Nine-year-old Belgian prodigy Laurent Simons was the youngest person slated to graduate from Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands this month. However, Laurent has dropped out because The Netherlands will not allow him to graduate before he turns 10.
This has left Laurent's parents and the school administration bewildered, not knowing who to blame.
Turning 10-years-old on December 26, Laurent's parents are bent on seeing their son be the first university graduate under 10.
But the current condition of his undergraduate program at Eindhoven is in standing in Laurent's way.
In an email shared with ABC News from November 17, the organizer of Laurent's studies wrote to the examination committee at Eindhoven that there was "a realistic chance that Laurent can finish his program in 2019."
In a meeting, however, with the dean and Laurent's mentor on Monday, the three were allegedly told that Laurent would not be able to graduate in the 10 months they were promised, but instead it would take another six to eight months.
Laurent and his parents chose the school after learning that a special committee would be formed to help him finish the three-year electrical programming in just 10 months, his father, Alexander Laurent, told ABC News.
"It doesn't make sense," Laurent said. "All of a sudden, in a few weeks, everything changes."
Ivo Jongsma, a spokesman for the university, told ABC News that Laurent "never made it a secret that he wanted his son to do a PhD in the US, so in our perception there was no change of plan."
He said even if there had been a change, "it would not have changed our attitude."
Eindhoven defended its position not to let Laurent finish his studies by December 26 in a statement to ABC News.
The university deemed the timetable "not feasible and would be unfavorable to Laurent's academic development."
Instead, school officials proposed an agenda that would allow him to finish his courses and graduate by mid-2020.
"In our view, this timeline would offer Laurent the opportunity to sufficiently develop the skills associated with the final phase of the study program, such as insight, creativity and critical analysis, without undue pressure on this 9-year-old student," the statement said.
Laurent's father, though, wasn't convinced.
"Do they think we are idiots?" Laurent said.
He said if the school had initially told the family it would take three years, it would not have mattered to them.
"But this is not OK," according to Laurent. "It's your university, do whatever you like, but it's also Laurent life and it's his decision to stay here or not."
As for Laurent, he was both heartbroken and angry after hearing the news.
The plans to head for the United States are still in place, according to Laurent, and the family is working on getting certifications from the university to prove that he passed his classes.
Laurent gained worldwide attention after finishing high school in just a year and enrolling at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands in March 2018.
The current youngest university graduate record holder is American prodigy Michael Kearney. He graduated in June 1994 at the age of 10 years 4 months, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.