Connecting students to college success
In today's information-based economy, a college education is a necessity, not a luxury. However, a study from the U.S. Department of Education found that of the students who entered college in 1995:
- Only one-half (53 percent) had attained a bachelor's degree after six years.
- About one-fourth (23 percent) had not attained any degree and were no longer enrolled after six years.
Students who take longer to graduate from a public college or university typically pay up to $19,000 for each additional year. Students attending private institutions might expect to incur $26,197 for each additional year.1
As schools send the next generation of students off to college, they need to ask themselves—is the end goal of college admission enough? What can be done to provide your students with the tools they need to succeed in college?
AP can help
AP is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment, passion, and hard work of students and educators from both secondary schools and higher education. Since 1955, the AP Program has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and exams, and to earn college credit or placement while still in high school.
A 2008 study found that AP students had better four-year graduation rates than those who did not take AP. For example, graduation rates for AP English Literature students were 62 percent higher than graduation rates for those who took other English courses in high school.2
Taking AP also increases eligibility for scholarships and makes candidates more attractive to colleges:
- 31 percent of colleges and universities consider a student's AP experience when making decisions about which students will receive scholarships.3
- 85 percent of selective colleges and universities report that a student's AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions.4
Learn more about the AP Program by following these links:
1-Costs include tuition, fees, and books only, and do not include room, board, and other living expenses. Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2008-09 (Enrollment-Weighted). The College Board, "Trends in College Pricing," 2008.
2-Linda Hargrove, Donn Godin, and Barbara Dodd, "College Outcomes Comparisons by AP and Non-AP High School Experiences." The College Board, 2008. To isolate the role of AP, researchers compared "matched" groups of students, meaning the students had similar SAT® rank and family incomes, but different experiences with English course work (i.e., they either took the AP course and exam or they took other English courses).
3-Unpublished institutional research, Crux Research, Inc. March 2007.
4-Unpublished institutional research, Crux Research, Inc. March 2007. For the purpose of this study, selective institutions were defined as those where less than 70 percent of applicants were admitted, the mean SAT score was 1025 or higher, and mean ACT score was 22 or higher.
Recognize the hard work and achievements of your AP Scholars
The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. Although there is no monetary award in addition to receiving an award certificate, this achievement is acknowledged on any score report that is sent to colleges the following fall. The College Board encourages schools to celebrate their AP Scholars by sending a press release (.doc/967K) to their local newspaper. Notifications about AP Scholar Awards are sent to students and schools in September of each year.
You can view data for the 2013 exam administration by downloading this file (.xls/81K). Visit research, reports, and data for past years' AP Scholar volumes.
- AP Scholar: Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
- AP Scholar with Honor: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams
- AP Scholar with Distinction: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams
- State AP Scholar: Granted to the one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken
- National AP Scholar: Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams
- National AP Scholar (Canada): Granted to students in Canada who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams
- National AP Scholar (Bermuda): Granted to students in Bermuda who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams
- DoDEA AP Scholar: Granted to the one male and one female student attending Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools with the highest average score on the greatest number of AP Exams. The minimum requirement is a score of 3 or higher on three exams.
- International AP Scholar: Granted to the one male and one female student attending a school outside the United States and Canada that is not a DoDEA school with the highest average score on the greatest number of AP Exams. The minimum requirement is a score of 3 or higher on three exams.
- AP International Diploma: Granted to students who meet criteria outlined here.
Notes about AP Scholar Awards
- There are two steps to calculating the awards:
- The student's average AP score is determined based on all exams taken this year and in previous years.
- The student's exam scores are checked to see which ones count toward the various AP Scholar Awards.
- A student must meet all criteria to be eligible. For example, a student who has a 3.25 AP score average but only received a 3 or higher on three exams will not receive the AP Scholar with Honor Award because the minimum requirement is a score of 3 or higher on four or more exams.
- Exams taken multiple times only count once; the highest score will be used for the award calculation.
- The Calculus AB subscore, Music Theory aural subscore, and Music Theory nonaural subscore are not used in the AP Scholar Award calculations.
- The AP Scholar Awards are academic distinctions that students may cite among their credentials on applications, resumes, and so on. Students do not receive any monetary award from the College Board.