The Advanced Placement Program (AP) represents a significant collaboration between colleges and universities and secondary schools.
The AP course and exam experiences take place in secondary school classrooms; however, college faculty members work alongside AP teachers to help shape the course and exam content and to score exams. Admission and enrollment officials recognize the achievement of AP students, who demonstrate through successful exam scores that they are ready for the challenge of higher education and can, in turn, contribute new thoughts and ideas to the communities at their colleges and universities.
Why Do Colleges Recognize AP?
1. More Than 5,800 College Faculty Participated in AP in 2012
These faculty participated in:
- AP course and exam development
- AP Exam scoring and score setting
- AP course syllabi review
- Professional development for AP teachers
Faculty contributions ensure that AP continually evolves to keep pace with changes in academic disciplines and best practices in college-level learning. Learn more about AP courses and exams and how AP is changing.
2. AP Students Succeed in College
Multiple research studies have shown that AP students who earn credit and advanced placement for the corresponding introductory college course:
- Perform well in subsequent courses within the same discipline
- Take more, not fewer, courses in the discipline for which they’ve received AP credit
- Tend to earn higher GPAs than non-AP students.
- Are more likely to graduate from college in four or five years
3. AP Credit Opportunities Attract Motivated and Prepared Students
Having a clear and accessible AP policy helps colleges and universities attract a diverse range of motivated high school students with the knowledge, skills and academic behaviors for success.
- The presence of AP courses on a student's transcript indicates that the student has challenged him- or herself by taking rigorous college-level courses.
- AP is a nationally recognized program and AP Exams offer a consistent measure of academic achievement.
- AP students tend to major in disciplines related to their AP Exams, according to a recent study; AP may be used for recruitment to specific majors.
Information about AP credit and placement policies at hundreds of colleges and universities is available online through the AP credit policy information search tool.
Learn more about setting and evaluating your AP policy.
4. AP Provides Opportunities for Underserved Students to Succeed
AP provides prepared and motivated underserved students with the opportunity to succeed in rigorous curricula and in college. A recent study showed that students who completed an AP Exam using a College Board–issued fee waiver had higher four-year college-going rates, retention rates and first-year grade point averages than non-AP students. We are committed to increasing the number of underserved students who participate and succeed in AP by offering:
- Fee reductions to low-income students.
- Resources to schools looking for ways to expand access to AP
- AP Potential, a tool to identify students who have the potential to succeed in an AP course and on an AP Exam
Over the past 10 years, the number of traditionally underserved students participating in AP has increased, both in raw numbers and as a percentage of all AP students.