Innovation & Improvement

Advanced Placement

Parent and Student Information

Advanced Placement courses are offered to enable students to get college credit while still attending high school. The availability of and access to Advanced Placement courses vary, but they are highly desirable and rigorous academic classes. Students who take even one Advanced Placement course have a 45% higher probability of finishing college than those who do not.

In 2003, Illinois public high school students had higher overall performance on Advanced Placement exams than students from any other state. The national average of students that scored three or higher was 59.7 percent compared to 72.8 percent of Illinois students.

The Illinois State Board of Education received a Federal grant award to assist high school students who are taking advanced placement college-level exams. High school students who meet the financial need requirements as stipulated for the identification of low-income individuals in the No Child Left Behind Act of 1994 will be eligible for reduced fees for both the College Board Advanced Placement Exams and the International Baccalaureate subject-area exams. More information can be accessed at: (for AP professionals) and (for AP students and parents).

Students who are eligible for free or reduced lunches at school qualify for fee reduction on all AP Exams they take that year. The cost is $86 for each exam that will be taken in 2009. A qualifying student will receive a $22 fee reduction from the College Board, a $56 fee reduction from the state of Illinois, and the school can forgo its $8 test fee therefore the cost for the student is zero.

The free or reduced lunch status is recommended to be used as the criteria, however, there are alternative criteria: if a student's family receives assistance under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, or if a student is eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, or if the student is a member of a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150% of the poverty level as established by the U.S. Census Bureau.