The 12-year-old academic prodigy who began studying calculus at the age of 7, is beginning his freshman year at Cornell University in upstate New York and would become the youngest student ever — by a full two years — to earn a diploma from the school if he completes his coursework on schedule.
Shuler is the child 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.
Shuler enrolled in a Texas Tech program designed to help students complete high school early and graduated with his degree last year.
Having dispatched with 12 years of primary and secondary education in six, college beckoned. So he applied for and was accepted to the Cornell engineering program, where he has begun taking classes.
“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,” Cornell Engineering Dean Lance Collins said in an interview with Texas Tech University.
Shuler will not be living the typical college freshman lifestyle, however. His parents moved to Ithaca, N.Y., and he will continue to live at home with them while he pursues his degree.
Cornell University historian Corey Earle said the school has record of several 18-year-olds who completed an undergraduate degree, but the school has never had a 16-year-old do so.
Shuler said he is excited about the opportunity.
“I think I’ll really enjoy being at Cornell,” the child said. “I’ve been preparing for college for a long time.”