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Help 13-Year-Old Elliott Attend Grad School!

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We are incredibly excited to share that our 13-year-old son, Elliott Tanner, was accepted into the Physics Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota!
Elliott's goal is to become a High Energy Theoretical Physicist and ultimately a professor of physics to inspire others about the fundamental constituents of the universe! He started college at 9-years-old and graduated with his first degree, an Associate of Science in Mathematics, from Normandale Community College at 11 years old. On May 12, 2022, Elliott will graduate from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a Math minor at 13 years old. He will be one of the youngest Bachelor of Science holders ever globally!

We can't stress enough that we are incredibly grateful to the University of Minnesota for accepting him into the program! We were shocked to discover the university did not extend a financial package to Elliott. Only 3% of incoming physics Ph.D. students in the U.S. do not receive a tuition waiver and/or financial package, so we never imagined that we would be scrambling to fund Elliott’s education at 13 years old.

UPDATE AS OF 4/11/2022:
We are so incredibly thankful to everyone that helped support Elliott in hitting his initial goal of raising tuition for his first year of his PhD Program! We are at a loss of words for all the encouragement, support, donations, and kind words. THANK YOU! We have increased the goal to the tuition for his 2nd year of his PhD program. We are hopeful at some point in his journey Elliott will be able to work as a TA and RA, but nothing is guaranteed or promised.
The physics PhD program is 64 credits, including thesis credits. Tuition for up to 14 credits is $19,000 (plus books and commuting/transportation costs.)  Tuition alone for the program will ultimately be roughly $87,000. (And any additional book & commuting expenses.)

We have exhausted our resources advocating for Elliott in order to secure funding for his Ph.D. program. We have contacted the State of Minnesota, physics societies, corporations, The John Kent Cooke Foundation, The Davidson Institute, and many other avenues but have not been able to apply for/secure any funding. There may be options in the future for Elliott to obtain funding from external fellowships, research fellowships, and TA appointments. However, UMN cannot guarantee that this will happen.

Tuition is roughly $20,000 per year and the average length of the theoretical physics program at the UMN is 5 years. Our immediate need is to cover the first year of his Ph.D. program. However, there will still be uncertainty with future years in funding. Humbly, we are creating a Go Fund Me to try to raise the tuition needed for Elliott to attend graduate school.
Should we meet our goal of funding his first year,  we will increase the goal to hopefully raise funds for his second year!
We are incredibly grateful to all the people who have supported Elliott on his journey and those continuing to support and cheer for Elliott! Thank you so much for checking out Elliott's story! We appreciate you all!
Michelle, Patrik, and Elliott Tanner

The image below is the approx cost of attending graduate school. (The board of directors will be increasing tuition over the summer, but we do not know what that amount will be yet.) Elliott's costs include tuition, books, and transportation as he is a commuting student.
  • $18,996 - Tuition
  • $1,000 - Books
  • $2,160 - Transportation
TOTAL: $22,156/year


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 5 d
  • David Wu
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • David D Johnson
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • sharon vallejo smith
    • $60 
    • 2 mos
  • Kris Swanson
    • $125 
    • 2 mos


Michelle Robb Tanner
Minneapolis, MN

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