Awarding college credit for AP exam scores of three (3) is the nationally recognized standard. Awarding college credit for scores of 3 is a researched-based standard validated by independent state-led research in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida and recommended by the American Council on Education. Each of these states implemented the policy years ago, studied it and found a score of 3 to be the right standard for awarding credit.
Increase public college-persistence and graduation for all Illinois students. HB 3428 will incentivize high schools to offer the more rigorous AP courses. It also benefits students by giving them a head start on earning college credit. Students who pass the AP exams are more likely to graduate from college on time.
Make higher education more affordable. Students would no longer have to repeat a college course they mastered in high school allowing them to graduate with less debt. This uses state resources more effectively so taxpayers don’t pay for the same course twice.
Keep the brightest kids in Illinois – and recruiting others. Fourteen states (including WI, OH, IN and MN) have this policy. Thousands of Illinois students choose public colleges in other states with AP equity policies. Keeping our brightest kids keeps Illinois competitive.
The Chicago Tribune reported that over 30,000 students left Illinois to attend college in other states in the fall of 2010. For example, the University of Wisconsin System sent a recruitment letter to students in 2012 who took Advanced Placement exams stating that, “If you receive a score of 3, 4, or 5 on your AP test, our campuses will grant college credit for those courses. In most cases, this will reduce the number of college courses you will need to complete (and pay for) in pursuit of a UW degree.”
Students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically:
Earn higher GPAs in college
Perform as well as or better in subsequent college courses in the exam discipline than non-AP students who took the corresponding introductory college course
Take more — not less — college course work in the discipline
Are more likely to graduate college on time in four years
Have higher graduation rates
In the last decade, AP participation and performance rates have increased significantly in Illinois.
99,171 Illinois students took an AP exam in 2014, an increase of 38 percent over five years.
115,964 AP exams in Illinois earned a 3 or higher, an increase of 39 percent over five years.
Participation by all groups in Illinois has increased, with the number of exams taken by African American students increasing by 45 percent over five years and Hispanic students increasing by 100 percent over five years.
Performance (students with scores of 3 or higher) increased for all groups in Illinois, with African American students increasing by 65 percent over five years and Hispanic students increasing by 89 percent over five years.