Recent research is available on the cost of college and how a student’s participation in AP relates to college success. The following information summarizes key findings and may be helpful to students as they plan their transition to higher education.
Most students take five or six years, and sometimes even longer, to earn their bachelor’s degrees at public colleges and universities. Students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely to graduate in four years.
A 2008 study found that AP students had better four-year graduation rates than those who did not take AP. For example, graduation rates for AP English Literature students were 62 percent higher than graduation rates for those who took other English courses in high school.
Because more than 3,200 colleges and universities in the United States offer credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying AP scores, AP students have the flexibility to double major or study abroad without putting at risk graduation in four years.
Students who take longer to graduate from a public college or university typically pay between $8,000 and $19,000 for each additional year. The typical college cost per year for a four-year public institution is $7,662 for in-state students and $18,529 for out-of-state students.
“I took AP throughout high school because it was the most interesting and well-taught program offered. When I reached college, I realized that I had accumulated a year’s worth of credits. I graduated from Michigan’s undergraduate business program a full year early, saving $30,000 and a year’s time.”
- Nikki Baker, student, University of Michigan
Text, graphics and quotes taken from the College Board's handout titled "AP and the Cost of College." Click here to see the handout.