A 17-year-old Korean “math prodigy” is caught in the middle of a big problem that even she can’t solve.
The high school senior faked her acceptance to both Harvard University and Stanford University as a plan to impress her parents, according to The Washington Post.
The senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, not only claimed to have received acceptance letters from both universities, she also said she was offered five-figure scholarships to both schools.
And because both Harvard and Stanford were determined to have her, the teen said that the universities created a special dual-program that would allow her to attend both prestigious schools.
According to the Post, news of her supposed achievements caught the attention of media outlets everywhere, including the Korean media, who quickly named her the “Genius Girl.”
The high school senior even went so far as to claim that Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg personally called her, insisting that she attend Harvard.
Harvard University Communications Director Anna Cowenhoven dispelled the teen’s claims, writing in an email to Yonhap, a South Korean news agency: “We have been made aware of an alleged admissions letter sent to [the student] by Harvard University. We can confirm that this letter is a forgery…Despite recent media reports, there is no program in existence through which a student is admitted to spend two years at Harvard College and two years at Stanford University.”
Although the teen’s parents initially believed their daughter, they soon realized it was a hoax and apologized on her behalf.
“I am sincerely sorry for causing trouble with what is not true,” the student’s father wrote to Yonhap. “I am deeply repentant that I failed to watch properly over how painful and difficult a situation the child has been in so far and that I even aggravated and enlarged her suffering.”
He continued, “From now on, the whole family will live a quiet life, devoting ourselves to getting the child cured well and taking good care of her. Please forgive me for being unable to offer detailed explanation as the situation has not been completely figured out yet.”
It has not been confirmed whether Kim has been accepted to either school.