Impactful AP Policies

Encourage and support your AP teachers and coordinators by creating policies that aid participation and promote engagement.

Leadership Policy Changes 

New leadership provided the opportunity to make a district-wide shift around the expectation of providing AP courses at every high school and tying district goals to Advanced Placement.  

WHY: To allow more students to have the opportunity to take challenging coursework, not just those at the highest performing or largest high schools.  


  • Provide strong administrative support to remove barriers to increase not only the number of AP offerings, but also the number of students enrolled.  

  • Set a district goal of offering a set minimum number of AP courses in every high school.  

  • Proactively work to change the attitude of teachers who don't encourage all students to take AP.  

CREATED BY: Jersey City Public Schools 

AP Teacher Development Program 

Provide district- or state-wide professional development and ongoing support to new AP teachers and schools that are expanding their AP program.  

WHY: To expand access to AP courses for all students within the state, not just those who attend the state’s largest high schools. 


  • Put on subject-specific weekend workshop retreats for AP teachers.  

  • Host 1-day exam preparation workshops a month before AP Exams, designed to help AP teachers make the exams less intimidating for their students.  

  • Promote that all workshops will count towards continuing education units.  

CREATED BY: Maine Department of Education 


“Teachers go back to their school after a mentoring workshop and feel more confident. Not only are they more comfortable teaching their own course, they return to their school saying, ‘We need to offer more courses, we need to open up the doors to kids.’” — Brendan Murphy, AP Calculus Teacher, John Bapst Memorial High School 


AP Policy Levers  

Whether creating a school, district, or state-level policy, consider these ideas to support increasing access to earning college credit and advanced placement.  

WHY: To set policies that encourage more participation and better support for students taking AP.  


1. Subsidize student exam costs to make some or all AP Exams free for low income or all students.  

Example: Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina make AP Exams free for all students. Georgia covers the first AP Exam for low-income students. Many other states partially subsidize AP Exam fees for some or all of their students.  

2. Require students taking AP courses to complete their exams, especially if funding allows for exam costs to be covered. 

Example: Arkansas requires students to take the AP Exam to receive additional GPA weighting, and in Florida and South Carolina, many schools require students to take the AP Exam. These states cover the cost for all AP Exams. 

3. Set a district or state-wide standard around GPA “bumps” for AP course and/or AP Exams to give a standard weight/increase.  

Example: Virginia requires that districts give extra GPA weight to AP, but leaves the details to the districts. 

4. Require high schools to offer a minimum number of AP courses.  

Example: Arkansas high schools are required to offer at least four AP courses. Beginning in 2024-25, all Oklahoma high schools must offer at least four AP courses. 

5. Allow students to use their AP score as a substitute for their end-of-course or high school exit exam.  

Example: New York has a policy that allows a score of a 3 or higher on certain AP Exams to serve as a substitute for the Regents Exams.  

CREATED BY: In most of these examples state legislatures designated funding to support a policy administered by the state departments of education. 

Supporting Resources  

  • Federal and State Exam Fee Assistance: Review details by state for those who use federal and state funding to further reduce the exam fee for students who are eligible for a College Board fee reduction.

  • District Administrators: Key information to support AP in your schools this year. 

  • Online Communities: Our online communities support AP coordinators and AP teachers across all AP courses.