College AP acceptance law goes into effect for upcoming school year

Cassidy Foronda, staff reporter

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Illinois public colleges must grant credit to Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores of 3 or higher beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, as mandated by a new law passed August 2015.

According to College Coordinator John Klasen, it was passed to amend prior inconsistencies among universities, whose policies differed on AP scores and the credit to be rewarded for them.

“I think [the law] allows students to more confidently take [AP tests] and receive those scores with […] knowledge of what credit is going to be given,” Klasen said.

In addition to added transparency, the law was also passed to make higher education more accessible within the state.

“Students can use [the new law] to their benefit to try and shave off a few credits,” Klasen said. “With the rising cost of college, it could be very beneficial.”

In regards to the law’s assets, Principal Lauren Fagel sees it as an added advantage to already existing reasons for students to take AP classes. According to Fagel, because of this, the new law will have little effect on current AP enrollment.

“There [are] so many things to gain from an AP course,” Fagel said. “I think the kids who know about the law will probably already be in AP classes.”

According to senior Tommy Barrett, the law is fair because it recognizes the effort put into the courses. He says that a 3 is sufficient to prove that a student understands the coursework.

“I think any big standardized test [doesn’t] really reflect how hard a student can work—it’s just a one and done kind of thing,” Barrett said. “I think it’s more important to look at a GPA and how a person can work.”

While the law sets a standard for AP score policy, according to Klasen, universities still have power over the value of credits earned.

“I think you lose some of that transparency,” Klasen said. “It’s going to cause some questions in terms of where [a] student stands with [a] score of 3 or higher.”

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