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3 Reasons Access to AP® Courses Improves College Readiness

3 Reasons Access to AP® Courses Improves College Readiness

More U.S. public high school graduates are taking Advanced Placement® (AP) courses today than they did a decade ago. As of 2021, the College Board found that over 1.1 million high school students took an AP Exam, a  28.6-percent increase since 2011. All public higher education institutions in 32 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 Advanced Placement courses helps do just that.

1. Nurture student aspirations

Students who want to go to college are 105 percent more likely to take an AP course, according to an analysis by The Education Trust and Equal Opportunity Schools. But we also know that not all students have access to AP courses, resources, and supports in their schools and districts, particularly students of color and low-income students. Educators can intentionally engage diverse students in conversations about college and help them explore their goals with advanced courses. For example, if your students show interest in STEM fields, maybe they would be interested in AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, or AP Environmental Science. By building and expanding your advanced program, your district is improving opportunities to retain critical enrollments in the district and shape your local community for lifelong success.

2. Boost college acceptance

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

3. 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 courses are designed by college faculty, and they challenge students with more in-depth concepts and workloads like a course that would be taken in college. If students score high enough on an AP Exam, they can earn college credit or placement that may help them save money and get a head start in college. They may be able to skip introductory 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.

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 ready for college and pave the way to their future careers.

For an easy, affordable and high-quality option to add advance learning to your school or district, explore Edmentum Courseware. You can implement digital curricula with your own teachers or leverage our state-certified virtual teachers to serve your students’ evolving needs.'s picture
Samreen Saadi

Samreen Saadi joined Edmentum in July 2022 and serves as an Associate Marketing Manager. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Media Studies from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. As a first-generation South Asian immigrant who grew up in the U.S., Samreen is passionate about ensuring inclusion, access, and equity in education for students and teachers to thrive in today’s learning environments.