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Florida A&M University (FAMU) freshman, Ralph Jones Jr., a 16 year old from Atlanta, Ga. turned down offers to Howard University, Fort Valley State University and Morehouse College to attend FAMU. In addition to these institutions, he also turned down prominent Ivy League institutions such as the University of Alabama, Stanford University, Pennsylvania State University and Harvard University to become a Rattler.

With an SAT score of 2,120 out of 2,400, it is understandable how he was admitted to the top institutions in the U.S.

Jones is a recipient of the Life-Gets-Better Scholarship and a National Achievement Finalist. Jones was awarded $120,000 in scholarships, which includes a stipend, tuition and fees, room and board, books and a laptop.

Being a member of a family who has a three-generation history of attending Fort Valley State University and parents who are educators, Jones feels that his childhood played a huge role in his development.

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“My background growing up is a little different,” said Jones. “My parents are both educators. My mother is a first grade teacher and my dad was a college professor for some time. Needless to say, a large focus was on education in my house.”

By the time Jones was four-years old, he was adding, subtracting, dividing, reading at the ninth grade level and doing basic algebra.

As impressive as Jones’ ability to learn at a young age may seem, he continued to excel by setting a record of having the highest SAT scores in the past five years at his high school.

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16-Year-Old Top Scholar Cherishes Tradition By Attending FAMU  was originally published on