride. Who cares if it wasn't true? I'm sure Trump is kicking himself for not thinking of doing that on his graduation day.

  147. My late father used to say “A students go into research, B students teach, and C students create things.” Draw what you will from this missive about Individual 1s’ academic prowess. Oh yeah, dad spent his career as an engineer with AT&T so he’d seen a thing or two in his life!

  148. @Christopher Davis I don't think teachers in this country represent much to strive for. After all, teachers apparently passed Donnie through. "Those who can't do, teach."

  149. @Christopher Davis Could your father define the word "tariff"? Trump can't. FYI, that wouldn't be a problem for someone in your father's position. It is a big problem for everyone if Trump has no clue.

  150. @Christopher Davis Well, if your old man had taken a course requiring he exercise some creativity, he'd probably have concluded the opposite.

  151. DT just did it again in his tweet to Carter : he writes " then " for "than " . He probably does not know the difference as many Americans who do the same mistake. You can read " of " instead of " have " . The USA have the worst public education quality . And the higher private education is corrupted and shallow . Far from the level of European free public universities .

  152. @JPH: The US public education system is a reflection of the value put upon it. When budget cuts “need” to be made, education is the first to feel the knife. The US education system is starved for money, and far too many citizens don’t care that their children are being cheated of an education, Far too many denigrate education and won’t even make their children go to school regularly. Citizens of the US used to see education as a door opener to opportunity and did everything possible to ensure that their kids went to school, studied hard and did the best they could. Sadly those days are over. So, don’t blame the educational system, blame citizens who don’t value education and are fine with budget cuts if it keeps their taxes low.

  153. @Cat Lover You think the US public education was better before ? What about education in private elite Colleges ? They were hiring European professors who were happy to get the higher pay but were saying that US students could not compare to the level of Europeans. And that was 30/40 years ago. Still the same today. The reason is that in the US education is sought only for the social status and not for its content or quality. That is the big difference with European education that it'd be at child level or higher university studies. The philosophies of education and the methods are also very different.

  154. As of yet, Trump has not matured enough to receive real "letter" grades. He is still in the K-2 phase with responses like "doesn't play well with others," "constantly demanding attention" while simultaneously "not paying attention," and, of course, "grabs girls inappropriately." Not real sure what sort of comments his teachers might have written about his grooming. "What does he put on his face to have such an odd color?" might be seen, should his pre-college transcripts ever see daylight? Maybe "meticulous about his hair" and "such soft, tiny hands."

  155. @Glen Your comment is one reason I love the NYT comments. Well done!

  156. There are many possible grades to give Trump. You could give him an A for autocrat. He's doing a great job of acting like one. You could give Trump a D for Dictator. He's trying, but he hasn't managed to achieve it yet, so it's difficult to say he passed. You could give him an L for lying. He does that constantly. You could give him an E for evil. When someone loves themselves more than anyone or anything...and would sacrifice anyone and anything for self benefit...what better definition of evil is there? But here's the interesting part about grading Trump. You and I are not really grading Trump...we are grading his base. I say this because Trump is beholden to his base. Trump derives all of his power from his base and he knows this. So...if Trump's base wanted him to be truthful, he would be. If Trump's base wanted him to show his tax returns, he would. If Trump's base wanted him to be compassionate to the poor or the sick or those fleeing persecution, he would do it. Yes. Trump is malleable. He has no core principles besides his own welfare. When you look at Trump, what you actually see is the sum total of his supporters. That's what they look like. Maybe that's what YOU look like.

  157. I would give him an A. The son of an exceptionally rich, powerful and successful man, Donald did not just live well off his father’s means. He entered the family business of real estate development and made a world known brand. He got educated, raised amazing children who, like him, work and do not live off family money. Then Donald ran for President to give back to his county. Trump is a good man, and I am proud he is our President. He is proud of his county (unlike other Presidents) and a man for the ages. God Bless you President Trump.

  158. @EWG He ran his father's huge fortune into the ground while being the biggest loser in the US. Trump can't even define the word "tariff". He has ADD so bad that he can't read a page of text. Therefore, he never completed a single one-hour assignment in school. His routine is a lot like the routine from the Dare To Be Great con game of the 1970s. Tell people they are going to be "great" and they will believe you are the next thing to Jesus, or Jesus himself. Just like Jerry Falwell, Lou Dobbs, Franklin Graham and others have said. Trump is holy and can do no wrong. One of the signs of the con game is that the followers will deny the obvious and make the lamest excuses for anything he says. Saw the same thing with Jonestown, too.

