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.