Making history: 18-year-old to become youngest woman to graduate from university

Madison Ackley, 18, is set to be the youngest woman to graduate at UW-Stevens Point's history. (Source: WSAW)
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 1:55 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW/Gray News) - It’s history in the making at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.

Most 18-year-olds are getting ready to go to college, but 18-year-old Madison Ackley is graduating from college.

Ackley said she has always been ahead of her time.

“When I was in high school, I took many college courses and I had my mother help me map out the courses I needed to fulfill all of the requirements,” she said. “I took 18 to 21 credits per semester to get here.”

Ackley will be the youngest Native American and woman to ever graduate from UW-Stevens Point.

“It’s exciting to be able to be a part of history,” Ackley said.

At an age when most people are attending their senior prom, she’s applying for her first full-time job as a college graduate.

“I love numbers and I always have. My aunt is an accountant and I really look up to her. I want to be like her,” she said.

Ackley said she is also involved with the Native American Center and running her own business as an artist.

According to Ackley, she didn’t plan to complete her degree in just two years. But her inspiration became a reality about a year ago when she saw other seniors talking about graduation.

She decided to set that as a goal and is now scheduled to graduate on May 20.

“It’s very exciting. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. I’m excited graduation is so close,” Ackley said.