  159. @EWG You are entitled to your opinion. Would it change if you knew that every business Donald experimented with - the shuttle, the school, food, clothing, wine - has lost money, most going bankrupt? That he has declared bankruptcy numerous times, stiffing his creditors and employees? That his real estate "success" was only possible because his father bailed out his failures? That he diverted money from his siblings and their families to fund his failures? His only business success was selling his image as a success, even as he was losing money in the real world. His real talent is charming the willing suckers who flock to such hucksters. Far from not living off family money, Donald Trump would be hawking supplements on InfoWars without his father's money.

  160. @EWG Yes, I'm sure his ultimate goal all along was to give back to his country.

  161. Why do some writers have an obsession with small irrelevant details of Trump’s life? There are obviously more pressing issues to write about; and cheap shot articles like this desensitizes the reader to more important Trump related news under the assumption that all such articles are as frivolous as this one.

  162. @Jake I think a little light-heartedness is very useful, when as well done as this. Think of it as palate cleanser. And now we're ready for more of the grim, horrific, brutal realities of Trumpworld.

  163. @Jake If the President is so ignorant that he doesn't even understand what "tariff" means, that's a real problem for everyone. The reason he is so ignorant is obvious. He has such severe ADD that he was never able to complete any exam or assignment in school. The definition of the word "tariff" is covered even before high school. There is no way anyone could legitimately pass through Wharton if they did not know that. Which would make him a liar, in addition to being ignorant.

  164. There was only one semester in my academic career when I did pretty well.... and that was because I was head-over-heels in love. But these comments about tRump's undistinguished career reveal as much about the writers as about tRump: they are lousy proof-readers. Messed-up punctuation.... mis-spellings.... there's hardly a single comment that doesn't have a mistake of some sort. I've been amused by this in the comments for a long time. But if you're going to criticize tRump academically, it would be good to say it well. PS I think many NYTimes comments are brilliant. misteaks and all!

  165. Dyslexia and sleep apnea. He can’t read and sends tweets at 4 am. See if he is in the class picture for his year. Maybe he dropped out of Wharton.

  166. The man does not demonstrate the positive effects of any education on his personality or behavior. Knowing his grades will not change anyone's opinion of him. He is a boor. His election represents the flaws of democracy where the voters demonstrated "willing suspension of disbelief". Unfortunately for the nation, the leashes on him are also in hands of people like Mitch McConnell who have deep-sixed their conscience. Will the red state voters change their choices in 2020. I doubt it.

  167. Great question. Maybe after the results are in, do the same with Barack, and throw in his SAT'S and LSAT's , just to keep it fair, should you choose to do that.

  168. My thought is it doesn't matter what he got at Wharton, you can't run a government like a profit as the only goal construction development company, a profit and duck all the taxes possible, or a purely private sector capitalist enterprise. Profit and money are not the values of reasonable governance. Reasonable governance has been written about by our forebearers, discussed in many circles, and the purpose of government of and by the people looked at in detail. Trump is blind and deaf to all of this in his selfishness, demented navel gazing .

  169. The President of the United States is apparently functionally illiterate. Nothing to be ashamed of, if you're getting remedial help to catch up. I suspect he is not.

  170. Trump illustrates the true grade in life - stubbornness. Whatever college you get into, or maybe no college at all, it is your ability to pick a goal and doggedly pursue it that will determine your outcome in life. An honors student who is shy and uncertain won't do as well as some blowhard who went to Podunk U - unless their field is solitary, like research in quantum theory. It surprises me that parents and children don't realize that it is YOU that determines your fate, not your alma mater.

  171. @Kathleen "Stubbornness" -- as in "severe ADD with a billion of Daddy's money to shield him from the real effects." Trump has severe ADD. He can't read a full page of text. He never completed a one-hour assignment on anything in school. He doesn't even know what "tariff" means because he could not sit still long enough to listen to the explanation.

  172. It is annoying that Trump boasts of holding an Ivy League degree and a supposedly high IQ. But what counts the most is his astonishing level of ignorance, coupled with astounding confidence in himself. It's his poor performance as president that really matters.

  173. Ha, ha, you are joking right??? First of all one has to graduate high school to enter college. As daddy paid for him to do both. In my opinion he has yet to finish middle school let alone enter high school.

