A Kansas teenager is to receive a degree from Harvard barely a week after he graduated high school


A Kansas teenager is to receive a degree from Harvard barely a week after he graduated high school.

Braxton Moral walked the stage to collect his high school diploma on Sunday in Ulysses, Kansas – and just 11 days later, on May 30, he will also take home his undergraduate degree from Havard Extension School.

The 17-year-old has been taking classes the school – which caters for nonresidential students seeking part-time or internet courses – since he was 11. 

Ulysses High School senior Braxton Moral (pictured) will make history next week when he graduates from Harvard 11 days after graduating from high school

Braxton Moral will receive his undergraduate Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard Extension School on May 30, having graduated from  high school on Sunday May 19

More than half of Harvard Extension students are aged between 25 and 40, and the average age is 34.

Moral said he took some of the modules online, and others during the summer on Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

He will graduate next week with an ALB, a Harvard Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree, having majored in government with a minor in English. 

However it is unclear whether parents Carlos and Julie will be able to attend the ceremony.





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Julie had been on a wait list for a kidney transplant for around a year but last week Tuesday received the call that a donor had been found, The Kansan reports.

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She underwent the transplant surgery on Wednesday, and was therefore forced to miss her son’s high school graduation. 

But the teenager said both his parents had been incredibly supportive through the six years of undergraduate study, saying they believed it would stimulate his broader education. 

Moral (centre) is pictured with his twin elder sisters Brandi Zamarripa (left) and Brittney Jo Segar (right), who told Good Morning America that she had known her little brother was special ever since he was in diapers

The 17-year old (pictured standing for a portrait outside the school in Ulysses) said his fellow students there treat him just like any other student

‘I’m relieved to have a little bit of a head start,’ Moral told Good Morning America.

‘I thought it really broadened my horizons. It helped me understand new things and what I want to do [in life].’

Moral’s sister Brittney Jo Segar told GMA that she had known her little brother was special ever since he was in diapers – when he used to count out exact dollars and cents at restaurants for their mother.

‘He always said big words and was different, but that’s when we kind of noticed, when he was about a year to 18 months,’ Segar told ‘GMA.’ 

The high school and Harvard University identification cards which Ulysses High School senior Braxton Moral carried while he was attending both schools concurrently

Moral (centre) is pictured with his his great aunt Sandy and great uncle Joe Kennedy

‘Myself and the rest of my family are extremely proud of him. He’s worked so hard to get to this point,’ the 29-year-old added. 

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The first class moral took at Harvard was a JavaScript programming class, but his favorites were courses in Chinese language and Greek mythology.  

Asked what education and career advice he would offer young people, Moral said it would be to explore your interests as early as possible.  

‘Harvard Extension School allows people to take classes for development, for fun,’ Moral, whose other interests include video games, movies and sports, said. 

Moral worked on his Harvard studies for three hours each day at high school. He also participated in other school activities such as weights, scholars bowl, debate and tennis

Moral now hopes to go onto Columbia University’s law school and study constitutional law

‘[My friends] think I’m an absolute loser,’ he laughed. ‘No, but they’re supportive and they don’t treat me any differently.’ 

He has even written a book titled, ‘Harvard in the Heartland,’ which details his journey to becoming the first and only student in the 375-plus-year history of Harvard to accomplish a dual-graduation. 

Its publisher, Kraken Books, says it was written in order to ‘motivate students not only in rural America, but across the country, to take ownership of their education.’

Moral now hopes to go onto Columbia University’s law school, where he wants to study constitutional law.  

Kevin McGrath, an associate professor in South Asian Studies who taught Moral at Harvard, described him to GMA as ‘a remarkable and unique young scholar.’

‘Intellectually, he is extraordinary, but more than that, it is his discipline and endeavor which has enabled him to begin adult life with such startling success,’ he said.

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‘Braxton, thanks to the terrific support which his family have supported and surrounded him with, has become a fine humanist and we all wish him well at law school and then, in later years, in his future life in American politics.’  

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