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No Rush

The New York Times reports:

A FEW weeks ago, the youngest of the 20,953 students at the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut went shopping for a calculator. Colin Carlson, who lives in nearby Coventry, took his mother along, as she had the driver’s license and the money. He also took a reputation well beyond his 12 years.

Another male student spotted him and said, “Hey, Colin, I hear you’re a babe magnet.” The boy smiled. But with a full course load and the usual schedule of public appearances ahead of him, he had yet to make finding a girlfriend a priority.

All of this convinced Colin that he was ready for college. In his application letter, he wrote: “My ‘issue’ is this. I am currently 11 and will be 12 by the time I matriculate. Please don’t be alarmed by this — I am actually a very mature person.”

Most deans of admissions, however, seemed wary of taking on the legal responsibility for an under-age student. Williams College wrote back: “What’s the rush?”

Well played, Dick Nesbitt. Well played.

Good luck to all our readers working on their own Williams applications.

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#1 Comment By PTC On December 28, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

I wonder if he could file a lawsuit for age discrimination?

#2 Comment By ’10 On December 28, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

Why would it be illegal for a college to discriminate by age? It’s a private organization, and it’s not as if this is a hiring decision. The Boy Scouts don’t accept 20-year-olds, and Williams (probably wisely, as a residential school) doesn’t accept twelve-year-olds. They’d miss out on too much of college life.

#3 Comment By eph ’07 On December 28, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

He sounds like a pretty interesting and passionate kid, best of luck to him in his studies and activism (although I too think that residential college is not the best situation at age 12).

#4 Comment By Morgan On December 29, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

I haven’t hopped back to ephblog for a while – since graduation actually, but my friend Colin sent me the link to this.

I spent a week with Colin this summer, and I can offer say that Williams missed a huge opportunity in not accepting him. Colin’s an amazing person who has overcome some pretty difficult challenges to be where he is. (Just imagine being a brilliant twenty-something trapped in a 12 year old’s body.) Sure there’d be some awkward circumstances with the residential college, but I don’t think those are insurmountable if Colin and the family, understanding those, were still willing to try and make it work.

#5 Comment By sophmom On December 30, 2008 @ 12:39 am

Morgan, and Colin,

‘Defined and rejected’ because of the vessel, rather than the content? Welcome to Planet Earth. We many of us recognize the all too frustrating experience of being judged on our age/appearance/experience, rather than our real aptitude.

IMO, Colin could consider the Williams rejection as an example of this, all too common tendency to judge in this way, and thus use it as a stepping stone to prepare for yet more of the same human foibles…or Colin could choose to believe that a very small, very off-the-beaten-tracks school, simply believed it wasn’t the right place for a supremely bright student who is, as of yet, a boy. Either way, considering his attributes, I daresay Colin will do very well. I wish him all the best, and look forward to hearing of his future accomplishments.