  174. @MHV sorry to be that guy, but I don’t think any Ivy League college or university requires a high school diploma. Just one of those little lies out there, I’m afraid...

  175. I remember my first professor's vindictive introduction to college at the U of R grading on a D- curve failing half the calculus class. It did not get much better from there. If your livelihood depends on high grades, don't go to Rochester! As for trump, any transcript would be suspect. How many tests/papers did the trump actually take/write? While he is sabotaged his fellow student's education to look better, he likely paid off a poor intelligent stand-in to do his work for him. He has proved he learned NOTHING at Wharton. Indeed, his diploma should be revoked. Same goes for his SATs, likely paid for just as the wealthy do now to get their kids into name brand colleges Had Twitter been around, trump would have echoed Lori Loughlin's daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli's "I don't really care about school," only interested in the party scene. So trump, like Olivia, they replaced a deserving student the opportunity to advance in life. "students have gotten smarter" Unless, of course, your a conservative student so gullible to the trump-Republi-con - wind turbines cause cancer - with a seven day a week Sunday bible class education funded by tax payers who can't afford college. In trump's world, all kids are below average. Indeed way below trump. I so long for lake Trumpbegone - that would truly MAGA. Perhaps Wharton did not want to risk their reputation giving someone so obviously intellectually lacking, that giving trump "Honors" would have discredited the school for ever.

  176. If Wharton also carried courses in Lying, Cheating and Scamming, then have to say that the Trumps have done well. Indeed, done spectacularly. A summa cum laude is in order - at least from Trump University, if not from the Penn U.

  177. He does not read--or, if forced to do so--cannot possibly read with the kind of open mind necessary to actually learn something. So, if I had been his instructor, I would have given him an F for all reading-related classes. He also cannot write, as evidenced by his rambling, misspelled, ungrammatical, lying Tweets. Being a good writer requires a degree of honesty and a desire to share something meaningful with your readers. That's all beyond him, so I would give him an F in any class in which he was required to write. Clearly, Trump-as-student could not have been very different from Trump-as-president: lazy, close-minded, and hostile to learning anything different from what he carries around in his gut. He must have been admitted into Wharton the way many rich parents arrange for their children's higher education: by making a big fat contribution to the coffers of the school. And, years later, we too are paying the price.

  178. @Cmary Well he's no good with the numbers either, is he now? So, F on that too.

  179. It's possible to be educated beyond your intelligence... Where 'facts' are recited by rote without understanding what they mean. You see this on the Sunday morning political shows where a guest answers every question with the same talking points as their peers on every other political show. Trump is a bit different. He has no facts. But what he says appeals to the lunatic core of the GOP well enough to squeak out a win in selected swing states, like his sales pitch is good enough to take to the bank when it's time for another loan.

  180. "What Grade Would You Give Donald Trump? The president won’t release his college transcript. But we can guess what it says." Remember when Trump was after President Obama's birth certificate and his college / law school grades? So now Trump is above the fray and will not allow his grades to be published. Trump "has claimed he graduated first in his class at Wharton, which is — prepare yourself for a shock — an easily documented lie. He graduated without honors at Wharton, which means his grade point average in 1968 was probably less than 3.4 — a B, in fact. The gentleman’s failure." With the 10,000 plus lies Trump has spoken and tweeted, it's clear that he was lying about graduating first in his class. More than likely Trump was even lower than the "The gentleman’s failure" grade. For his failure record in the last two plus years, Trump's grade would be a minus 1,000.

  181. @Retired Guy: You've got gumption, in using the term ,"gentleman's failure." Trump is as much of a "gentleman," as Obama is a "Muslim from Kenya."

  182. @Ponsobny Britt Read the article and you will see that I copied the term from the article. As for Trump being any sort of a "gentleman" let alone being compared favorable to President Obama: For Get It.

  183. @RetiredGuy You mean, your mother never told you about repeating what you heard from strangers?

