Being the malignant narcissist he is, Donald Trump sees himself as incapable of making mistakes, or ever being wrong. It’s why he clings desperately to the ridiculous notion that he only lost the popular vote because millions of undocumented immigrants voted against him, or why a failed teleprompter was responsible for him claiming there were airports during the Revolutionary War.
When people called him out on this obvious act of stupidity, he tried to portray himself as clever enough to think on his feet, having to improvise a new speech when the teleprompter died, even though he once derided former President Obama for needing a teleprompter at his events. His critics laughed when he referred to himself infamously on Twitter as a “very stable genius,” particularly since he’s carefully kept his grades under lock and key, while his supporters claimed he spoke the truth – that somehow his string of failed businesses shows he is in fact a genius at work.
A popular defense of Donald Trump is to point out that he attended the Wharton School of Finance, where he would need a minimum SAT score of 1500 in order to enroll. This quickly falls apart when you factor in that Donald Trump actually transferred to Wharton and was not required to submit his SAT scores, and that he was largely granted an interview because his brother’s friend worked at the admissions office.
James Nolan, now 81, has had enough of Donald Trump’s “stable genius” claims, and the former admissions official has gone to the Washington Post to let his thoughts be known. While Trump claimed it was extremely difficult to get into Wharton, Nolan debunks this with one statistic. Shortly after Trump applied, Wharton had an acceptance rate of 40%, while today it’s closer to 7.4%, and much more difficult to get into than it was in 1966.
Rather than being stunned at his intellect, Nolan says his encounter with Donald Trump that day was hardly memorable – and isn’t even sure if his decision played a role in Trump’s acceptance. We don’t have any of Trump’s academic transcripts or where he ultimately ranked in his class – but it wasn’t among the top 56 students – nor did he even make dean’s list his senior year. Trump will likely go after this as fake news, but it would probably have the opposite effect he intended, simply increasing attention to his time at Wharton and inevitably drawing a comparison to the recent college admissions scandals.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making