Biden attended St. Paul's Elementary School in Scranton. In 1955, when he was 13 years old, the family moved to Mayfield, Delaware—a rapidly growing middle class community sustained primarily by the nearby DuPont chemical company.
As a child, Biden struggled with a stutter, and kids called him "Dash" and "Joe Impedimenta" to mock him. He eventually overcame his speech impediment by memorizing long passages of poetry and reciting them out loud in front of the mirror. Biden attended the St. Helena School in Pennsylvania until he gained acceptance into the prestigious Archmere Academy. Although he had to work washing the school windows and weeding the gardens to help his family afford tuition, Biden had long dreamed of attending the school, which he called "the object of my deepest desire, my Oz." At Archmere, Biden was a solid student and, despite his small size, a standout receiver on the football team. "He was a skinny kid," his coach remembered, "but he was one of the best pass receivers I had in 16 years as a coach." Biden graduated from Archmere in 1961.
Biden attended the nearby University of Delaware, where he studied history and political science and played football. He would later admit that he spent his first two years of college far more interested in football, girls and parties than academics. But he also developed a sharp interest in politics during these years, spurred in part by the inspiring inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
On a spring break trip to the Bahamas during his junior year, Biden met a Syracuse University student named Neilia Hunter and, in his own words, "fell ass over tin cup in love—at first sight." Encouraged by his new love, he applied himself more fully to his studies and was accepted into the Syracuse University Law School upon his graduation from the University of Delaware in 1965. Biden and Hunter married the next year, in 1966. Biden was at best a mediocre law student. During his first year at Syracuse, he flunked a class for failing to properly cite a reference to a law review article, and although he claimed it was an accidental oversight, the incident would haunt him later in his career.