Of the students attending classes at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University this year, just one is 10 years old. That would be Alex Jaeger, who recently scored a 23 on the ACT college entrance exam and enrolled for a full schedule of classes. The second semester of the 20092010 school year begins on Jan. 14. Alex will turn 11 later this year.
Jaeger is the son of Wesley and Chasinee Jaeger. Alex's mother, Chasinee, is from Thailand. Alex and lived in Japan for the first two years of his life. Even then, his parents recall, Alex was an inquisitive child, noticing details and asking questions that other children his age just didn't ask. When he was in kindergarten, he scored in the 99.9 percentile on the Stanford-Binet, a well-known and well-respected standardized test that assesses intelligence and cognitive abilities. Alex had plenty of both, teaching himself multiplication, division, and fractions before he had finished kindergarten.
Alex quickly showed a high aptitude in mathematics, and his parents decided to homeschool him. He completed the fourth-grade curriculum in 10 weeks. That was in 2006. Since then, Alex has sped through the equivalent of a junior high and high school education.
The more Alex learned, the more he liked to learn and the more his parents wanted to teach him. He began reading from the college-bound reading when he was completing the ninth-grade equivalency.
After learning that Alex had scored the 23 on the ACT (the average college freshman scores 21), they contacted officials at nearby Pittsburg State. (The family now live in rural Cherokee County, not far away from Pittsburg.)
Alex will take 15 credits this semester, in biology, chemistry, calculus, choir, and piano. One parent will accompany him to every class.
When he's not studying, Alex will be pursuing his other interests, including swimming, playing the piano, and doing karate.