  184. I’d give him the same grade he earned for his bone spurs: 4F

  185. Who wouldn't rather enjoy a Dead concert than write an essay! I'll bet it was a great show.

  186. Thinking of our deal maker in Chief Trump and his years of a Wharton business school education, I am reminded of a section in Catch 22. WWII B-24 pilot and Capitalist Milo Minderbender says he failed out of Harvard, but was quickly hired by a bank to help turn profitable companies into bankrupt ones as a way of dodging taxes. He was highly valuable to the bank as avoiding taxes was more important than making a profit. However, there is a prescient quote, too too apropos for Trump, that makes me weep: "As a typical capitalist, Milo is scared of losing his property and his means of making a profit. But he also fights this battle with honest conviction. He can only see the world in terms of the syndicate. The Germans are business partners, and in Milo's book, this overrides any official wartime enemy status they have with the U.S." Replace Germans with Russians, and Joseph Heller was 50 years ahead of his time.

  187. I challenge the entire notion that he graduated from "Wharton." Yes, Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, but when someone says they go to Wharton, they are talking about their graduate degree, usually an MBA. Trump went for two years to the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science from that school. Diplomas for business majors from UPenn- undergrad and graduate do not mention Wharton. When Trump gets his MBA from UPenn, then he can say he graduated from Wharton.

  188. Thank you for clarifying this. Trump no more attended Wharton School than my cat. He attended undergrad school at the U of Penn and took some business classes that were named for the graduate school. He did not attend, much less graduate, from Wharton and only attended undergrad owing to daddy’s money.

  189. @Oxfdblue It is amazing how many comments about the dubious ethics, academics or intellectual talents of some students from elite schools are like this. Schools sometimes admit and graduate some people who have no business handling anywhere near the serious responsibility or the analysis of complex situations expected of someone with a degree in the given field of study. Rather than accepting this, there is some form of nit-picking to avoid even a hint of tarnishing the purity of the institution. When many people are so hyper-sensitive about a reputation, it seems like strong evidence that that reputation is overblown.

  190. @Oxfdblue Look, this is just plain old incorrect. Sorry. Wharton grants undergraduate degrees.

  191. Straight "D's" - Beginning with Delegitimate and moving through dereliction, denigration, discrimination, desecration, deregulation, deception, defamation, derision, degradation, deviance, demonization and degeneracy - Now let's move on to the teacher comment section of his report card.

  192. @Jerry Farnsworth Adding deleterious to your list.

  193. @Jerry Farnsworth Two you left out: dishonest... and disgrace.

  194. @Jerry Farnsworth Teacher Comment: When called on in class, if he shows up, Donald tends to stand up, pound his chest and talk about how great he is. None of his classmates seem to like him.

  195. These are his ACTUAL SAT scores. Math. 510 English. 440

  196. @New World Source? From his obvious severe ADD, I find it difficult to believe that he ever completed a one-hour test on anything. He simply can't do it, any more than I could lift 10,000 pounds.

  197. @New World Is there any source for your ACTUAL SAT reference?

  198. @New World And if I recall correctly you get 400 in each test for signing your name at the top of the sheet.

  199. Trump would get a WF - withdraw failing - if he went to an accredited school. He would have withdrawn just after failing his first assignment because he submitted a paper that had nothing to do with the topic at hand. He would then complain about the topic being stupid and fake. After that, he would sue the school to try to get his tuition back. The school administrators, afraid of the bad press, would settle out of court.

  200. My guess is that Trump is another Olivia Jade. Maybe Daddy told him to join the Crew team.

  201. No Trump supporter will touch this topic because....well, because "whatabout Hillary's Emails!!" But it's glaringly obvious that the man is a slacker; a con man who learned VERY early on how to game the system and leverage Fred's money. Sadly, he felt compelled to fabricate his entire life's faux "success" to escape from an inescapable truth... Deep down, he, too, knows he's a Loser.

  202. He called himself a "nice" student and has the biggest ego ever to sit in the WH. We know his daddy was giving him a million dollars a year when he was in his teens. He graduated in the early 1960's from an Ivy league undergraduate program. If you are a good student in the Ivy League you graduate with honors-- cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. This is written on your diploma for you and your parents to show off to friends and relatives. I have my Harvard diploma - cum laude --proudly on display in my office. He does not claim to have graduated with honors and hides his transcripts today. Therefore, we know he was an average student at best. If I had a million dollars in the bank and was lazy like Donald Trump, I would have gotten someone to do the work for me --like we know rich people do just to get into college today and in the past. He could have bought a cum laude or better grades. But obviously he didn't and likely because he is also cheap and didn't think it mattered because he could just lie about his grades--so why spend the money. He was a C student at best and otherwise would be at least showing us his diploma --if not his actual grades. You can't claim to be a "stable genius" if you don't graduate with honors.

