right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

how to calculate college savings from AP Math/Science courses

zbuffalo12zbuffalo12 0 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
edited May 6 in Engineering Majors
Hello,

Could someone please help us with calculating savings thru credits from below AP Math/Science for an out-of-state college?

1. If DD takes AP Calculus BC scores a 5?
2. Will each of the AP Physics A, B and Mechanics (which includes Calculus) and a score of 4 or 5 further help savings?

Regards
zb
edited May 6
34 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: how to calculate college savings from AP Math/Science courses

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6713 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    AP courses typically don't help with costs at all. It will help place a student into a higher class if a school accepts AP credits, but generally speaking for engineering majors, the course sequences are such that it will still take the full 4 years to graduate.

    For my D, the AP courses are helping her have room for a minor and a concentration.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77216 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 6
    It can be really hard to know without a specific college and major in mind.

    For a set of AP scores to shorten the number of semesters to graduation:

    1. The college needs to grant enough credit units for the AP scores toward the number of graduation to reduce the remaining number by a semester's worth.

    2. If the major has a large number of subject requirements (and/or the college has lots of general education requirements) or a long sequence of prerequisites, the AP scores may need to be allowed to apply to some of those requirements or prerequisites.

    For many students, the effect of using AP scores would be to allow taking higher level courses and/or additional free electives in place of requirements that the AP scores are allowed to fulfill.

    If early graduation is desired, try writing a shorter than 8 semester schedule for the given college and major, taking into account what the AP scores are allowed to fulfill, and what courses are offered each semester (sometimes, a sequence of courses is offered only in specific semesters, so that one needs to get a full year ahead to graduate early, and getting a semester behind can mean graduating a year instead of a semester late).
    edited May 6
    · Reply · Share
  • RichInPittRichInPitt 672 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    College costs are very much a step-function, not a smooth linear progression. You either attend and pay for a semester or you don't. Taking one or two fewer classes, taking higher level classes instead, taking electives, etc., don't change the cost at all.

    The only way AP tests can save money is by allowing a student to graduate a full semester, or more, early. That's difficult to do in many programs. My D, for example, brought in more than a semester's worth of AP and dual enrollment credits. But it does nothing for the 6 course sequences of Thermo/Statics/Fluids/etc in the engineering curriculum. Sure, she can place out of Calc and Physics first semester, and get general ed credit for other courses. But that just lets her move a few courses earlier and free up some space for electives, or lower course-load when things get really tough Jr and Sr years. Regardless of the number of advanced classes, she's not going to start the standard sophomore sequence as a freshman.

    So there's really no way to "price" an individual AP course in real dollars. If you make the assumption that you'll graduate a semester early, then take half the yearly cost and divide it by the number of AP credits (which had better be 8-10+). And that's still a big assumption.
    · Reply · Share
  • scubadivescubadive 1091 replies3 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It depends on the school in terms of them granting credits. Choosing wisely both ap’s and dual enrollment credits and colleges (usually publics) and major you can save anywhere up to two years in tuition. There are many variables. BC calc is generally 6-8 credits. Physics 1 and 2 are generally free electives 3-4 credits each. Physics C depending on whether you take one exam or the two exams would be 4-8 credits.
    · Reply · Share
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8894 replies78 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    In some cases, there could be money saved. But there is value to taking AP classes regardless of the credit outcome.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77216 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 7
    scubadive wrote:
    Physics 1 and 2 are generally free electives 3-4 credits each. Physics C depending on whether you take one exam or the two exams would be 4-8 credits.

    For an engineering major, AP physics 1 and 2 are useless for fulfilling requirements, and credit may not be given due to duplication of material with college physics courses (or AP physics C). Similarly, if the college does not allow AP physics C to fulfill requirements, then credit may not be given due to duplication.

    Also, if the student repeats AP credit with the college course, s/he may get credit only once due to duplication.

    The most optimistic scenario with these three (calculus BC, physics C mechanics) AP scores would be three courses worth of credit, typically about 12 credits, which is less than the 15 or 16 credits normally taken in a semester to graduate in 8 semesters.
    edited May 7
    · Reply · Share
  • lemonlululemonlulu 214 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    you will be surprised some flagship state univ can give you 30 credits all various AP class but some top 200 state univ would not grant any AP credits.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3717 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My son got credit towards electives but still took the Calc and physics track and is a semester ahead so he can take less classes (which he doesn't) and he is specializing (which he is) but also frees up time to be very involved in his community, work etc.

