15-year-old prodigy earns his fifth college degree and becomes the youngest student to graduate from UNLV

You’ve probably heard of Jack Rico—the whiz kid who made headlines two years ago for earning four associate’s degrees from Fullerton College at 13 years old.

Now 15, Jack is the subject of national news once more for being the youngest graduate in the 64-year history of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Naturally, people are in awe of the young prodigy, but most of his peers treat him no differently.

Jack Rico who earned associate's degrees at a young age

“Every now and then, I’ll get like a shocking reaction from someone, but most of my classmates are really accepting of me,” Jack said. “They don’t treat me as a kid, they treat me as an equal.”

Jack of Huntington Beach, California, attended public school from kindergarten until the third grade, but he failed when the Common Core State Standards learning system was introduced.

The lad told his parents there had to be another way, so his family decided to shift him to homeschooling at his request.

Jack Rico at Fullerton College earning one of his associate's degrees

“No one child is the same, in that some kids thrive in a public school setting; others thrive in a homeschool setting, and I feel like it should be the kid’s choice,” Jack noted at the time. “They should look into what is best for them and their education.”

After three years of homeschooling, Jack’s mom, Ru Andrade, realized her son was a genius.

“At 11, he was smarter than me. I knew that I had given him everything I had, and that he probably needed better teachers,” she said.

That’s how then 11-year-old Jack ended up studying at Fullerton College. He passed the entrance exam with flying colors and enrolled the following day.

Jack Rico who earned associate’s degrees posing at University of Nevada in Las Vegas

During the peak of COVID-19, he graduated with four associate’s degrees in social sciences, history, social behavior, and arts and human expression, maintaining a 4.0 GPA the entire time. Jack is the youngest student to achieve that feat in Fullerton College’s 107-year-old history.

“I just love learning new stuff,” he told CNN previously. “I love knowing more about the world and all the different things we could study.”

From a young age, Jack has shown signs of extraordinary intelligence. He wanted to see the White House for his fourth birthday, and his parents told him he could go if he memorized the names of all the U.S. presidents.

Jack did—and he also recited all of the vice presidents just to be sure.

Jack Rico wearing his graduation robe at UNLV

Jack took up a bachelor’s degree in history at UNLV on a full scholarship.

“It was kind of unbelievable at that point when my mom told me, I was like, ‘You’re joking. This is a funny joke,’ but no, this was actually happening. When we first came here, I fell in love with the campus,” Jack said.

On December 14, Jack walked the stage to receive his diploma as the institution’s youngest graduate. He graduated with a 3.78 GPA.

The teen described his long but relatively fast schooling journey as “sad” but also “relieving.”

He already has a few associate’s degrees under his belt, but Jack still has many plans for the future, although he is still figuring things out.

Jack Rico wearing his backpack and carrying a book while walking in the UNLV campus

“I want to get my master’s, but I don’t know what I want to get it in. I don’t plan on getting it in history, so I want to audit some courses, discover some of my other interests and see what I want to do with my masters.”

Jack plans to take computer science and business classes at UNLV before making a decision.

When Jack isn’t studying, he is just like your regular teenager. He loves hanging out with his family and friends and playing video games. He may also be the next Quentin Tarantino, as the lad enjoys writing screenplays during his free time.

Congratulations, Jack Rico! Learn more about this young achiever in the video below.

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