Make It

Meet the 12-year-old kid who could become Cornell's youngest graduate ever

Jeremy Shuler has been ahead of the curve since day one.

"Early on we realized Jeremy wasn't really ordinary," parents Harrey and Andy Shuler, both aerospace engineers, told Texas Tech Today. While the two have impressive academic backgrounds themselves, they're quick to admit that their son is "much smarter than either of us, for sure."

At age 2 Jeremy was reading books — in English and Korean. By 5, he was studying pre-calculus, and when he took the SAT at age 10, he placed in the 99.6 percentile for all college-bound seniors that year. He also tested as "profoundly gifted" on the WISC-IV — an IQ test for children — with a score of 156, his parents told CNBC.

The latest addition to Jeremy's resume is Cornell University, where the 12-year-old joins the Class of 2020 this fall. According to the school historian, he's could become the youngest graduate ever from the Ivy League institution.

Jeremy in 2006.
Source: Shuler family
Jeremy in 2006.

Jeremy received his high school diploma from Texas Tech University Independent School District — an online program that lets students work at their own pace — and applied to several colleges through regular admissions.

The application process wasn't tedious or intimidating — it was exciting, he told CNBC. "It meant the start of a big adventure."

He was accepted to other schools, but not every one he applied to. "In the end, Cornell was really our top choice for a few reasons," Andy Shuler, Cornell Class of 1997, told CNBC. "It is academically very strong and perhaps the best in applied and engineering physics. Cornell also is good at a wide range of subjects, so Jeremy can dive into other topics that interest him, like linguistics."

Jeremy fishing in 2011.
Source: Shuler family
Jeremy fishing in 2011.

The Shuler family packed up their home in Grand Prairie, Texas, this summer and headed to Ithaca, New York, where they will live within walking distance of campus.

Like most rising freshman, Jeremy is excited for the food, he told Texas Tech Today. "I'm also excited to learn new things and make new friends," he said. "Cornell will be different, though, especially in the first few weeks, as I'll need help to navigate campus and get used to life at school because I've been homeschooled my whole life."

Classes started this week, and Jeremy — who plans to major in physics and minor in math — isn't exactly easing his way into the coursework. He's currently enrolled in calculus, computing, Latin, and physics in mechanics and spatial relativity.

Graduation is far off, but that hasn't stopped Jeremy from thinking beyond college. He told CNBC he wants to go to graduate school for math or physics, and his dream is to solve an unsolved math problem.