I have college and high school aged sons so friends with younger kids are often asking me to help them understand what AP Classes are and why kids would take them.
Well – in a nutshell here’s my two part answer:
- If your kid does well on AP Exams it could save you money
- Taking AP classes is one of the best things students can do to improve the academic rigor of their high school schedule which is important to many college admissions departments including Georgia Tech and UGA.
Number 1 may need some explaining so here goes….
A rising senior that I know very well has taken several AP classes at Dunwoody High School so far. For the sake of his privacy I won’t tell you which ones, nor what the scores are, but I will say that once I received the most recent scores this morning, I checked 4 random colleges to see how many class hours of college credit he has earned at these institutions due to his AP test scores. Of the random 4 I checked, Berry will give him the least amount of credit (4 hours) and UGA will give him the most (14). So basically, if he were to go to UGA, he’d already have 14 hours of credit before walking onto campus in Athens. If you add his dual enrollment credit from classes taken at Georgia State while at DHS (history and English) he could go into his freshman year of college with more than 20 credit hours under his belt. That’s more than a semester’s worth of college classes that basically doesn’t cost anything other than the fee to take the AP exams.
So…in summary…if your kid can handle the difficulty of AP classes and performs well on standardized testing, they could improve their chances of getting into colleges requiring rigorous academic schedules and could save you some cash….and maybe even get your student out of college in less than 4 years! Don’t get me wrong, some AP classes are extremely difficult and some kids aren’t ready for this level of rigor in high school. My suggestion….. find out what AP classes are offered at your high school and talk to your student and the school counselors to determine which semester to try one and pick one that suits your child best.