Guess How Much Trump Made off Trump University Last Year

It’s not yooge.

Brynn Anderson/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


GOP front-runner Donald Trump has been getting hammered by his rivals over Trump University (later named the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative). His embattled education venture is being sued for fraud by the New York state attorney general and by a handful of former students who allege they took on thousands of dollars in debt to attend real estate seminars that made false promises of future riches. (Trump promoted the company’s courses by saying they offered a better education than top business schools.) Trump has fought back—both against his Republican opponents and in court—insisting the company was on the up-and-up and beloved by students. During his victory speech on Tuesday night, following wins in the Michigan and Mississippi GOP primary elections, he vowed Trump University would come back, better and more successful than ever.

“If I become president that means Ivanka, Don, Eric and my family will start it up,” he said. “We have a lot of great people who want to get back into Trump University. It’s going to do very well, and it will continue to do very well.”

But how big a moneymaker was this school—supposedly designed to teach students to be successful in business—for its namesake?

As a presidential candidate, Trump only has to file disclosure forms revealing his income of the previous year, and Trump University started in 2005. So there’s no telling what he made from the venture in its first years—unless he releases his tax filings going back a decade. But the personal financial disclosure form he submitted last summer showed that he had earned a whopping $11,819 from the education company in the previous year.

That’s not too yooge, but it is sort of impressive. The school has been defunct since 2011.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate