If you are enrolled in AP classes, you may be wondering if colleges give academic credit for AP courses. AP/IB classes are a great way to get used to college coursework and start earning credits for college while you are still in high school. Your guidance counselor probably told you that the AP classes would count for some college credit. In most cases, they will. There are some steps you must take on your own, however, to make sure you get the appropriate college credit for your AP/IB classes.
Choose the Right College
Although many colleges will allow AP Course to count as college credits some do not and the list is growing. The Washington Post reports that George Washington University no longer allows AP or IB courses to count towards college credit. The article goes on to say that public colleges are more likely to accept credits for AP or IB courses than private colleges.
Take the AP/IB Test
Passing your high school final will not be enough for a college to allow the class to count for credit. You must also take and pass the AP/IB test. According to The College Board’s website, the tests are administered in May, and scores are sent out to students and colleges in June. There is a form on each that that allows you indicate the colleges you would like to send the scores to. AP tests are made up of both multiple choice and essay questions and are scored on a scale of 1-5. For most colleges, 3 is the minimum score to have your AP classes count for any college credit and will usually replace one entry level class. Depending on the college a score of 4 or 5 could count for up to two college courses.
Talk to Admissions
Policy for AP classes differs by college. If your college accepts them, make sure you talk to someone from your college’s admission department to discuss exactly how they will count. Some colleges simply award a grade of “Satisfactory” on a student’s transcript, which means the course will not count toward your GPA. Many colleges also have policies in place that do not allow the courses to count toward semester hours. This is important because many scholarships and grants stipulate the recipient must be a full time student. In most cases this means taking at least 12 hours per semester. So, even though your AP courses might count 6 hours, you would still need to take 12 hours worth of courses at the college to be considered full time.
AP courses are at their very least a great way to get used to the coursework that will be expected in college. At best, you can earn college credit for the courses, saving you money on tuition. Depending on how many credits you earn, you might be able to graduate faster since the AP credits usually count toward core coursework. Make sure that all the hard you are doing pays off. Follow the guidelines above to make sure you get the appropriate academic credit for AP courses.