14-year-old starts freshman year in college

Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-25 15:50:42-04

GALESBURG, Il. -- When he was four years old, Andrew Ferris was home-schooled.

"I began second-grade math at the age of four," he said.

By ten, he was taking astronomy classes.

"It felt odd that everybody in the room was older than me, but it didn't feel odd for me being ten because I didn't know any different. It just felt like what I do, what I was supposed to do," said Ferris.

This week, at the age of 14, he will leave home to start at Knox College. He plans to get degrees in physics and environmental science and minor in film making.

"It does feel odd that everybody's older than me, but it doesn't really bother me at all."

It helps that his 17-year-old brother, Zachary, is already there.

"I want to be a lawyer and then eventually go into politics, possibly like a mayor and then go on from there," he said.

He's been showing his brother the campus since he started.

"When I try to tell people that, it's always have to wait a second, like he's 14, and try to see how to react to that," said Zachary Ferris.

Opposite in their interests, the two consider themselves best friends. And their family history is rooted in the college. Their great-great-great grandfather founded the school.

"It was very exciting. I'm surprised no one ever told me until I found out," said Zachary.

Their mom has been the one encouraging them to learn on their own.

"I allowed them to love learning for learning and I told them, 'You go at your own pace, you do what you want in life, but go as far as you can,'" said Barbara Ferris.

Barbara will drive Andrew from Peoria to Knox College twice a week because Andrew is too young to live on campus.