Evaluating Texas' Success in Providing AP Access to Disadvantaged Students

Singleton, Rebekah
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College is a valuable resource often vital for upward mobility. As college becomes more common, so, too, does the issue of access. The literature shows that passing AP exams is an indicator of future success in post-secondary education. AP courses that properly prepare students for AP exams are not equally accessible to high school students, though, especially for minority and disadvantaged students. I decided to evaluate what access to AP courses looks like in Texas, specifically by disadvantaged student status. To do this, I compared AP exam praticipation in high schools by student type, then further compared those AP participation rates to SAT and ACT exam participation in high schools. I found that disadvantaged student populations take AP exams at a lower rate than their peers, and AP exam participation is generally positively correlated to entrance exam participation. AP courses that prepare students for success on AP exams can positively impact students' college readiness. As such, they should be made more accessbile, especially to disadvantaged students.