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12-year-old boy sets school record for finishing college with five degrees

By Melanie Uson Published May 28, 2023 12:50 pm

A 12-year-old boy from California made history as the youngest graduate in a US college with five degrees under his belt. He is now aiming to get his pilot license at age 16. 

Clovis Hung recently graduated from college at the age of 12, making him the youngest graduate ever of Fullerton College in California, USA. He also earned five associate degrees, including History, Social Sciences, Social Behavior and Self-Development, Arts and Human expression, and Science and Mathematics. 

In an interview with local news media KCAL News, he said he entered college at age nine when his mom saw him as a “very curious” kid. 

“At a young age, my mom found that I was really curious, so, she pulled me out and tried one year [of] homeschooling,” he recalled. 

“Clovis is super inquisitive, mature, diligent, self-disciplined, and highly motivated. He is also very curious and traditional public schools could not satisfy his curiosity, therefore, the best option was college,” his mother Song Choi said.

“I tried one class at Fullerton College and I liked it, so then I started taking more classes,” Clovis said. He earned As on his report card since, which made him graduate with a 3.92 GPA. 

With his feat, he beat Fullerton College’s then-youngest graduate Jack Rico, a 13-year-old who earned his college degree in 2020. 

“I also wanted to be the youngest graduate,” said Clovis. “I didn’t expect to beat him.” 

According to Lisa McPheron, director of campus communications, Clovis was accepted by the school as a "special admit" student.  

"We're an open-enrollment institution and students that are K through eight, so before graduating high school, they can actually come to Fullerton College under a special process called special admit," McPheron explained to ABC7 News.  

Some of his professors admittedly got worried about him at first, citing concerns about heavy load at a young age and how he would relate to his older classmates. 

“At first, I was a little worried about how he would relate to the other students given the age and developmental differences, however, those concerns were unfounded,” Biology professor Kenneth Collins said in a press release. 

“Clovis has been a great mixture of ‘kid’ and college student.  He is mature enough that the other students take him seriously, but enough of a kid that they look after him like a younger brother and cheer him on,” he added. 

Following his recent achievement, the young boy will serve as the Senator for Associated Students for the upcoming academic year. He also plans on taking STEM classes at the same college before applying to other universities in the fall.  

Gearing toward other courses, Clovis shared that he is interested to learn and take career paths in commercial piloting, medicine for pediatrics, and aerospace careers. 

Despite being busy building his career at such a young age, it's worth noting that Clovis does not miss out on being a kid. In a separate interview with ABC7 News, he shared that he also does other things like playing Lego, basketball, Roblox, and Minecraft. 

"I play basketball five days a week and sometimes a whole week because I have games. I also play games like Minecraft and Roblox and I also have Civil Air Patrol and Boy Scouting," he said.  

In the near future, Clovis is hoping to meet the likes of Elon Musk—a billionaire who specializes in tech—as he also wants to go to Mars or a “further planet.” 

“I would like to either discover something new or meet famous people like Elon Musk," he said.

"I’m a very smart kid, and he's a very smart person, so smart people should talk to smart people,” he added.