Track star turns down D1 offers for brainiac MIT degree

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Chadd Kiggins is like a number of other top track stars. He runs fast. He trains hard. And perhaps most clearly, from the start of his high school career, Kiggins made it clear that he wanted to run in college.

Dayton Carroll cross country runner Chadd Kiggins
Dayton Carroll cross country runner Chadd Kiggins

So, when the Dayton (Ohio) Carroll High star runner began receiving inquiries from top track and cross country programs across the county -- including in-state Big 10 power Ohio State and national forerunner Notre Dame -- it seemed his longtime goal was achieved. That's when he surprised everyone and turned down his big name scholarship offers for a spot at a school only Albert Einstein could truly appreciate: MIT.

Dayton Carroll middle distance star Chadd Kiggins
Dayton Carroll middle distance star Chadd Kiggins

According to the Dayton Daily News, Kiggins turned down those chances to excel on some of the top collegiate track teams in the nation for one simple reasons: He knows that MIT -- which competes athletically on the Division III level -- will challenge him academically as much as Ohio State or Notre Dame would have on the track. While Kiggins has been impressive while running middle distances across his three year high school varsity career, he's been even more impressive in the classroom, where the senior sports a 4.61 GPA.

Oh, and he aced the ACT college entrance test, scoring a near perfect 34.

If there was any question that Kiggins planned to take academics a bit easier at the next level so he could focus on track, he dispelled those notions immediately in an interview with the Daily News. While he still has time to change his mind, Kiggins is heading off to Cambridge, Mass. with the intention of pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering.

The Dayton native's decision to head to MIT will also cost him a pretty penny. While schools like Ohio State, Notre Dame and Dayton could offer him significant athletic and merit based scholarships, as a Division III school MIT only gives out aid on a needs basis. That means Kiggins is likely to receive some scholarship money, but not nearly as much as he would have likely been given by a state school or major Division I program.

That certainly doesn't seem to be giving the Carroll superstar and second thoughts about his collegiate choice.

"My first priority in looking for a school is education," Kiggins told the Daily News. "I just really enjoyed the atmosphere [at MIT]. It just seemed more academically centered. There weren't too many distractions going on."

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