3 Reasons Access to AP® Courses Improves College Readiness

Oct 19, 2023
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More U.S. public high school graduates are taking Advanced Placement® (AP) courses today than they did a decade ago.

As of 2022, the College Board found that over 1.1 million high school students took an AP Exam, a 30.1% increase since 2012. The College Board also shared that all public higher education institutions in 36 states now award college credit for AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Thanks to combined efforts and commitments of learners, educators, and policymakers, more students can be part of AP courses at school now than ever before.

However, to increase opportunities for your students to be ready for college, explore three reasons why access to AP courses helps do just that.

1. AP courses give students a head start towards their college goals

Students who want to go to college are 105 percent more likely to take an AP class, according to an analysis by The Education Trust and Equal Opportunity Schools. But not all students have access to AP classes, resources, and support in their schools and districts, particularly students of color and low-income students. Educators can intentionally engage diverse students in conversations about college readiness and help them explore their goals with advanced courses.

For example, if your students show interest in STEM fields, they could benefit from taking AP subjects such as biology, computer science principles, or environmental science. By building and expanding your advanced placement class offerings, your district can improve opportunities to retain critical enrollments and shape your local community for lifelong success.

2. AP courses boost college acceptances

Students are more likely to graduate high school and attend college when they have access to advanced classes. AP courses help prepare students for AP Exams, and signal student motivation and commitment to colleges. Self-reporting high AP test scores on college applications can help students earn a competitive edge in the admissions process. With a rigorous and engaging AP program in schools, educators can help increase opportunities for students to get accepted into college.

3. AP courses expose students to college-level work

Educators can help students realize what it takes to be in a college-level class with advanced courses. AP classes are designed by college faculty, and they challenge students with more in-depth concepts and workloads much like a course taken in college.

If students get an AP test score of 3 or above, they can earn college credit or placement that may help them save money and get a head start towards their degree. These students may be able to skip introductory college courses and have the option to pursue a double major, a study-abroad program, a job, an internship, or another elective. Students may even have the chance to graduate college early.

Improve AP test scores with Edmentum’s AP courses

Educators and school districts can open equitable access to advanced courses and increase their students’ reach to higher education. Edmentum offers virtual and blending learning solutions with advanced online courses approved by College Board.

With flexible digital curricula, educators can provide high school students with course options and engaging instruction that prepare them to be college and career ready. A review of Edmentum’s 2023 AP course program showed the following:

  • Edmentum students earned scores of 3 or higher on 68% of all AP exams taken, 8% higher than the 2022 national average (60%)*.
  • Edmentum students earned an average score of 3.2 on all AP exams taken, nearly .3 points higher than the 2022 national average (2.92).
  • Of the top five AP courses taken by Edmentum students (AP Chemistry, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Psychology, and AP Statistics), the percentage of students who earned a 3 or higher exceeded the national average by as much as 18%.

For easy, affordable and high-quality options to add advanced learning to your school or district, explore Edmentum Courseware or Apex Courses. You can implement digital curricula with your own teachers or leverage our state-certified virtual teachers via EdOptions Academy to serve your students’ evolving needs.

*In all instances where more than 10 Edmentum students took the AP exam.

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