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Louisiana Students Continue Making Strides in Advanced Placement

Wallis Watkins

For the fifth straight year, the number of students in Louisiana earning Advanced Placement credits has increased. More than 6,500 students gained college credit from their 2017 AP exams. 

“Only 6,600 students in 2012 even took an Advanced Placement test. We’ve more than doubled that number over the course of five years," says John White, State Education Superintendent.

Those five years are significant, since 2012 is when Louisiana overhauled its public education system.

There was a 10% increase in students earning AP credit since last year. White says one segment of the student population improved even more.

“African American students who for years reflected very little access to AP courses, this year gained 17% in terms of the number of students earning college credit through AP. And over the course of the last five years have grown 197%," notes White.

While more Louisiana students are taking AP exams and earning credit for them, credit earners were less than 8% of the state’s total high school graduates in 2016. That ranks next to last in the nation, where the average is nearly 22%.

AP Exams are scored from one to five. Students who score three or higher gain college credit for the course. And in the long run, every college credit earned in high school can be considered savings.

White explained “the credits earned this year by Louisiana’s 6,500 students mean they’ll save upwards of $7 million combined in tuition and fees expenditures that they otherwise would have had to have made in college.”