  203. I like to tell all the Ivy League grads who’ve worked for me over the last 35 years that I graduated “cum-diploma.” I also have no idea where my diploma ended up but I never felt the need to hang it on the wall.

  204. @EPMD There's nothing inherently bad about "bad" grades. Lots of smart people didn't get good grades. Einstein was though to have cognitive issues. Grades in and of themselves mean nothing. BUT...Trump should own whatever/whoever he was in college. The fact that he hides his transcripts means he is afraid. The truth is, he is a liar and a cheat. We all know he didn't go to school on his own merits. Daddy bought him that degree. He could own that, too, but chooses not to. Again, because he has an inferiority complex. That's why he lashes out- because he is constantly threatened by the intelligence of others.

  205. Grades are necessary but in the long-run, they don't matter. The American education system has to focus on improving students' critical thinking skills so that we never again elect someone so unqualified to be President.

  206. Trump's academic efforts seem to be about at the same level mine were my first year in college when all I wanted to do was party. Since my grades that first year were under average, that is the best grade I can assign to our current prezident.

  207. When I went to Wharton, economics was a required part of the curriculum. The president gives no evidence of having spent any time at all studying economics. He also seems to be extraordinarily bad at mathematics, or indeed any type of analysis. Hence, I struggle to get my head around the notion that he even managed to get a Wharton degree.

  208. What I don't understand is why his schools have acquiesced to Trump's legal threats. To me, it is shameful that they would let a lie stand when they can disprove it. I also doubt that prospective students would overlook a school that published grades when in the best interest of the public. Indeed, I suspect that standing up to DT would actually increase their pool of candidates and donors.

  209. They can’t do it because it’s not legal. You can’t release a transcript without a request from the student. Parents are often surprised to learn this.

  210. I suspect the school is following the law, which precludes dissemination of student records without the student’s permission. As they should so respect the privacy of all students.

  211. @David Gd There are existing laws against revealing private info. Trump's letters were unnecessary.

  212. I would give Trump an A+ for the following reasons. 1. Most politicians as members of the human race lie or, if you prefer, dissemble or prevaricate. Trump is, I think, the first American President to lie endlessly and to his advantage. He avoids the shame of being caught in a lie by denial of the lie. He successfully communicates the notion that today's truth is tomorrows lie and visa versa. 2. To supplement his lies he has successfully created his own innumerable set of facts, eg., Obama was born outside the USA. How many American politicians have had ten's of millions of adoring fans applaud fake facts. Better yet, he has convinced Republican legislators and jurists that lying in the service of the good is commendable 3. In 1967, as surely Ms Boylan knows, Roland Barthes, a French literary critic created the "Death of the Author" paradigm . Simply put the intentions of the author cannot be used to interpret a text. By a simple extension of Barth's theory it can be postulated that what President says should not be used evaluate the worth of his judicial appointments, legislative achievements etc. The Republicans nod Amen! Trump is the first American autocrat to signal the death of politician. He follows in along line of 20th and 21 century European autocrats and dictators. Let us hope our next President can get a passing grade and reincarnate a vital political tradition before the curtain descends.

  213. I'd give him an Incomplete. The deadline is long past for a remedy.

  214. "Was his G.P.A. that low? Was he bad at statistics, like measuring crowd size? Is it possible they refused to give him honors because, even then, they had reservations about his performance in Self-Paced Narcissism?" Then as now he was/is really bad at what he did/does.

  215. It's disappointing that a transwoman with such a significant platform has decided to discuss Trump in the mild context of grade inflation. There's so much privilege in this op-ed it's impossible to know where to begin.

  216. Trump is so obviously lazy, and demonstrates all of the characteristics of someone who never had to strive to achieve anything. While his business results surely raise questions about his ethics, I have no doubt he is a genius student of human behavior, this is the only way someone survives (and thrives) using his methods. I thin this is important to appreciate, and perhaps should influence the evolution of our priorities when understanding who is best suited for what. I am a member of Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, etc. dropout club. I am doing ok, most of my peers have masters degrees or better. For some of us, the pace and social aspect of schooling just doesn't fit, and grades are not the reward, knowledge and ability are. The more interesting aspect of your column is your proof that grades may be irrelevant, but education is not. If only EVERYONE could just get one...

