AP Tests & College Success

Research presented by The College Board suggests that AP Test results are positively correlated with traditional  indicators of college success.  We believe the rigor and discipline required for AP coursework helps high school students acclimate to college level work.



The focus of this study is to explore college outcomes for students who come from traditionally lower-income backgrounds, reporting a household income of $30,000 or less, and who were awarded a fee reduction to take one or more Advanced Placement® (AP®) Exams, compared to students with a similar background and ability who did not participate in an AP Exam in that subject area or discipline. Matched samples of AP Exam taking and non-AP Exam taking students in each of five disciplines were created using student background variables, and these samples were compared on the following college outcomes: immediate enrollment in a four-year institution following high school graduation, persistence to the second year of study at the first-enrolled institution, graduation within four years of matriculation at any four-year institution, and graduation within six years of matriculation at any four-year institution. Results indicate that fee-reduction lower-income AP examinees, when compared to their non-AP Exam-taking peers, tend to have higher likelihood of enrolling, persisting, and graduating from four-year colleges. Results are presented in the Appendix.

Exploring College Outcomes for Low-Income AP® Exam Takers with Fee Reductions. Research Report 2016-2

Godfrey, Kelly E.; Wyatt, Jeffrey N.; Beard, Jonathan J.
College Board