Jeremy Shuler: 12-Year-Old Boy Begins His Freshman Year At Cornell University

A 12-year-old boy had his first day of school last week as a freshman at Cornell University.

While most other kids his age are beginning seventh grade, child prodigy Jeremy Shuler spent his fist day of school this year at the Ivy League school’s Engineering School in upstate New York, according to the Atlantic.

Shuler, who was homeschooled and began reading Korean at 18 months and studying calculus by the age of 7, is the son of Andy and Harrey Shuler of Lubbock, Texas. His mother, Harrey, is a professor of engineering at Texas Tech and homeschooled her son. By age 10 he was already completing college coursework, having taken and aced seven Advanced Placement tests in math- and science-related subjects.

Mom Harrey, who put her career on hold to focus on Jeremy, told Texas Tech it was difficult to keep Jeremy challenged academically due to how quickly he was able to learn things.

“Early on we realized Jeremy wasn’t really ordinary. We briefly considered sending him to a charter school or a school for the gifted and talented, but in the end, there wasn’t much of a choice because he was way too advanced to be enrolled in any traditional schools. So I quit my career to dedicate my time to teaching Jeremy myself. I have been homeschooling him ever since.”

Jeremy earned his high-school diploma from a special online program called the Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) “that allows K-12 students to earn credits at their own pace,” according to a story about Schuler on the program’s website.

Jeremy applied to several schools but finally decided on Cornell.

“I was excited when I found out I got accepted to Cornell. It is the best choice for me.”

Cornell Engineering Dean Lance Collins said in an interview with Texas Tech University that he believes that, while unorthodox, Jeremy will succeed.

“While this is highly unusual, we feel that with the strong support of his parents… and his unusual talents and thirst for knowledge, he will be able to thrive as an engineering student and take advantage of all that Cornell has to offer.”

Unlike other freshmen at the school, Shuler will continue to live with his parents, who moved to Ithaca to be with him as he tackles college.

If he graduates as expected in 2021, Jeremy will become the youngest student ever to earn a diploma at the school. The student holding the record now graduated two years older than Jeremy will be in 2021.

Cornell University historian Corey Earle said while the school has had several 18-year-olds complete an undergraduate degree, no 16-year-old has done so.

According to the interview with Texas Tech, Jeremy wants to follow in the scientific footsteps of his parents and plans to major in applied and engineering physics and minor in mathematics. For the fall semester is taking courses in multivariable calculus, physics in mechanics and spatial relativity, Introduction to Computing with MATLAB and introduction to linguistics or intermediate Latin, depending on his Latin placement test result.

Shuler, whose favorite things include reading books like the Divergent series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, math books, watching Cosmos and traveling with his family, said he is excited about the opportunity.

“I think I’ll really enjoy being at Cornell. I’ve been preparing for college for a long time.”

[Photo by AP Photo/Mike Groll]

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