16-Year-Old to Be First to Graduate High School and Harvard University at the Same Time

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
December 31, 2018US News

A 16-year-old is preparing to graduate from both Harvard University and his local high school, in 2019.

Braxton Moral is set to get his high school diploma on May 19, and then receive his Harvard undergraduate degree on May 30, making him the only person to ever achieve a degree from Harvard and a high school diploma at the same time, The Hutchinson News reported.

Braxton is the youngest of four children. He has twin sisters, 28, and one brother who is 26. Teachers and school staff noticed something unique about Braxton early.

“They told us, ‘You need to do something. He’s not just gifted; he’s really, really gifted,’” said his father, Carlos Moral, via The Hutchinson News.

The road to Harvard wasn’t straightforward, but it started early. School staff alerted Braxton’s parents to his genius when he was in third grade. Braxton was able to skip fourth grade while his parents tried to figure out what to do.

The Morals took Braxton to a community college for testing. The results were shocking.

“They thought the machine was broken. He was like off the scale, beyond an associate’s degree,” Carlos Moral told The Hutchinson News.

This was followed by more tests at other institutions, and by the high school classes he took while still in middle school. Eventually, Duke University’s Talent Identification Program suggested the Morals contact Harvard, The Hutchinson News reported.

Harvard didn’t immediately accept Braxton, though they allowed him room to prove himself. When he earned a B-plus in a class he took there, the university let him take another, and then accepted him to one of the school’s degree programs.

But the family wasn’t too sure Braxton’s educational leaps were a good thing.

“We wanted him to have the high school experience so he would develop his social skills,” said Julie Moral, via The Hutchinson News.

Braxton’s parents mapped out a plan that would allow him to experience high school while also getting the challenging academic education he was capable of handling.

He attended Harvard Extension School and Ulysses High School. Many of the Harvard classes were online, but some summers he had to travel from Kansas to Massachusetts to take classes in person, The Hutchinson News reported.

Future plans of a genius

Braxton is set to receive his undergraduate degree from the liberal arts program at Harvard Extension School. His major is government and his minor is English.

“I’ve been going to Harvard now half as long as I’ve been going to regular school, so it’s really become a part of my life,” Braxton told The New York Times. “To see the conclusion and the results and the rewards of that, it’s a really an exciting prospect for me.”

He hopes to get into Harvard Law School next. He hasn’t yet successfully passed the admission test, but he came close, The Hutchinson News reported.

Braxton even has plans for his ultimate career move.

“Politics is end game for me,” Braxton told The Hutchinson News.

He wants to run for political office in Kansas after he gets his law degree. He admires both Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower.

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