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Harvard, Stanford deny joint admissions to S. Korean 'math prodigy'

Harvard and Stanford universities denied Tuesday that a South Korean high school student can attend both schools as part of a special joint program for her, debunking the story of a "math prodigy."

Kim Jung-yoon, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, has become famous after reports that she was accepted to the two prestigious universities and has even been allowed to attend both schools without having to choose one.

Her family has said the two universities had tried to convince Kim to choose their schools because she was such a brilliant student, especially at mathematics, and they later agreed on a special plan to allow her to study at Stanford for the first two years and then at Harvard for another two years.

Questions have since arisen about her admission, and the two universities have denied the reports.

"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," Anna Cowenhoven, a Harvard Public Affairs and Communications official, said in an email to Yonhap News Agency.

"We have been made aware of an alleged admissions letter sent to Ms. Jung Yoon (Sara) Kim by Harvard University. We can confirm that this letter is a forgery," she said.

Lisa Lapin, a senior communications official at Stanford University, also denied that the school gave admission to Kim.

"I am confirming that the letter you received was NOT issued by Richard Shaw or Stanford University," she said in response to Yonhap's request for confirmation of an alleged admission letter signed by the dean of admissions and financial aid.

Kim's family provided the letter to reporters as evidence of her admission.

Her father, Kim Jung-wook, said that he will deal with the case through his lawyer.

In response to the allegations of fake admissions, he has said that there could be some misunderstanding because her admission is a very special case that has been discussed only between professors of the two universities. (Yonhap)