This spring, countless college graduates -- most of whom have been students for almost 20 years -- received their diplomas, entered the "real" world and left behind the halls of academia for good.
Not Michael Nicholson.
The 71-year-old man from Kalamazoo, Michigan, has earned 29 degrees -- and he's not finished yet. ABC News breaks that down: one bachelor's degree, two associate's degrees, 22 master's, three specialist degrees, and one doctoral degree.
"I would like to get to 33 or 34. I'm almost there," Nicholson told ABC News. "When I complete that, I'll feel like I've completed my basic education. After that, if I'm still alive -- that would take me to 80 or 81 -- I would then be free to pursue any type of degree."
Nicholson's first degree was a bachelor's in religious education, earned at Detroit's William Tyndale College in 1963. UPI reports Nicholson's second was a theology master's degree from the Dallas Theological Seminary.
"He's intrinsically motivated; he doesn't brag about what he's doing; he just keeps plodding ahead," said Tom Carey, a professor and chairman of the Western Michigan University management department, of Nicholson in a 2009 interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette.
The Gazette adds that he's not a straight A student, and initially pursued education at the behest of his parents. Nicholson's father went to work at a young age and taught him the importance of lifelong learning.
PHOTOS: States with the most college degrees per capita (via the Chronicle of Higher Education):
Washington D.C.: 63.5%
North Dakota: 49.5%
New York: 47.7%
New Jersey: 46.0%
New Hampshire: 45.6%
Rhode Island: 43.4%