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Hanna has a point, though
Thu Sep 6, 2007 6:30pm
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Did Chi-Bin Chien start college at 12 or earlier? He graduated at 15 years, 7 months of age, but he might have finished his degree in under 2.5 years (it's not typical by any means, but some have done that). So he may or may not be an example to fit Hanna's bill here.

Erik Demaine attended college (not sure how prestigious a college) in Canada, and I think Hanna was just talking about American top ranked (according to USNWR, I suspect she means) colleges (if we want to discuss world wide top colleges, we might be able to find more examples of kids who got in at 12 or younger...pretty sure I've read about a few, particularly in Asia).

California State University has many campuses, but I believe all are ranked 2nd tier at the highest (if Steve Lu's campus was different, please do share that).

And the example of Rottman doesn't qualify as he was 14 and not 12 or younger.

So Hanna has a valid point about kids 12 and younger not attending top tier schools in recent years; the question in my book is whether this is because they often apply to top schools and can't get in (and certainly I've read of people applying with top scores and such and being rejected, like Sho Yano was from University of Chicago when he was 9 despite having an SAT score of 1500 at age 8) or more because most never bother to apply to top schools (for whatever the reason).

And then there is the question of whether is makes sense to bother applying to top colleges if there truly are NO cases of students the applicants age or younger who have been admitted prior at *any* top college, as there is time and money involved in every application. Part of me says, if the applicant wants to spend time and money to give it a go, let them give it a go. That's what we did with our son when it came to graduate school (as we still haven't heard of anyone other than he who has been admitted at 14 or younger to any graduate program at MIT, though one might exist that nobody on staff there whom we met with knew about; of the people we met there, they only knew of just one student who got accepted as young as 14 to their *undergraduate* program). Since the odds were so (in my opinion at the time) astronomically against our son and I like to play the odds, I refused to pay for our son to apply there (where I was more than willing to pay for him to apply to the flagship state U that had highly ranked programs in his fields of interest, but just not number one ranked programs; I felt his getting into the flagship state U would be pretty much a sure acceptance as I've known other people to have been admitted there the two years prior who were fairly young and sharp, but didn't have the sort of "resume" our son had, nor raw numbers), but if our son wanted to pay to apply there, it was his money and he could feel free, and so he did (and then when he was accepted, I reimbursed him the application fee by putting a check in a "Congratulations" card as I felt he shouldn't have had to pay after all, since he actually got in and so knew what he was doing when he applied, more than his father and I knew...what else is new).

And truly, should we raise our kids to not apply somewhere just because the odds are against them, or they (or the family) could be out a bit of cash (as truly, will the application fees really delay anyone's future retirement, like the tuition bills at these schools might?)? I think not. This is not a risk to their health (so long as they aren't prone to getting stressed over the application process or a rejection), so I say let the kid go for it if that's what the kid wants to do.

  • Sorry...names of early college gradsmcubed, Thu Sep 6 4:37pm
    Chi-Bin Chien, Ph.D. (b. 1965); B.A. 1981, Johns Hopkins University Erik Demaine, started college courses at 12, and received his doctorate at 20 and at the same age Steve Lu:Started studying at... more
    • Re: Sorry...names of early college gradsHanna, Thu Sep 6 7:16pm
      The only one you mentioned that bolsters your argument is Chien and as GG mentioned, we don't know how old he was when he began. As an aside, that was over a quarter of a century ago. I read... more
      • The age must not be anything above 15GG, Thu Sep 6 11:22pm
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070902/ap_on_re_us/young_ivy_leaguer That's a story about a 15-year-old girl who started at an Ivy college on Wednesday (of this year, not 40 years ago). But clearly some ... more
        • Re: The age must not be anything above 15Hanna, Fri Sep 7 6:38am
          I will try to find it, I have been Googling ---, as far as this girl, she is 15 and 1/2 which is, as you say, a different animal from a 12 year old.
    • Hanna has a point, though — GG, Thu Sep 6 6:30pm
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