AP Photo: Brittney Exline, 15, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
is shown with a statue of the founder of Penn State
PHILADELPHIA - Brittney Exline is too young to vote, drive a car
... but at the age of just 15 she is beginning her Ivy League career
Wednesday when classes start at the University of Pennsylvania
She said she doesn't really notice the age gap between herself
and her 17- and 18-year-old peers and neither do they.
"I didn't tell people right off the bat that I was 15,"
Exline said. "A lot of people were pretty surprised."
Exline grew up in Colorado Springs , Colo. ,
where at 8 years she was already in sixth grade.
By 13 she had finished high school math.
She turned 15 in February and graduated a few months later.
She's not preoccupied with how unique her accomplishments are.
"I wouldn't even really realize that if people didn't tell me," she said.
She excels at math and science and is really
interested in politics, so she enrolled in a
Penn program that will award her degrees
from both the engineering and liberal arts
schools when she graduates in 2011.
But her resume also includes years of dancing
and singing and a couple of teen pageant titles.
"Her motivation, discipline and maturity provided clear
evidence that, despite her age, she was ready to travel
halfway across the country and thrive in Penn's
rigorous academic environment," Eric Kaplan,
interim dean of admissions, said in a statement.
Exline's mother, Chyrese, a geriatric supervisor,
said her concerns about her daughter's freshman year
are probably no different from any other parent's.
"We did our best to prepare her," Chyrese Exline said.
Exline has already been on the Philadelphia campus for about a
month, participating in a pre-freshman acclimation program.
Program counselor Noemi Maldonado described
her as "extremely outgoing, very social,
very friendly, very mature for her age."...