Joe Biden is a politician, law school graduate, husband, father, grandfather, and the 46th president of the United States. Growing up, Joe was an unremarkable scholar who had a debilitating stutter which impacted his GPA — and his self-confidence.
Joe Biden had a GPA of 1.9, which is significantly lower than the 3.0 average GPA of American students today. Despite his early academic shortcomings, Joe worked hard on improving his grades and went on to graduate from Syracuse University College of Law and enjoy a successful career in politics.
It’s safe to say that the 46th president of the United States did not have it easy in school. Let’s take a look at Joe’s education, his below-average GPA, and what his thoughts are on education today.
Joe Biden’s Education
Joe attended Archmere Academy, an exclusive and prestigious Roman Catholic college preparatory school located in Delaware. At the school, he gained the nickname “Stutterhead” from his peers and painfully recalls a time when a teacher called him “Mr. Bu-bu-bu-bu-Biden”.
In order to overcome his speech impediment and the bullying that came with it, Joe turned to poetry. Every night, he would recite poems in front of his mirror and even attempted to abolish his stutter by speaking with a mouthful of pebbles.
Joe’s stutter became manageable and he was elected and served as class president in both his junior and senior year, and he was on the baseball and basketball team. He graduated in 1961 and headed off to Newark’s University of Delaware.
He graduated from the university in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in political science and history, and a minor in English. Joe went on to attend Syracuse University College of Law.
While a college student, Joe briefly played for the freshman football team and was elected as president of his freshman class. He was known for being something of a lady’s man, and for always dressing impeccably.
When speaking of his college years, Joe says “The first two years, I just didn’t buckle down. I was even put on probation for hosing down an RA with a fire extinguisher. I spent a lot of time in the lounge with my friends, where I could always find a good argument.”
Joe was not the best student at Syracuse and came 76th in his class of 85. Despite not flourishing academically, he still went on to earn his Juris Doctor, graduate in 1968, and was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1969.
Joe Biden’s GPA
In an interview with ABC News, Joe admitted “I did not do very well. I ended up with a 1.9 grade point average, getting a D in ROTC, which put me on probation.” But he was not necessarily a bad student, he just got a below-average GPA, which clearly didn’t impact him in the long run.
Somehow, once he had set his sights on law school, he managed to improve his grades enough to gain admission to the Syracuse University College of Law. He turned his grades around with the help of a young political science professor by the name of David Ingersoll.
David essentially told Joe that he had to shape up or his dreams of going to law school would ship out. Joe says “Once I made the commitment, I did. I carried 37 hours the next two semesters with decent grades, even while taking another run at the football team.”
Joe Biden on Education
Joe believes that “we need the best-educated, most skilled, workforce in the world” and he has many an agenda to make this a reality. Joe has many plans to impact education, including forgiving student loan debt, upping resources for schools, increasing the pay of teachers, and making sure that students’ economic, ethnic, and geographic demographics don’t get in the way of their access to education.
Back in 2017, Joe and his wife Jill founded The Biden Foundation. The nonprofit organization focused on many different causes, one of which was expanding college affordability and had raised $6.6 million by the end of its first year of operating.
Sadly, when Joe announced his official plan to run in 2020, The Biden Foundation’s operations were suspended with immediate effect. The official reason for the suspension was that Joe and his team “will be devoting all their time and effort to the presidential campaign.”