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How would the student not get credit if their transcript indicates they took a more advanced level of a course and accomplished greater mastery of the subject vs a more basic level?
So I'm not a high school teacher, but I know our HS reasonably well, and I don't see the evidence of huge $$ for APs. Are the extra $$ being discussed the test fees? I am unaware of any $$ beyond that. I'd guess for calculus, the hardest part is finding HS math teachers comfortable teaching it.
I have never heard a single top school who expects applicants to take as many AP's as they can. That is simply a lie
I cannot speak for all universities, but when I worked in admissions we reviewed applications electronically. The admissions clerks entered the information we saw. At my particular college, under transcripts there was a notation of "school reported cumulative GPA" and two-year GPA (junior and senior). There was also a 'flag' that indicated whether the school weighted grades. We didn't see the actual transcript albeit we could request it (I can never recall doing so). It worked the same way with SAT scores, the clerks updating the system to reflect the highest scores earned.