Did Melania Trump Go to College?

Before she was First Lady of the United States, and certainly before she became Donald Trump’s third wife, much of Melania Trump’s life has been shrouded in mystery. We do know that the “Be Best” advocate was born on April 26, 1970, in Novo Mesto, Slovenia — which was then still part of communist Yugoslavia. Mrs. Trump’s given name was Melanija Knavs, but when she began her modeling career in her late teens, the first lady modernized her name to Melania Knauss.

Unlike her husband, Mrs. Trump did not grow up in a wealthy household. Instead, she grew up reasonably lower to middle class. Her father was a car dealer, and her mother was a children’s clothing designer. Eventually, Mrs. Trump would make a name for herself in the fashion world before meeting Donald Trump in 1998 and eventually marrying the billionaire in 2005. But did Melania Trump ever attend college?

Melania Trump tea

Melania Trump in Saudi Arabia. | First Lady Melania Trump via Instagram

Melania Trump attended the University of Ljubljana for one year

Though Mrs. Trump’s modeling career was already beginning to take off when she was 16, at 17, she enrolled at the University of Ljubljana which is the largest university in Slovenia. She chose to major in design and architecture. However, by the time she was 18, the first lady’s modeling career soared. She was able to sign with a modeling agency in Milan — so she dropped out of university after just one year.

Controversy over a degree

There is no shame in leaving school behind when pursuing your dreams. However, the first lady found herself in a bit of hot water when up until Donald Trump’s election her personal website read that she’d obtained a degree in design and architecture at an unspecified university in Slovenia. When folks went to scout out the validity of that claim and came up short, questions about Mrs. Trump’s alleged degree began to arise.  Mrs. Trump later updated her site to read “paused her studies to advance her modeling career in Milan and Paris.”

A very bright student

Though she did not finish her studies, Mrs. Trump was a fantastic student. Blaz Matija Vogelnik one of her former professors told NBC News, “She hasn’t finished university, at least not in Ljubljana. My personal opinion is that because she was very beautiful girl … I believe that she realized that she could gain more with that than to have long studies. Her IQ was very high.”

Now that she is the First Lady of the United States there is still so much we don’t know about Melania Trump, but we do know that she reportedly speaks five languages, Slovene, English, German, Serbian, and French –which is much more than her husband can say.

Donald and Melania Trump

Donald and Melania Trump | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A very private life

Though Mrs. Trump’s modeling career peaked by the time she met Donald Trump, having modeled in Milan and Paris while landing on covers like Harper’s Bazaar in Bulgaria and Italy’s Vanity Fair — the first lady has always been a very private person. So much so that she doesn’t seem all that accessible to the American public even today. However, ID Models president Paolo Zampolli said that this is how Mrs. Trump has always been.

Zampolli told the New York Post in 2005, “It was unusual for her to go out; she never went to clubs or bars. She never dated anyone in New York before Donald. She only went to movies by herself and to the gym.”

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