College Wary of 12-Year-Old Whiz Kid

"It's disappointing and irritating when people don't understand why I wouldn't repeat high school," said Colin. "I just graduated from an accredited high school. Why would I do it again?"

'Nowhere to Go'

Colin's mother says she hopes universities learn from her son that it's important to be open to all types of students -- even if they're only 12.

"There is a lot of age discrimination and age prejudice in the education system," said Carlson. "A lot of kids like Colin are being accommodated at young ages, but the problem is they're hitting an age when they're done with high school and have nowhere to go."

"I'd like to see colleges look at applicants in an age-blind way," said Carlson. "That way, if a student is so young that certain practical accommodations need to be made, the college will make them, just like they would for a disabled student with a wheelchair."

Green, with the National Association for Gifted Children, said many of the estimated 3 million gifted children in the United States will face obstacles when seeking out schooling that will keep them challenged.

"Universities do slam the door [on gifted kids] and say it's more trouble than it's worth," said Green. "Our country is set up on age-based learning, so age becomes a huge issue."

"With these children, there are a lot of hurdles," she said.

Colin, who says he's always had lots of friends, albeit most of them are a bit older, said this summer has been a big enough hurdle as it is, and he's ready to move on.

"I'm really excited about starting at the University of Connecticut," he said. "I think my classes are going to be great, and I think I'm going to learn a lot."

"That's all I ask for."

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