17-yr-old Malvika Raj Joshi from Mumbai has done the same. She has made it to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious educational institutes in the world, based on her merit without any certificates.
She doesn’t have a Class 10 or 12 certificates but has an impeccable computer programming talent that earned her a scholarship at MIT for being a three-time medal winner (two silver and a bronze) at International Olympiad of Informatics. She is pursuing Bachelor of Science degree.
MIT has provisions for students who are medal winners at various Olympiads (math, physics or computer).
Her talent was recognised by her mother when she took Malvika out of school after her 7th standard, the reason she cited was she wanted her kids to be happy than someone being part of a rat race. Malvika’s mother worked in an NGO for cancer patients, she saw kids of class 8th or 9th dying due to cancer which moved her deeply. She realised her kids will be more happy, if they study on their own, instead of studying in school.
It was hard for her mother to convince her husband, who is an engineer but she was determined to make it work. She left her job at the NGO and designed a curriculum for her child.
The only institute that allowed her to enrol was Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) where she got into an MSc level course as her knowledge was on par with BSc standard.