Advanced Placement ®

Advanced Placement® courses offer students the opportunity to earn college credit by taking rigorous courses in high school. Students who demonstrate mastery of the material on a national standardized end-of-course exam – a score of 3 or higher out of 5 – may be eligible for college credit for the course. 

Research suggests that students who complete AP® coursework are:

  • Better prepared for college-level work
  • Stand-outs in the college admissions process
  • More likely to continue beyond their freshman year in college
  • More likely to graduate within 4-5 years
  • More competitive in qualifying for scholarships

With AP®, students can get a feel for the rigors of college level studies while they still have the support of a high school environment. When students take AP courses, they demonstrate to college admission officers that they have sought out an educational experience that will prepare them for success in college and beyond. 

Performing well on an AP Exam means more than just the successful completion of a course. Research consistently shows that students who score a 3 or higher typically earn higher GPAs in college and have higher graduation rates.


AP® Incentive:

  • AP aligns the Core Four Diploma course sequence with the TOPS core sequence.
  • AP ensures students going to four-year colleges have taken a true college prep curriculum and have every chance to receive TOPS.
  • AP Creates incentives for students to take more rigorous AP courses by giving courses approved by the state additional weight in the calculation of the TOPS GPA.
  • The new cohort graduation index recognizes a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP® exam as the highest level of achievement earned by a cohort graduate. Each student with at least one AP® score of 3 or higher will earn the maximum 150 points toward the graduation index. Students who take an AP® exam and earn a 1 or 2 on an AP® exam will receive 110 points toward the graduation index.

AP® Physics I and II Advisory

At its meeting of June 21, 2017, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved changes to the TOPS University Diploma as it pertains to AP® Physics I and AP® Physics II such that a student can meet high school graduation requirements by taking either course and that each course will be given a full Carnegie Unit of credit.

PLEASE BE ADVISED that this change does not apply to TOPS eligibility requirements. Students who chose to use AP® Physics I and AP® Physics II to fulfill their TOPS Core science requirements for a TOPS Opportunity, Performance or Honors award must take and earn credit for both AP® Physics I and AP® Physics II.Students completing and earning credit for both courses will receive 2 units of the required 4 units of science required for TOPS. If a student only takes one of these courses, he/she will not receive any credit towards the two units of science electives required for TOPS.

View more information and options that satisfy science requirements for both the TOPS University diploma and the TOPS Core Curriculum here.

Please email HighSchoolAcademics@la.gov with questions.


Funding Options for Advanced Placement (AP®) Programs

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Federal AP® Test Fee Program will not be renewed, which means that districts and schools will need to offset the prior federal exam subsidy with funds from the options outlined below, if they choose. To ensure that low-income students are not adversely affected by the changes in ESSA, the Department recommends that schools and districts use a combination of funding options to provide exam subsidies for low-income students, as was intended by the changes made to ESSA.

By subsidizing the AP® exam fees for eligible public school students, schools and school districts will ensure that all students have access to opportunities to earn postsecondary credit at minimal cost. In addition, these subsidies will help increase the likelihood that low-income students apply for, attend, and succeed in college. If districts and schools choose to fully replace the federal exam subsidy amount, then they should budget $53 for each eligible AP® exam.

View more information on available funding options for AP® Programs here.

Please email HighSchoolAcademics@la.gov with questions.


AP® in the news…

Louisiana Students Earning College Credit up 10 Percent

LA Dept. of Education Releases 2017 AP results

DeSoto continues improvement in AP coursework

Lafayette High leads parish on Advanced Placement exams, scores

3 Caddo schools to offer new AP capstone courses this year