DATE: February 11, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County Graduates More Likely Than Their State and National Peers to Have Earned College Credits for High School Classes in 2018 According to College Board Data
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – More than 40 percent of Albemarle County Public Schools graduates received Advanced Placement (AP) test scores in 2018 that positioned them to receive college credit for high school classes, according to data released by the College Board last week.
Advanced Placement courses were established by the College Board to deliver college-level instruction to high school students. AP classes are more rigorous than the high school curriculum and can enable high school students to earn college credits. AP classes are offered in six subject areas, including the Arts, English, History and Social Science, Math and Computer Science, the Sciences, and World Languages and Cultures.
Advanced Placement tests are scored on a scale of one to five. Students who earn a score of three or higher on the end-of-year tests often receive college credit for their work.
Among Albemarle County’s 1,048 high school graduates, 43 percent earned a grade of three or higher on at least one AP test, 50 percent higher than the average in Virginia and 83 percent above the national average.
According to the College Board, 28.5 percent of Virginia’s high school graduates met this benchmark last year on at least one AP test, as did 23.5 percent of graduates across the nation. In fact, the 43 percent level reached by local graduates exceeded the statewide rate of 32.9 percent in Massachusetts, which had the highest statewide average in the nation.
In a news release last week, the Virginia Department of Education noted that, according to the College Board, the state’s high school graduates earned more than 300,000 college credits a year ago. The Board estimated that this saved students and their families more than $140 million in college tuition costs.
This was the second time in less than six months that local students eclipsed a College Board standard for college readiness. In October, the College Board reported that the combined Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) results for the county’s graduates were 65 points above Virginia’s statewide average and 126 points above the national average.
The College Board also provides a college readiness score based on the combined SAT results and says that students who meet this measure have a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a grade point average of B or higher in their first year of college. Two out of three Albemarle County graduates met this benchmark, a percentage 13 points higher than the statewide average and 23 points better than the national average.
The College Board noted that, in addition to saving on future college tuition costs, students who take AP classes generally earn higher grade point averages in college, are more likely to graduate in four years, and have higher college graduation rates.