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How Old Was the Youngest College Graduate?

Michael Kearney was the youngest college graduate, receiving a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama at the age of 10 in 1994. This achievement led to Kearney being entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at a young age, Kearney's parents refused to give the child the prescription Ritalin which is usually given to those diagnosed with the disorder. His parents chose to home school Kearney, and he was able to graduate high school when he was 6 years old. Kearney continued his college education, and at the age of 14 received his master's degree in biochemistry from Middle Tennessee State University.

More about young college graduates:

  • Prior to Kearney, Adragon De Mello was the youngest college graduate at the age of 11 after receiving his degree in computational mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1988.
  • Kathleen Holtz began her college education at the age of 10, and at 15 entered into the University of California, Los Angeles' School of Law. In 2007, she became California's youngest lawyer at the age of 18, and now works with the Troy Guild in Los Angeles.
  • Gregory Smith, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times by the age of 12, enrolled at Randolph-Macon College when he was 10 years old. As of 2012, Smith is working on his PhD in mathematics.
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