15-year-old to graduate with a high school diploma and college degree in same week

Stark State College held a virtual commencement recognizing Tom Jordan.

May 25, 2020, 4:42 PM

A 15-year-old student is being honored in two commencements this week, as he's receiving both a high school diploma and two-year college degree just five days apart.

Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, Sunday, with a 3.93 GPA. He earned an associate's degree in general science.

Tom is the youngest student in Stark State's 60-year history, the school confirmed to "Good Morning America."

On Friday, Tom will also celebrate the end of his career at GlenOak High School with a GPA of 4.625.

"What really feels good for me is that its not really about the fact that I'm here, it's about all the experience and hard work it took to get here," Tom told "GMA." "If I were to go in and I just easily breezed through, this wouldn't really mean anything to me."

PHOTO: Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. He earned an associate's degree in general science. On May 29, Tom will also graduate high school with a GPA of 4.625.
Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. He earned an associate's degree in general science. On May 29, Tom will also celebrate the end of his career at GlenOak High School with a GPA of 4.625.
Kathy Jordan

Tom went on, "I was able to get to where I am by working as hard as I could."

Tom's mother, Kathy Jordan, told "GMA" her son began taking a pre-algebra course at Stark State when he was 11. By age 14, he was enrolled at the college full-time via independent study.

"He was able to take everything at Stark State that met all of high school criteria as well -- PE in summer, and an arts credit. " Jordan said. "Pure mathematics is what he wants his doctorate in. He wants to teach that and research that. That's his dream."

Tom plans to attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, to complete his undergraduate degree in math. For his doctorate, he'd like attend Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

PHOTO: Tom Jordan, 15, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. On May 29, Tom will also graduate high school with a GPA of 4.625. When he's not studying, Tom enjoys volunteering with Toys for Tots.
Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. The 15-year-old earned an associate's degree in general science. On May 29, Tom will also celebrate the end of his career at GlenOak High School with a GPA of 4.625. When he's not studying, Tom enjoys volunteering with Toys for Tots.
Kathy Jordan

When he's not studying math, Tom enjoy playing chess, singing in choir and volunteering with Toys for Tots.

On Sunday, Stark State held a virtual commencement and published a video saluting its graduates. The college recognized Tom for completing his program "with high distinction."

"Stark State College is delighted and proud that the Jordan family entrusted their very capable son Tom to us for a quality education that he will transfer to a great institution," Stark State's president, Dr. Para Jones told "GMA," adding that Tom tutored his fellow students in math.

"We all have to love such a gifted young man who is inspired to help others," Jones said.

GlenOak High School will hold its individual graduation ceremony May 29, where his mom, who is the chief financial officer for the Plain Local School District, will hand him his diploma onstage.

"We're thrilled with him and the part hat makes us the happiest is to see him happy and fulfilled," Jordan said. "Tom struggled in a traditional setting and we took a chance taking him from middle school to college but it was the best thing in the world for him."

PHOTO: Tom Jordan, 15, poses with his brother Marshall, 14, and his parents. Tom, of North Canton, Ohio, is being honored in two graduation commencements as he's receiving both a high school diploma and two-year college degree just five days apart.
Tom Jordan, 15, poses with his brother Marshall, 14, and his parents. Tom, of North Canton, Ohio, is being honored in two graduation commencements as he's receiving both a high school diploma and two-year college degree just five days apart.
Kathy Jordan
PHOTO: Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. On May 29, Tom will also celebrate the end of his high school career.
Tom Jordan, an aspiring math professor, officially graduated from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio on May 24 with a 3.93 GPA. He earned an associate's degree in general science. On May 29, Tom will also celebrate the end of his career at GlenOak High School with a GPA of 4.625.
Kathy Jordan

Tom's advice to students is to follow a system and find a good balance between studying and having fun.

"A lot of people have the brains and thought process, but they don't have the organization and work ethic," he said. "If you can improve upon those things, it can really make a difference."

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