Woman Earns Ph.D. At 23, Started College At 12

For the first time in a decade, 23-year-old Julia Nepper can say goodbye to homework and essays. This North Carolina native has been in college since she was 12 years old, and she’s just earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

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WECT reported her mother, Nadine Nepper, homeschooled her for four years after it was suggested Julia be pulled out of school. She began her higher education at Cape Fear Community College, securing her associates degree at 14. Julia received her bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina Wilmington at 16.

“I’m so proud of her,” Nepper told the local news station. “All that hard work has paid off. It’s hard to believe she was kept back in kindergarten that one year.’

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As for what’s happening next, nothing is set in stone for Julia, but she plans to land a job in Japan.