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Posted: May 01, 2016

Malia Obama decides which Ivy League college she'll attend

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks with his daughter, Malia Obama, before pardoning the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey, 'Popcorn' on the North Portico of the White House November 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. A 38-pound, full-grown Broad Breasted White domesticated turkey, 'Popcorn' and its alternate 'Caramel' will be sent to live at Mount Vernon, the estate and home of George Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks with his daughter, Malia Obama, before pardoning the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey, 'Popcorn' on the North Portico of the White House November 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. A 38-pound, full-grown Broad Breasted White domesticated turkey, 'Popcorn' and its alternate 'Caramel' will be sent to live at Mount Vernon, the estate and home of George Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Malia Obama, 17, will join the Harvard University class of 2021 after taking a gap year, the White House announced Sunday. 

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The decision was made public on May 1, National College Decision Day. 

Harvard accepted 5.2 percent of applicants this year, making this admissions cycle the most selective in its nearly 400-year-long history, The New York Times reported.

Both Barack and Michelle Obama attended Ivy League schools; the president attended Columbia, and the first lady went to Princeton. Both later graduated from Harvard Law School.

“The one thing I’ve been telling my daughters is that I don’t want them to choose a name,” Michelle Obama told Seventeen magazine earlier this year. “I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh, I should go to these top schools.’ We live in a country where there are thousands of amazing universities.”

The teenager visited dozens of schools, including the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Barnard, Tufts, Brown, Yale and Wesleyan. The first lady said in September that the family talked over Malia's college plans "every night." 

It's unclear what Malia, who turns 18 on July 4, will do during her gap year. Most people work or travel during a gap year.

It's also unknown what she'll study, but the eldest Obama daughter has expressed interest in working in television and productions. She spent a day in 2014 working as a production assistant on "Extant," a series produced by Obama donor Steven Speilberg that stars Halle Berry. Last year the teenager interned with the HBO series "Girls."

"Just like her father, she is an avid reader, and she enjoys movies and the whole process," Michelle Obama previously told People magazine. The president has described his eldest daughter as someone who never felt comfortable achieving only average scores and grades. 

Earlier in the year President Obama revealed that he declined an offer to speak at Malia's graduation from Sidwell Friends School in June. 

"I'm going to be wearing dark glasses, and I’m going to cry," he said.

He also spoke about his daughters during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.

"Both of my daughters are wonderful people. Malia's more than ready to leave but I'm not ready for her to leave," he said. "She's one of my best friends. It's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time, but she's ready to go. She's just a really smart, capable person and she's ready to make her own way."

The Obamas have said they will stay in Washington, D.C. while their youngest daughter, Sasha, 14, finishes school at Sidwell. The president and his wife still own a home in Chicago.

"Our decision has actually presented a bit of a dilemma because traditionally presidents don't stick around after they're done," Obama said at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. "And it's something that I've been brooding about a little bit."

After his speech, the president presented a humorous video about what he could do after leaving office.


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