Do colleges care about AP classes?
AP classes in high school >> Do colleges care about AP classes?
College admissions staff definitely like to see AP classes on your transcript (along with good scores on the corresponding exams). This gives them confidence you’ll be able to handle college-level course work. Good grades in honors classes also show admissions officers that you're seeking and succeeding at academic challenges.
How important are AP classes for college admission?
Generally speaking, admissions officers at colleges and universities like to see a transcript that shows you’ve challenged yourself—and done well. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are a good way to show you’ve gone above and beyond the basic curriculum and are ready for the more rigorous academics of college, but AP classes are entirely optional. Your GPA, class rank and standardized test scores carry more weight than AP classes.
If you’re applying to an Ivy League school, however, the competition to get in is so intense that it has virtually become a necessity to have at least a few AP classes on your transcript. If you’re not applying to an elite-level school, taking AP classes will certainly make you look good, but it’s not something admissions officers expect from applicants.
Before deciding to take an AP class, it’s important to understand that it will involve more work than a regular class. It’s also important to understand that college admissions officers want to see good grades, so if you’re involved in extracurricular activities or hold a part-time job, finding the time you need to do well in an AP class may be difficult.
Are there specific AP classes colleges look for?
There aren’t any specific AP classes colleges look for when considering an applicant, although if you’re applying to a school such as M.I.T., it would make sense to take AP classes in subjects like Calculus.
Do colleges look at AP scores for admission?
Colleges and universities look at everything on your transcript, including the grades you received in any AP classes you’ve taken and the score you received on the AP exam (assuming you submit your test results).
While a high grade in an AP class is certainly a plus in your column, a low grade in an AP class can raise a red flag. Admissions officers could easily get the idea you may not be able to handle college-level work. Although a “B” in an AP class is generally thought to equal an “A” in a regular class, a “D” in an AP class isn’t going to impress anyone.
Besides looking at AP classes as an indicator of your ability to handle the college-level coursework, many admissions officers also look at AP classes and exam scores when making scholarship decisions. Per The College Board, 31% of colleges and universities take AP classes into consideration when making decisions on scholarships.
Another benefit of taking AP classes in high school is that most colleges will award academic credit, provided you have a passing score on the corresponding AP exam. At most colleges, a score of 4 (out of 5) is considered a passing score, but highly selective schools require a 5 for academic credit in many classes. The good thing about AP exam scores is that if you don’t do well on the exam, you don’t have report your score when applying to a college or university.
Learn more about the top classes needed for admission to colleges and universities.
Taking AP classes through eAchieve Academy
eAchieve Academy offers free online AP classes to both full-time students and students enrolled at public or private schools. As a virtual public charter school, students living anywhere in Wisconsin are welcome to apply. There is no cost to attend eAchieve Academy for Wisconsin residents under age 21.