High AP scores earn students free college credits

54 percent of AP students earn college credits
Posted on 09/26/2017
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 / AP 2017

54 percent of district students in Advanced Placement
classes earn free college credits

BEAUFORT – More than half of Beaufort County School District students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses in 2016-17 scored high enough on their final exams to earn free college credits, the College Board reported today. 

Advanced Placement – and the accompanying College Board exams that demonstrate mastery of the course material – let students earn free college course credits while still in high school.  Last school year, 54 percent of Beaufort County School District students taking AP exams scored 3 or better on the tests’ five-point scale, qualifying them for college credit.  That was down slightly from the previous year’s 55 percent, which was the district’s all-time high, but up significantly from 48 percent five years ago.

Across the district, 525 individual students scored high enough to earn college credits compared to 538 last year and 537 five years ago.  The total number of exams taken was 1,480, up from 1,374 last year and down from 1,707 five years ago.

Superintendent Jeff Moss said that fewer students are taking AP courses because more are taking advantage of “dual enrollment” courses that also allow them to earn college credits while still in high school through partnerships with colleges and universities.

“Either way you look at it – whether it’s dual enrollment or AP courses – our students are setting higher standards for themselves, and that’s certainly encouraging,” Moss said.

Among local high schools over the past five years:

  • Battery Creek High – Thirty-one percent of students taking AP exams scored high enough for college credit in 2016-17, down from 43 percent the previous year and up from 13 percent five years ago.
  • Beaufort High – Fifty-two percent scored high enough for college credit in 2017, compared to 49 percent the previous year and 55 percent five years ago.
  • Bluffton High – Seventy-four percent scored high enough for college credit, up  from 71 percent the previous year and 70 percent five years ago.
  • Hilton Head Island High – Forty-four percent scored high enough for college credit, compared to 42 percent the previous year and 37 percent five years ago.
  • May River High – Fifty-five percent scored high enough for college credit in the high school’s first year of operation.
  • Whale Branch Early College High offers college courses through its partnership with the Technical College of the Lowcountry rather than offering AP courses through the College Board.

Statewide, the percentage of AP exams with scores of 3 or better was 57 percent, the same as last year and also five years ago.

Today’s College Board data release for SAT scores for 2017 seniors was not complete and did not include writing exam scores. The Beaufort County School District will release SAT data when the appropriate data has been received from the College Board.