That a high school student has taken challenging courses is one of the most important criteria in a college application. By making the decision to take an AP course, a student is letting colleges and universities know that s/he has what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. AP courses signal to admissions officers that you’ve undertaken the most rigorous classes your high school has to offer. Admissions teams see that you have challenged yourself with college-level course work and expectations and have refined your skills to meet those expectations. In the increasingly competitive admissions process, this knowledge can be very valuable.
AP courses offer college admissions officers a consistent measure of course rigor across high schools, districts, states, and countries — because all AP teachers, no matter where they are teaching, have to provide a curriculum that meets college standards. When admissions officers see the “AP” label on your transcript, they have a good understanding of what you studied and produced in that particular class and how well the course prepared you for the increased challenges of college.
AP courses help students to increase their GPA. HCSS weighs the AP courses more heavily (1.25) compared to typical courses (1.0) in an effort to reward students for taking challenging courses. How it works is simply a B (3.0 GPA) is equivalent to an A (3.75 GPA) for an AP course.
As college costs grow each year, the prospect of continuing education becomes less and less of a reality for many high school students. By completing an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, you can save on college expenses. Currently more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying AP Exam scores. These credits can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition, fees, and textbook costs, which can transform what once seemed unaffordable into something within reach.
Even if you’re not sure what you want to major in or if you take an AP exam unrelated to your major, AP courses may help you place out of your colleges’ general education requirements. With this additional time in your class schedule, you can pursue a second major or minor, take exciting electives, or follow additional interests in new ways.