12-year-old boy graduates from California college with 5 degrees
Clovis Hung enrolled at Fullerton College in California when he was nine years old, inspired by a 13-year-old who graduated from the school
May 29, 2023 11:17am
Updated: May 29, 2023 2:46pm
A 12-year-old boy graduated from a California college last week, setting the school record as its youngest graduate.
Clovis Hung enrolled at Fullerton College in California when he was nine years old, inspired by a 13-year-old who graduated from the school. Now, at 12, he graduated on May 20 with five associate degrees—History, Social Science, Social Behavior and Self-Development, Arts and Human Expression, and Science and Mathematics—and a sixth one planned for next year.
"I also wanted to be the youngest graduate. I didn't expect to beat him," Hung said.
Because Hung was very self-motivated and goal-oriented, his mother pulled him out of traditional schooling.
“Clovis is super inquisitive, mature, diligent, self-disciplined, and highly motivated,” Hung’s mother, Song Choi, said in a statement. “He is also very curious and traditional public schools could not satisfy his curiosity, therefore, the best option was college.”
Hung was a special-admit student, which allowed the pre-teen to take courses at the school while at the same time completing a homeschool curriculum taught by his mother, explained the school’s Director of Campus Communications, Lisa McPheron.
"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 said.
Hung says he had a hard time adjusting because he was taking in-person college classes. However, support from his professors and classmates motivated him to push through.
"When I had questions, I asked them and if they had questions, they'd ask me. They treated me like a little brother," Hung said.
“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,” Fullerton Biology Professor Kenneth Collins said.
“ 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.”
Hung was selected to be Senator for Associated Students for the next school year before applying to universities. He plans to follow a career either in aerospace engineering, piloting, or pediatrics.