Save Money on College Tip Five: Take AP Classes and Tests to Place Out of College Courses

Barry Lenson

Take AP Classes and TestsToday’s post is the fifth in a series of short tips on how to save money on college.

Today’s tip is . . .

Take AP Classes and Tests to Place out of College Courses

Do you want to save money on college and graduate sooner? Here’s a powerfully simple strategy for you.  Take AP classes and tests to place out of college courses.

What You Need to Know about AP Classes and Exams

If you’re a student who’s visiting the College Board’s website for the first time, you’ll learn that AP classes and exams can save you time and money by eliminating the need to take some college courses. How much can the AP programs help you out? And would StraighterLine courses offer you a better way to earn college credit, save money, and get a faster start on college? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are AP Exams?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program is made up of two components. AP classes that are offered in high schools and AP tests that are administered by the College Board. To earn college credits through the AP program, you need to pass an AP test and have those credits accepted by your college.

There are currently 34 AP courses to choose from. Topics include languages, history and politics, math, science, and even specialized subjects like music theory.

“Most four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores,” the College Board states. However, the process for getting AP credits accepted varies from college to college. If you want to be sure that college credits will be accepted for the tests that you take, be sure to speak with admissions representatives at the colleges where you are applying.

You cannot take AP exams online; you have to take them at a high school or other test center that has been approved by the program.

The current cost for each AP exam is $89.00.  For a schedule of exam dates, CLICK HERE.

How Are StraighterLine Courses and AP Exams Alike?

Both offer you a way to earn college credits in more than 30 subject areas.  Plus, there is some overlap in subject matter. But you will discover some significant differences too. They include . . .

  • The AP program works especially well for students who are enrolled in high schools that offer AP classes that “teach to the test.” You can also purchase books that can prepare you for the tests, or take StraighterLine courses in the subject areas where you will be taking AP tests. Yet unless you are enrolled in a high school that offers AP classes, preparing is fundamentally up to you. 
  • You need to schedule and lock in AP exam dates ahead of time. In contrast, StraighterLine courses are flexible. You can complete your coursework at your own pace – even repeat different units if you desire - then finish your course and earn your grade whenever you are ready.  The result is that the outcome of your StraighterLine courses is often easier to control.
  • You can complete StraighterLine courses anywhere. There is no need to schedule a test and travel to take it.

Related Posts
Save Money on College Tip Four: Use CLEP Exams to Place Out of Courses
Save Money on College Tip Three: Place Out of Courses and Move Up
Save Money on College Tip Two: Go to a Three-Year College
Save Money on College Tip One: Take More Courses during Every Semester You Are in School
Why Is College so Expensive?
The College Board vs. StraighterLine: Which Works Harder to Help You Finish College?
StraighterLine an alternative to Advanced Placement Courses

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