16-year-old earns three college degrees before graduating high school

CALIFORNIA — A 16-year-old is now a college graduate with three associate degrees.

Maadhav Shah graduated from American River College (ARC) on Wednesday with degrees in math, physical science and social science.

Shah started taking classes at ARC when he was ten. He also currently attends Granite Bay High School where he is a junior taking classes in subjects that were not part of his ARC curriculum.

While he loves higher learning, Shah is also a regular 16-year-old in many ways. He likes hanging out with his friends, playing video games, and enjoying extracurricular activities such as the robotics club at Granite Bay High School.

He says he received a warm reception from older college students during his time at ARC.

“I started seeing some of the same people over and over again, and I made some new friends here at college,” Shah told FOX40 on graduation night. “So it was a pretty congenial reception. I was really happy with it.”

Shah is interested in pursuing a four-year degree in engineering from a university such as Stanford or Caltech after he earns his high school diploma.

ARC typically requires students to be at least 16-years-old to begin classes. The college made a special exception for Shah, determining that he had both the intelligence and maturity necessary to handle the college environment at age ten.

Because of his age, however, ARC required a parent to be present on campus while he attended classes. His mother gladly accepted that responsibility.

Both his parents beamed with happiness from the bleachers during his graduation, very proud of their son’s accomplishments.

Considering how an exception to a rule was made to allow him to begin taking college classes as a ten-year-old, Shah offers this advice for anyone: “When you face something that obstructs what you’re trying to do, ensure that it isn’t an absolute no, something that you can’t get past.”

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