First-year student Carson Huey-You wants to become a quantum physicist. He scored a 1770 on the SAT, and he was co-valedictorian of his senior class.
This semester he is taking 14 hours. His class load, which includes calculus and physics, has him moving between Beasley, Bass and Winton-Scott Halls.
His mother, Claretta Huey-You, is never far away.
That's because Carson is 11 years old. He was admitted to TCU when he was 10.
Dean of Admission Ray Brown said he cannot recall ever having an applicant so young.
Carson couldn’t even apply online because the software is not set to accept someone born in 2002, Brown said.
During his admission interview, Carson's many talents were impressive. Brown said Carson spoke Mandarin Chinese, and played piano in the Admissions Center.
Prior to Carson, Brown said the youngest student to enroll at the university during his tenure was Sam Hong, who graduated in 2011 at age 17.
Carson’s parents expect him to graduate in four to five years, when he is 15 or 16.
Brown said he is pleased to have Carson at the university.
“[Carson] is at a place that will genuinely care about him as a person,” Brown said.
“A strong ability to focus”
Carson's mother said the first sign that Carson might be gifted came when he was three months old.
She said she brought him with her to an eye appointment and the doctor was impressed with Carson’s ability to focus.
In fact, Carson was reading chapter books at the age of two, before being potty-trained. He started a Kumon math and reading learning program before he was three.
His mother said he could add, subtract, multiply and divide by age three. He was working at an eighth grade level by the age of five.
It was at this time Carson’s mother and father began searching for a school for Carson.
His young age and advanced intellect made finding a school for Carson challenging, she said. He was rejected several times before enrolling at Accommodated Learning Academy in Grapevine, Texas.
ALA principal and teacher Melissa McGowan said the school caters to all students no matter what learning style they prefer. The school has 16 teachers and 55 students, and 30 to 40 percent of the students end up graduating early, McGowan said.
Carson graduated from ALA with a 4.0 GPA. He said his cumulative SAT score was 1770 (critical reading: 580, math: 620, writing: 570).
When asked about Carson in the classroom, McGowan said, “[Carson] was empathetic for others, and was the kind to help others in a humble way.”
McGowan said the high school students adored him.
A young Horned Frog
Carson and his parents were keen on selecting a college that was a perfect fit for him.
He visited the university last fall and met with Dr. Magnus Rittby, the senior dean for the College of Science and Engineering. The purpose of the meeting was to see if he was prepared for college.
By the time Carson left, Rittby said he considered him to be “extremely gifted” and ready for college.
Carson’s parents said they are supportive of his decision to attend the university.
When asked if they were concerned about their son attending the university at such a young age, there was little to be said.
Carson's father, Andre Huey-You, a former pilot, said he is “not pushing [Carson], but trying to hold on to his son, so he doesn’t get too far beyond him.”
His mother Claretta is a stay-at-home mother but plans to return to school and enroll in a nursing program.
Carson is not the family’s only over-achiever, too.
His brother, Cannan, 7, is studying at the eighth grade level. His parents expect him to graduate from high school by age 13.
Carson’s mother and father describe their childrens’ intelligence as a blessing.
Carson doesn’t want to limit his experiences at the university to the classroom. He is interested in science clubs or foreign language clubs since he is close to mastering Mandarin Chinese.
He said he taught himself to play the piano using online videos, books and any resources he could find. Now, he has a teacher to help him develop his musical skills. The teacher made a deal with Carson, saying that she would teach him to play the piano if he would teach her son Mandarin Chinese. He is learning “Für Elise” by Beethoven.
Life outside the classroom
Like other children his age, Carson hangs out with friends, plays video games and enjoys being active.
He and Cannan enjoy playing MineCraft, an online video game. They are also Star Wars fans and have watched every movie. Carson said Star Wars Three, Five and Six are his favorite. His favorite Jedi is Master Windu, and his favorite Sith is Darth Maul.
He said his favorite television show is “Myth Busters.” He said he enjoys the physics aspect of the show and “when they blow stuff up.”
Carson, who is still learning to swim, enjoys throwing the football, playing basketball and roughhousing with his brother.
Rittby said Carson joked that he wanted to join the TCU basketball team.
Carson said he is “still trying to find his groove” as he settles into college.
He said when he arrives home from classes, he grabs a snack and then begins his homework. When he is finished, he helps his brother with his homework. In every class, Carson managed to find a seat in the front.
When asked how his first week went, Carson said, “It was overwhelming but exciting and fun.”
If he graduates in four years, he will have a diploma in his hands before he even has a driver’s license.