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More high schoolers are taking AP classes

More Minnesota high school students are taking rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses than ever before, and those course offerings are paying off — both academically and financially.

A new report released by the College Board showed that Minnesota high school students posted passing scores on 42,031 AP exams in 2013 alone, earning 126,093 college credits free of charge. With an average rate of $348.93 per credit hour, those passing scores helped save Minnesota students and their families nearly $44 million.

The College Board 2014 AP Report to the Nation showed the number of Minnesota students who have taken an AP exam before leaving high school has nearly doubled over the last decade, growing from 9,256 in 2003 to 17,482 in 2013.

The number of students who have posted passing scores on these exams has also doubled, from 5,882 in 2003, to 11,497 in 2013. Nearly 32 percent of all Minnesota high school students who graduated in 2013 had taken at least one AP exam.