Policy Questions for Higher Education

We’ve compiled a checklist of questions to consider as you begin your policy review.

These questions are based on the experiences of other institutions that have conducted their own policy reviews. The first set of questions is designed to help you frame your AP policy in the context of your overall institutional goals. The second set provides practical guidance for reviewing your policy.

Your AP Policy and Your Institution

  • What factors are of priority importance to your institution in terms of higher education goals — recruitment, retention, facilitation transfer, improving completion rates? How could your AP credit/advanced placement policy support these goals? Read more about AP and enrollment.
  • Are you using AP Exam information to recruit students to specific majors, departments or colleges?
  • Does your institution recognize AP achievement beyond offering credit and placement? (For example, engaging AP students as peer-to-peer tutors, offering them leadership opportunities or providing scholarships to students earning qualifying AP Exam scores.)
  • Has your institution conducted any research to correlate your students’ AP Exam scores to their performance in subsequent courses? Learn more about conducting an AP research study.

Your AP Credit and Advanced Placement Policy

  • Which AP Exams does your institution recognize for credit and/or advanced placement?
  • How much credit is awarded for qualifying scores on each exam? Does this vary by exam score? Does this vary by a student’s intended major or the program in which the student is enrolled?
  • What type of credit is granted for a successful AP Exam score? For example, does the credit satisfy requirements for the student’s major, general education requirements or electives?
  • Is there a cap on the number of credits that may be earned through AP in a particular subject, department or within the institution overall?
  • How does your AP policy compare to your policies for accepting credit transferred from another institution or program (for example, International Baccalaureate or dual enrollment)? Is there parity in how your institution recognizes transfer credit and proficiency demonstrated through assessment?
  • How often is AP policy evaluated or revised? Does this vary by department or school?
  • Who is the key contact for students if they have questions about your AP policy? Is your AP policy included in first-year advising discussions?
  • What are the procedures involved for managing AP scores sent to the institution and how are the scores received? (For example, do you receive scores on paper or electronically?)
  • How do you communicate your AP policy to current or prospective students? (For example, is your credit policy available through your website, course catalog and intranet?)