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Obama's own student loans: $42,753 for Harvard Law School

President Barack Obama once again brought the college debt he ran up—along with first lady Michelle’s loans — during a speech on curbing college costs Thursday at the University of Buffalo.

Obama took out $42,753 in loans to pay for his Harvard Law School tuition. Michelle signed notes for $40,762 in loans for her Harvard Law education. That’s on top of their undergraduate loans. The couple carried their college debt 25 years—even as they were making decent incomes.

I first reported on the Obama student loan numbers when he ran for president in 2008, when I wrote, “On the campaign trail, I've heard them both often lament about how, back in the day, money was tight and their loans for their undergraduate years and Harvard Law School were never paid off until after Obama signed a $1.9 million book deal in 2004.”



On Thursday, Obama said, “I was in my 40s when we finished paying off our debt. And — and we should have been saving for Malia and Sasha by that time… …And we were luckier because most of the debt was from law school. Our undergraduate debt was not as great because tuition had not started shooting up as high.” Here’s the rundown on Obama student debt.

My source is the 2008 Obama campaign, which provided the following in response to my questions back then. As a freshman at Occidential, Obama received a full scholarship. After that, he took out loans for his Occidential and Columbia undergraduate tuition, as well as getting some help from his grandparents. I was told in 2008 Michelle Obama took out loans to cover much of her Princeton and Harvard tuition.

She has often spoken about how her folks helped her our at Princeton; she also had a work study job and took out “tens of thousands of dollars in loans.”