AP Classes: Challenge Yourself, Get an Admissions Edge, and Gain Financially!

Teenage girl speaking with guidance counsellor about College Admissions

Tutor Doctor frequently receives questions from parents of high school students asking which classes their student should take to increase their academic knowledge, study skills, exposure to challenging college preparatory coursework, and ultimately increase their success in the college admissions and scholarship awards processes.

This question is best answered on an individual student basis, but the good news is that there are several key factors which are common for all students. Let’s dive into the world of Advanced Placement (AP) classes and how they can significantly impact your college admissions journey.

AP classes are college-level courses offered in high school that allow students to be challenged academically in a greater way than with standard college preparatory coursework. Unlike regular or honors classes, AP courses follow a standardized curriculum developed by the College Board and culminate in a rigorous exam each May.

Successful completion of an AP class can potentially earn college credit as well, which can enable a student to be exempt from taking that same introductory course during their freshman year. This helps to reduce the financial and schedule impacts of college and can permit a student to advance to more advanced coursework as they begin college.

How do AP classes differ from regular and honors courses? 

While regular classes cover standard high school material, and honors classes offer a more in-depth exploration of subjects, AP courses take it a step further. They provide a college-level learning experience, often with more demanding coursework, faster pacing, and higher expectations for critical thinking and analysis.

AP Classes: A College Admissions Advantage

The importance of AP classes in college admissions can’t be overstated. Admissions officers view AP courses as a sign that a student is willing to challenge themselves and can handle college-level work. This can give applicants a significant edge in the competitive admissions process.

AP Classes and Financial Benefits

But the benefits don’t stop there! AP classes can also lead to substantial scholarship opportunities. While specific data correlating AP exam scores to scholarship amounts can vary, studies have shown a positive relationship between AP participation and college success.

For instance, a College Board study found that students who take AP exams are more likely to graduate college within four years compared to those who don’t. This increased likelihood of timely graduation can translate to significant savings in tuition costs.

Some institutions offer scholarships specifically for students with strong AP performance. While exact scholarship amounts can vary widely depending on the institution and other factors, it’s clear that a strong AP record can open doors to financial aid opportunities. For example, some state scholarship programs award additional funds for each passing AP exam score.

How to Succeed with AP Classes

At Tutor Doctor, we believe in empowering students to reach their full potential. If you’re considering AP classes, remember that while they’re challenging, the rewards can be substantial. With proper preparation and support, you can excel in these courses and boost your college admissions prospects.

Some of that preparation can involve summer homework to be completed prior to the start of the new school year, so contact your school or teachers to confirm what projects should be worked on during the summer. You’ll want to tackle the summer work early versus leaving it for the last week before school. By creating a “slow and steady” study plan, you’ll be able to hit the ground running in the fall or get some extra tutoring help if you need it. 

Are you ready to take on the AP challenge? Reach out to Tutor Doctor today, and let’s work together to achieve your academic goals!