National Collegiate Honors Council



Got AP?

Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2016).


Copyright © 2016 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


One of the first questions I ask prospective students is whether they have taken any AP or college courses in high school. The question itself frequently generates lines of tension in a student’s face while parents erupt into proud smiles. The difference can generally tell me whose idea it was to take AP or college courses and to what degree they considered them a benefit in gaining college admission and scholarship funding.

Families, especially those considering sending their children to a private four-year university, need all the help they can get in funding college. At my institution, four years without any scholarship support costs around $142,000, not including room and board. Families with two or more siblings can double or triple this number and anticipate a mountain of debt. Annmarie Guzy’s essay powerfully spells out the financial benefits that accrue from using AP courses to satisfy college credits and how states have begun to legislate quite terrifying directives mandating the acceptance of “uniform minimum AP . . . credits.” The essential issue—“seismic” as Guzy has aptly put it—boils down to money, probably even more for students headed toward private colleges and universities than those enrolling in state schools.