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Liberty graduate completes bachelor’s degree at age 15

While many young people her age have just started researching colleges and planning campus visits, recent Liberty University graduate Abigail Lee has turned her tassel and is preparing for graduate school.

Abigail, who turned 16 in April, completed her B.S. in Psychology in December at the age of 15, becoming one of the youngest graduates to earn a bachelor’s degree this academic year. She traveled with her family from Los Angeles to Lynchburg last week to participate in Commencement.

Abigail Lee earned a B.S. in Psychology at age 15.

Abigail’s time with Liberty actually began in middle school when her parents enrolled her in Liberty University Online Academy, a fully accredited K-12 online education program, after moving from Asia to California in 2020. She had previously attended a public elementary school but her parents decided to place her and her older brother in a school setting that better highlighted their individual academic strengths. When schools changed to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it was an added incentive for the Lees to pursue an online education for their children.

“From a parent’s perspective, the ability to be asynchronous and vertically approach different subjects so that child is able to move at his or her own pace in an optimal level instead of starting and finishing all of your classes at once, really helped a lot,” said Abigail’s father, Jong Lee. “Our children really flourished in this online and flexible environment, and I think they were able to be much more efficient with their studies than they would have been stuck in a classroom, leaving more time for extracurricular pursuits.”

Abigail finished high school with LUOA in 2021 and enrolled in Liberty University’s Online Programs to study psychology.

“I was kind of questioning going into psychology when I first chose it because I wasn’t sure how my faith would fit into what I was learning,” Lee said. “(Being at Liberty), I didn’t have to just fend for myself and research everything by myself but had a curriculum that actually incorporated a Christian perspective. It wasn’t just entirely (faith-based) or entirely secular. It integrated Christian views with science.”

Despite being much younger than the typical college student, Abigail excelled in her classes and fell in love with the field of psychology. Although she did not have all the life experience and application knowledge that some of her classmates did, she was still able to relate her studies to her current life.

“Ironically, taking psychology courses like behavior modification and adolescent psychology allowed me to have much greater current insight and the courses were actually helpful to me personally,” Abigail said. “I can say that my Liberty University professors were all very supportive and understanding and I will be eternally grateful to them.”

“She found the subject matter really interesting,” Jong Lee added. “It was self-driven, and she had a lot of flexibility to pick her courses and the sequence. I don’t think it was a function of us trying to push her to accomplish anything quickly. We just didn’t want to be in a position where we were holding her back.”

Abigail has been accepted into Johns Hopkins University where she will begin her graduate studies on data analytics and policy. She hopes to one day work in psychology research.

Abigail Lee and her brother, Isaac, with their parents, Jong and Sonia Lee, at Williams Stadium before Friday’s Main Ceremony (Photos by Ryan Anderson)

That self-driven character runs in the family. Her older brother, Isaac, graduated with his M.A. in Theological Studies from Liberty’s Online Programs in December after earning a master’s degree from Columbia University last May and bachelor’s degrees from Liberty in both History and Religion in 2022 at the age of 16. He plans to compete his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) through Liberty this fall before pursuing his Ph.D. in Education at the University of Cambridge.

The Lees said Liberty has been a blessing for the family and may be for any other families looking for a high-quality Christian education.

“Liberty’s authentically Christ-centered pedagogical philosophy and embrace of academic excellence during such uncertain times has made a profound difference in the lives of our children and family,” said Sonia Lee, Abigail’s and Isaac’s mother. “We could not be more grateful and enthusiastic about recommending other families to consider Liberty University.”

“I encourage people to take advantage of Liberty and all the resources that are available,” Abigail added. “There are so many courses available at Liberty, even just for an online option. Don’t limit yourself and keep going.”

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