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From U-Wire
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 8, 1998

NCSU to graduate 16-year-old student

RALEIGH, N.C. (U-WIRE) - As the weather warms and spring fever hits North Carolina State, some lucky seniors realize that graduation is rapidly approaching.

Graduation sparks fear for some seniors, but 16-year-old Steve Conley is ready to graduate and start working.

Conley entered NCSU as a 12-year-old to pursue a degree in mathematics. Now he is ready to graduate with a degree in computer science.

Conley is currently working on his senior project in order to graduate with the rest of the seniors in May.

Conley passed several exemption tests to skip from fifth grade to college levels because his math level far exceeded the level of his classes in grade school.

As for getting into NCSU, Conley says, "It really wasn't that hard." He had to go through two interviews before moving into Sullivan Hall for his freshman year.

At that point, Conley had only attended public schools through second grade and had been home-taught from the second to the fifth grade.

"Before fifth grade, my math level had passed what my mother could teach, and I entered school for fifth grade," said Conley.

The summer after fifth grade was when Conley began to take his tests to exempt himself from middle and high school levels of math.

Despite his rapid-pace education, Conley repeated kindergarten.

"I wasn't very good at 'circle time' and was bored with the people who talked about the cool rocks they had found," he remarked.

He repeated kindergarten and stayed in schools until he was home-taught after second grade.

"I'm glad I was home-taught," said Conley. "If I had stayed in school, I would probably just be a bored B-C student."

Conley's senior project involves running a remote-control car through a computer program, which he has worked on this semester with two other NCSU students.

Conley has also just gotten his first car and his driver license.

After graduation, Conley plans to get a job and work, as he is already getting bored with school. He has already applied with companies such as AT&T.

"I'm ready to go out and make some money," Conley said.

His parents live in North Raleigh, and he plans to stay in the area "at least until he is 18."

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