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17-Year-Old Gets Degree, Prepares For Graduate School

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Aaron Kotamarti loves the guitar and Jimi Hendrix.

His affection for the psychedelic rock era is no testament to his age. Kotamarti is 17 years old.  But age has never been an issue for him.

At 15, Kotamarti began attending college at the University of Texas at Dallas. This week, he will graduate with an electrical engineering degree.

Kotamarti is one of the youngest college grads in North Texas. "It's just fun", he says. "I'm sure most think it's hard. But it's just fun to me", he explains.

Kotamarti attended a college-themed high school by the age of 13.  The school sits on the campus of Richland College. Within one year, he had accumulated enough credits to receive an Associates Degree.

His brother was also an early college attendee, so Kotamarti followed his lead.  "It's not easy. It's hard work. But I really liked math," he said.

Kotamarti's college instructor, Dr. Murat Torlak, said he had no idea Kotamarti was not old enough to vote or drive until the student missed an evening work session.

"I said, what do you mean? He doesn't drive? They [students] said no, he's 16," the instructor recalled.

Kotamarti plans to become a physician and medical researcher.  But medical school is down the road.  He's already enrolled in Graduate School at UTD, and also plans to complete another Bachelors program.

His secret for such success at a young age:  "Hard work and dedication," he said. "With those two things, you can accomplish great things."

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