Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Struggled With Academics

 @crvillarreal on April 21 2013 6:02 PM

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was failing a number of his college courses before the April 15 terrorist attack that killed three people, injured more than 180 others and sparked a five-day manhunt.

Contrary to his promising academic performance in high school, Tsarnaev, 19, was having difficulty as a student enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, or UMD.

As a graduate of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2011, Tsarnaev was awarded a prestigious $2,500 scholarship by the city of Cambridge, Mass.

Tsarnaev’s UMD transcripts for 2012 and 2013 revealed he had failing grades in seven of his courses over three semesters, including several chemistry courses that would have been important for his pursuit of a career in medicine.

“He was talking about how he wasn’t doing as good as he expected,” said a friend and former classmate of Tsarnaev who was identified only by his first name by the New York Times. “He was a really smart kid, but having a little difficulty in college because going from high school to college is totally different.”

Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan, 26, who died after a shootout with police Thursday night, dropped out of college a year earlier.

The brothers’ father, Anzor Tsarnaev, had previously expressed disappointment that his older son (Tamerlan) had quit school, and he hoped his younger (Dzhokhar) would stay focused on his studies and become a doctor.

Even after his only two sons had been identified as the Boston Marathon bombing suspects -- and the older one killed -- Anzor Tsarnaev, who moved back to Russia a year ago, still expressed fatherly pride in his younger son’s academic achievements.

“My son is a true angel," the Associated Press reported him as saying Friday. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy.”

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