High schools cut AP classes
Admissions process unaffected
AU's admissions process continues to evolve as high schools nationwide drop their Advanced Placement programs.
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools initiated their current wave of AP course cuts from the curriculum because professors felt their students might benefit more from a curriculum "that teachers say puts less emphasis on memorization and test preparation," according to U.S. News and World Report.
A high school's decision to stop offering AP courses will not put its students at a disadvantage as long as applicants show that they are still taking the most competitive courses they can, according to Brett Berkowitz, assistant director of AU's admissions office.
"Because not all high schools offer the same opportunities, we really can't compare applicants with each other anymore," he said. "They're not on an equal footing."
Every transcript the admissions office receives with a school report describes what classes the school offered, Berkowitz said.
"If they're coming from a school that doesn't offer APs, then we'll know that and take that into consideration," he said.
Bridget Joyce, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she disagrees with the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools' decision.
"I took six AP classes in high school and they were definitely the most beneficial and challenging classes my high school offered," she said.
Joyce said that while some of her teachers centered their courses on the AP test, she still thoroughly learned the material and had the opportunity to save money and earn college credit.
"AP classes are beneficial because they give kids a chance to earn college credit while getting the full high school experience without having to leave during the day to go to the local university or community college," she said.
Casey Clark, a freshman in the School of International Service, said AP classes are not equivalent to college courses.
"High schools should drop APs," she said. "It's more beneficial for high school students to take real college classes at their local colleges because these courses are more focused on actually learning the material than just being able to recite it back for one test at the end of the year."
Clark said that while she agreed that earning college credit that transferred to AU was valuable, other classes at her high school were more worthwhile.
"The honors and elective classes that I took at my high school were just as challenging as the AP classes and I learned so much more from them," she said.
Regardless of whether high schools should keep AP programs, college admissions offices will have to continue finding ways to even the playing field for all applicants, Berkowitz said.
"We'll just have to adjust," he said. "Like all the other universities who are running into this problem, we'll all just have to adjust."
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