|For Immediate Release:||February 6, 2019|
|Contact:||Charles B. Pyle, Director of Media Relations, 804-371-2420
Julie C. Grimes, Communications Manager, 804-225-2543
Virginia Students Again Among Top 10 in Achievement on AP Examinations
RICHMOND, Va. — Nearly three out of every 10 of Virginia’s 2018 public high school graduates demonstrated college-level achievement on at least one Advanced Placement examination, according to data released today by the College Board, the nonprofit organization that manages the AP program.
The College Board reported that 28.5 percent of the commonwealth’s 2018 graduating seniors earned a score of three or higher on at least one AP test. Nationwide, 23.5 percent of graduating seniors achieved scores of three or higher.
The following list is hidden to sighted users and is specifically to be used for assistive technologies. In summary, it is the Percentage of 2018 Graduates with Qualifying AP Scores
- Massachusetts — 32.9 percent
- Connecticut — 32.2 percent
- Florida — 31.7 percent
- Maryland — 31.6 percent
- California — 31.3 percent
- New Jersey — 29 percent
- New York — 28.7 percent
- Virginia — 28.5 percent
The percentage of Virginia graduates earning qualifying scores was unchanged from 2017 and the commonwealth ranked eighth in the nation in AP performance.
“We are extremely proud of our students’ accomplishments in Virginia, making us a national leader in college-level attainment while in high school. However, gaps for certain student groups continue to persist, so we must continue to expand access and equitable opportunities for AP achievement, especially among student groups where those gaps exist,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “I am committed to engaging with educators and policymakers — at both the state and local levels — to identify the supports and resources needed to ensure that AP participation is accessible to every Virginia student."
“In conversations with College Board representatives, we learned that the majority of the states ranked above Virginia provide additional funding to school districts that enable them to provide additional supports to students. These include funds targeted towards increasing access to AP courses and additional instructional supports for teachers and students," Lane said.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 discontinued a program that provided grants to states to subsidize AP and International Baccalaureate examination fees for economically disadvantaged students. The funds were consolidated with other grant programs and local school districts were given greater flexibility on their use.
“An exam fee should not stand in the way of a student earning college credit and potentially shaving off a significant portion of the cost of college,” Lane said. "We look forward to discussions within our agency and with state policy leaders to explore opportunities to provide support to students similar to our colleagues in other states. We must ensure equitable access for our students as well. When we have supported students through exam-fee reductions in the past, through either grants or appropriated funding streams, we have strong evidence to suggest that these strategies had an impact.”
Although colleges and universities set their own policies for awarding credit, a score of three or higher on an AP test is generally accepted as indicative of college-level work. The College Board estimates that in the aggregate, Virginia students in the class of 2018 earned more than 313,000 college credits by passing AP exams and potentially saved more than $140 million in tuition.
The 10 most popular AP courses among Virginia’s 2018 graduating seniors were — in descending order — English Language and Composition, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics, Psychology, World History, English Literature and Composition, Calculus AB, Biology, Statistics and Environmental Science.