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College Students Don’t Always Get Credit for AP Courses — Why Not?

While they’re in high school, students often take and pass Advanced Placement courses, thinking that doing so will earn them college credit. That thinking, however, is often wrong. They won’t necessarily get college credit for passing their AP exams.

In today’s Martin Center article, Shannon Watkins takes a look at this question, focusing on the University of North Carolina system.

While many colleges accept AP scores of 3 and above, a handful of UNC schools only accept scores of 4 or 5 — particularly for AP courses such as English literature and composition, and United States history,” she writes. That is why UNC policy advisor Andrew Kelly is pushing for a coherent and system-wide policy regarding AP acceptance.

Arguing in favor of this change, Watkins notes, “indeed, at a time in higher education where students can earn a college degree without having taken a course in American history or having studied Shakespeare in an English 101 course, opening the doors to more AP credit scores could not only save students time and money from taking a similar course twice, but it could also provide students knowledge that they may not otherwise receive.

That’s a very persuasive argument.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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