"He may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage," a selection committee member wrote on James Holmes' application to the university's neurosciences program. "Hard to tell how interested he is."
9NEWS also reported Holmes was rejected by the University of Iowa after a professor wrote "Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances."
The application to the University of Alabama also contains several glowing recommendation letters written by professors who worked with Holmes at the University of California, Riverside.
"James is among the top 1% of Honors students and is self-motivated, intelligent and driven," one letter said. Names of the professors are redacted in the documents obtained by 9Wants to Know.
"I found James to be determined, hard working, while at the same time inquisitive, showing a clear interest in the material."
Other application documents from the University of Kansas show Holmes was a highly regarded applicant who later withdrew his application from the university.
"We would have been most interested in having you come for an interview," Dr. Elias Michaelis wrote to Holmes.
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