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Youngest and oldest freshman at an Ivy??

studyzonestudyzone Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2013 in Princeton University
Who's the youngest freshman to have ever entered an Ivy? The oldest?
Or, who's the youngest/oldest that you know of?
Post edited by studyzone on

Replies to: Youngest and oldest freshman at an Ivy??

  • ray121988ray121988 Posts: 433Registered User Member
    The youngest and oldest freshmen I've met at Princeton were 16 and 28, respectively.
  • AnigerAniger Posts: 518Registered User Member
    It is not terribly unusual to see 16 year olds (particularly those soon turning 17) at the Ivies. I think younger than that is very very unusual in recent years. Many decades ago Harvard accepted a young teen who had a very difficult time and became almost a street person afterward (would probably have been diagnosed with Aspergers or autism today), you can google to find that story, and for many many years Ivies took that as a lesson not to accept kids who are too young.
  • studyzonestudyzone Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the heads up Aniger.

    I thought there were such things as super nerds, who were were born smart from a young age, and attend Ivies :embarrassed:, so maybe I am wrong.
  • poobear87poobear87 Posts: 53Registered User Junior Member
    There are such geniuses actually. I know one who was a 19 year old PhD student in Mathematics. I recall the bouncers at Cottage giving him a hard time "This prox is clearly fake. How can you be a graduate student when you're not even 21?"

    good times.
  • cornetking222cornetking222 Posts: 1,002Registered User Senior Member
    What was the 16 year old like?
  • ray121988ray121988 Posts: 433Registered User Member

    Colorful, to say the very least; when people found out that the 16-year-old was sixteen, the reaction was generally "Oh, figures."
  • lullinatalklullinatalk Posts: 591Registered User Member
    16 can happen if you skipped a couple grades in elementary school. At least that's how the two 16-year-old college students I know went to college. How did the 28-year-old get to be a freshman? 10 gap years or applied late?
  • studyzonestudyzone Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
    lol, PHD! But after reading a few posts from the featured discussions thrashing(a bit) on PhDs, I find them less worth the hassle, though I would like one ;)

    So, how was that possible really?? Started college at 11!??!?! Took no vacations and just got over undergrad and grad over vacations?

    Hmm, I believe it is possible to be 16 at college by skipping just one grade, which is pretty amazing nonetheless :)
  • ray121988ray121988 Posts: 433Registered User Member

    He was an Olympic athlete who put off applying to college until after competing at Salt Lake City and Torino.


    poobear87 was describing a 19-year-old PhD student, not someone who had completed their PhD by the age of 19.
  • studyzonestudyzone Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
    I know, 11+4(undergrad)+4(grad)=19(start PhD). I believe it is the right calculation?
  • JHSJHS Posts: 15,638Registered User Senior Member
    No. Probably more like 16+3 (undergrad, or 15+4) = 19 (start PhD). It is perfectly possible to start a PhD program directly out of college. Most people don't do it that way, but it's not rare at all, especially for a kid who may be something of a prodigy and is clearly headed for an academic career. Larry Summers, for example, was a PhD student at Harvard at 20, and a tenured faculty member there at 28. Kurt Godel, several generations before, received his PhD in mathematics at age 24.
  • ray121988ray121988 Posts: 433Registered User Member

    Spending exactly four years in graduate school and then entering a PhD program sounds very unorthodox to me.

    The only kind of non-PhD graduate programs I can think of that should take exactly 4 years are like medical and dentistry degrees, and once you graduate from those, you ought to be entering residencies, not becoming a PhD candidate.
  • Ivystriver2Ivystriver2 Posts: 431Registered User Member
    I think starting that early is just wrong... Wouldn't you feel like an outsider being so much younger than everyone else. Plus... Super geniuses tend to be lacking in the social department. Why set them back even more developmentally by starting at a younger age. I think you'd be missing out on a huge part of you life.
  • WongTongTongWongTongTong Posts: 2,734Registered User Senior Member
    Hmm, I believe it is possible to be 16 at college by skipping just one grade, which is pretty amazing nonetheless

    Yup...I'll be 16 when I enter college. (same scenario you just described, so it's definitely possible).
  • SilverstormSilverstorm Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Can anyone tell me the likelihood of meeting someone who is 16 in college? I'm a 15 year old senior in high school and I would like to meet someone my age, but everyone tells me it's highly unlikely.
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