For Immediate Release: February 24, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi’s graduating class of 2020 achieved a 38.2% qualifying score rate for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, an increase from the previous year's achievement rate of 32.5%.
AP courses are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers. Every qualifying AP score of 3, 4 or 5 entitles students to earn at least three college credits at any Mississippi public university or community college.
Among the class of 2020, 20.7% (5,235) of graduates took a total of 11,526 AP exams during their high school experience, according to the College Board’s AP Cohort Data Report for Class of 2020 issued today. Though achievement on AP increased, the number of students taking AP exams declined. Among the class of 2019, 22.7% of graduates (5,801) of graduates took 13,178 AP exams.
Though the class of 2020 saw a drop in AP participation, overall, the number of Mississippi students taking AP courses and passing AP exams have both nearly doubled since 2013.
“The AP experience is an extremely valuable learning opportunity for students. It exposes students to college-level work and helps them develop the study skills they need to be successful in college,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Students who earn qualifying scores on AP exams can reduce the cost of their college education.”
Mississippi’s AP policy has the potential to save Mississippi families millions of dollars on college tuition. In Mississippi, public and private high school students earned 5,648 AP® qualifying scores of 3, 4, or 5 in 2020. These scores translate into a potential savings of close to $5 million in tuition for students and their families.
Research shows AP students are better prepared for college and more likely to graduate college in four years than non-AP peers. Students earning college credit can save what they would otherwise have to pay for another year of college.