  217. @Humble/lovable shoe shine boy Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates et al are outliers, not average in either talent or intelligence. Most of us are ordinary with good skills we worked hard to achieve. It might be okay for a very exceptional individual to drop out of school; it doesn't lead to future success for most of us. Knowledge is usually a product of education; ability is usually a product of using your knowledge to grow in whichever field you choose. Successful people apply themselves, focus and work hard to get where they want to go. Famous artists were talented; they were good enough to be accepted as apprentices; they learned everything they could to go on to create their own original art, sculpture, designs. Many were not literate, they learned through apprenticeships.

  218. I personally dislike stories of academics humblebragging about how they achieved impressive academic careers 'despite' having been "poor students," casually ignoring how inattentiveness to grades was likely a positive factor in their high intellectual attainments. Typically these are slightly (or even extremely) non-conformist types who use their freedom from academic hoop-jumping to cultivate their interests much more deeply than the typical transcript-polishing pre-professional whose MO consists in the cramming-regurgitation cycle (mimicking of course the anorexic's binge-and-purge routine, with similar nutritive effects), & the occasional borderline or actual plagiarism when feasible. Goodhardt's law (a social science counterpart of the Heisenberg principle, though "Hawthorne effect" operates similarly): "The more a measure becomes a target, the less it operates as a measure." The competitive transcript polisher (the typical pre-professional) sees school as a game wherein finding the path of least resistance is the key to grade maximization; all failure (like hardcore, deep learning, which requires failure) is anathama, success is everything. Real learners (Dylan apparently) take the opposite tack. It is hypocritical of faculty to embody these distinctions in their own career, then unreservedly celebrate/endorse grade-striving, disacknowledging the distinctions. If Dylan "fails" at school but turns out to be brilliant, that says what school (& grades) reward.

  219. If it's measured by what a nation needs, he gets an unsatisfactory. if it's measured by keeping his angry, hate filled promises, he gets an outstanding.

  220. His college education is likely why Trump is looking for the “oranges” of the Muller investigation.

  221. It is not particularly interesting what "grade" a faceless unelected English professor would assign to a politician; or anyone or thing for that matter. I know this is meant to be a fun article but it can be irritating watching intellectuals in academia subjectively assigning value to human beings based on their very pedantic and narrow field of expertise.

  222. He must have learned the don't-release-transcripts dodge from his predecessor.

  223. Back in 2001 my MBA profs in Boston had said it was no secret among colleagues that George W Bush slept in the back of his Harvard Business School classrooms and paid others to do his papers. W now seems like a Rhodes scholar next to Trump.

  224. I think it's fitting that Trump attended Wharton given that his entire Presidency has been one huge wharton this country.

  225. When I was still teaching, there were always a few students who did little work, and consequently did not do well in the course. It didn’t matter how bright they were; if they hadn’t applied themselves, they couldn’t respond appropriately to the questions I asked about the material. Many considered themselves so intelligent that they didn’t need to study, and they were often the most irate following the release of grades. It should not have been much of a surprise: I always returned midterms and papers with comments about why they needed to apply themselves. It never made much of an impact on their behavior. That’s how I see Donald Trump. Undeservedly self-confident, arrogant, but profoundly lazy. And while college grades don’t always guarantee success (or failure) in life, the flaws in character tend to stay with people all their lives and have much more to do with the kind of real (not monetary) success they achieve.

  226. I would suggest Trump call his college and ask for his money back. It's evident that college did nothing for him and he obviously needs the money.

  227. Each day his chauffer drove him to school Lord Trump learned how to call the students actually in the honor role "a bunch of elitists" which made every frat boy friend of his envious of his leadership skills. While hiding behind bodyguards, he threatened to beat up the Captain of the football team. One day Little Lord Trump's bodyguard took sick during the afternoon, and Trump proved that he could probably compete with the fastest runner on the track team.

  228. "Lots of successful people have been terrible students, of course, including a roster of all-star dropouts: Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walt Disney, Elton John." Very true. As awful as Trump is, there is no reason to dig up ancient stuff just to cause irritation. This is the kind of thing that generates sympathy for Trump and give the impression of throwing everything against a wall to see what sticks. He would not be the first rich kid expected to work in the family business to display shocking indifference to his classes.

  229. I imagine that Trump was given a "C" on the basis of his father's donations to the college and arm twisting of the administrators. If he had been left to his own devises, it seems inconceivable that Trump would have gotten anything other than "incomplete" in any class (can you see him actually trying to learn the material?), which would wash him out of the program.