Benjamin Bolger

Benjamin Bolger
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Benjamin Bradley Bolger

1975 (age 45–46)
EducationMuskegon Community College
University of Michigan (BA)
Yale University
University of Oxford (MSc)
University of Cambridge (MPhil)
Stanford University (MA)
Columbia University (MA, MSc)
Harvard University (MDes, DDes)
Brown University (MA)
Boston College (MA)
Dartmouth College (MA)
Brandeis University (MA)
Skidmore College (MA)
Ashland University (MFA)
University of Pennsylvania
Georgetown University
College of William and Mary
George Washington University
Ithaca College
Cornell University

Benjamin Bradley Bolger (born 1975) is an American perpetual student who has earned 14 degrees and claims to be the second-most credentialed person in modern history after Michael W. Nicholson (who has 30 degrees).[1] Like Nicholson, Bolger hails from Michigan.


Benjamin Bolger was born to Donald, an engineer with General Motors, and Loretta, a teacher. At the age of two, his family was involved in a near-fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver; Bolger says this encouraged him to make the most out of his life.[2] In first grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Special education programs did not help him, and in fourth grade, his mother began home-schooling Bolger, while undergoing a divorce.[3] At the age of 12, Bolger began taking classes at Muskegon Community College, graduating with an A.A. by the age of 17. He then transferred with those credits to the University of Michigan, majored in sociology, and graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade point average in sociology.[4] From there, he took an internship with the Clinton Administration with Press Secretary Mike McCurry.[5] Bolger's mother has moved with him to each college and university he attended and reads his assignments to him aloud.[2]

At the age of 19, he entered Yale Law School, but dropped out when he was unable to compensate for his dyslexia.[5] After receiving additional training for his dyslexia, he enrolled at Oxford University, thus beginning his quest for degrees. After accumulating several master's degrees, he received his first doctorate at the age of 33 in Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008. He has also studied in graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania,[6] Georgetown University, the College of William and Mary, the George Washington University, Ithaca College, Cornell University, and Dartmouth College.[7] His mother accompanied and supported him through much of his education to help with his work, from Ann Arbor to Oxford.[2]


He has also completed some coursework at Yale Law School (in 1995, towards a JD) and at Boston College's Lynch School of Education (in 2004, towards an MA in higher education).


  1. ^ McEnroe, Tess (January 19, 2009). "Twenty-seven degrees and counting: Kalamazoo man enjoys the 'freedom' of intellectual pursuits". Kalamazoo Gazette.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dry, Rachel E. (February 27, 2003). "Battle of the Bolger". Harvard Crimson.
  3. ^ "'U' alum, 19, overcomes challenges, heads to Yale Law". Yale Daily News. September 27, 1995. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06 – via University of Michigan.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lipka, Sara (June 6, 2008). "A Perpetual Student Pursues Education to the Nth Degree". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  5. ^ a b c Zagursky, Erin (June 9, 2008). "Bolger overcomes dyslexia, earns 11 graduate degrees". News & Media. College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  6. ^ Snyder, Susan (June 7, 2008). "For Penn student, a matter of (11) degrees". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  7. ^ Clark, Kim (April 15, 2010). "You Can Work Your Way Through 11 Grad Degrees: Benjamin Bolger slept little, ate cheap, cold-called for TA jobs". U.S. News & World Report.
  8. ^ "Ashland University MFA Graduate Sets Record with 12th Graduate Degree". Ashland University. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  9. ^ Strong, Rebecca (August 19, 2014). "12 Graduate Degrees and Counting: One Student's Yearning for Learning". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2014-09-12.

External links


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