Thousands of students will walk across the stage in their caps and gowns this weekend to accept their college diploma, but some are receiving their degrees years earlier than most.
Of the 5,400 degrees being handed out at Kent State University this spring, 10 students are 19 years old or younger.
Chante’l Owens is a member of that elite group. She graduated from John Hay Early College High School in Cleveland at 16 and entered Kent with 45 credit hours.
“Everybody talks about how college is so stressful,” Owens said. “This was actually not that bad!”
On Saturday, she will receive her Bachelor of Science in public health at 19 years old. Owens says academic excellence is expected of her.
“I don’t sing, I don’t dance, I don’t have any special talents. School is like the only thing!”
Her accomplishment is unique. At the University of Akron, seven 19-year-olds received their bachelor’s degrees in 2016-2017 academic year, according to university officials.
Owens isn’t sure what she’ll do next. She may pursue a Master’s degree in the future or explore pre-med.