    Also just because you can doesn't mean you should place out... This might be debated but for an engineer student having a great foundation of Calc and physics is crucial for understanding their field going forward.
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6713 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My D got credit for AP Physics C (both for mechanics and E&M) but physics was built into her engineering design classes so there was no skipping it. She did place into a higher calc course, and came in with enough AP/DE credits to be considered a second semester sophomore, but again, it wont help her graduate any earlier, just have more flexibility for minors and concentrations.

    I do agree with the above poster who said the value in AP courses is to be better prepared for the rigors of college.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77216 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Knowsstuff wrote:
    Also just because you can doesn't mean you should place out... This might be debated but for an engineer student having a great foundation of Calc and physics is crucial for understanding their field going forward.

    However, a student should not automatically repeat his/her AP credit either, because that would be a waste of time and tuition if s/he knows the material well.

    If the student will take courses for which the AP credit is allowed to replace a prerequisite course, the student can try the college's old final exams for the course that may be skipped with AP credit, so that the student can assess his/her knowledge of the course by the college's standards. Then the student can make a more informed decision about whether to take the more advanced course, take the more advanced course after reviewing a few things, or retake the course and forfeit the AP credit.
    · Reply · Share
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8894 replies78 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    One huge benefit to taking AP Calc and Physics in high school is that it an help validate (or not) a student's preference for Engineering major.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5541 replies121 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's a little unclear what you are actually asking. Do you want to know if it's worth taking the classes in the first place? If it's worth paying the money to take the tests? How the credits can be used?

    The answer to the first question is certainly yes, if for no other reason than what @colorado_mom suggested. It's the first chance to see if a student will really like the nuts and bolts of engineering.

    The latter two are completely institution dependent. Some do not accept APs. At the ones that do, they have varying utility.

    What school(s) are you looking at?
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28790 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you can find a school that takes AP credits generously, and you have a lot of them, it is possible to graduate a semester or even a year or more early. Huge savings.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5541 replies121 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 8
    @cptofthehouse, due to the sequential nature of most engineering curricula and the complexity of capstone projects, this is typically not the case. The engineering prerequisite path starts with Physics (well actually with the calculus to get into the Physics series, but most students who ask about lots of AP credit have at least AB under their belts). About the best one can do is test out of the first Physics class by taking AP Physics C. That advances them one term. AP and DE credits are still very valuable for the reasons listed above, but much of the credit tends to be used on GEs.
    edited May 8
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3717 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yep.. Most of my sons credits went to GE.

    One engineering school that is very generous on AP credit it University of Illinois. They take anything above a 3.
    · Reply · Share
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1610 replies9 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I believe that the benefit is in the ability to either pursue a lighter load certain semester if needed or better yet, plan to enroll in a minor.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5541 replies121 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Or use the excess capacity to start taking graduate classes early and get a BS/MS (that's what my son did).
    · Reply · Share
  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1239 replies38 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our D has a friend who graduated in 3.5 yrs from state flagship in Dec. in engineering due to AP and dual enrollment courses.

    He's 21; making $70K and pretty happy with that in the midwest. For this kid, he was smart and had merit scholarships that reduced the tuition price to begin with; so his AP credits didn't provide a lot of savings; but it saved him time.

    A few thoughts:
    ++You'll see more savings from AP classes at a school that charges by credit hour rather than by semester.
    ++ You can google the colleges you are interested in and see what type of AP credit transfer they give. The higher the ranking/ the more elite, the less AP Credit it seems. Then, look at the majors in those colleges and see which AP credits are allowed by major.

    For my son, 2020, we already know that the engineering college he's looking at will only take one AP credit for English. If he gets passing scores (4 or 5) in the next two years, only one AP counts. His AP history classes - same thing. Only one AP history will count towards an engineering major; the other is just credit that he might not use; no $ savings for two.

    It's like a puzzle; we've made spreadsheets to help figure out which of his HS AP class options will translate into actual savings at our state flagship. People here will say to take the AP tests and get the credit no matter; and I agree; because you never know if your kid will change majors or switch colleges.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77216 replies672 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Knowsstuff wrote:
    One engineering school that is very generous on AP credit it University of Illinois. They take anything above a 3.

    https://admissions.illinois.edu/Apply/Freshman/college-credit-AP indicates that many AP scores, particularly 3, count only as generic credit (e.g. 3-4 on AP physics C mechanics = "Physics 2--") versus specific course credit (e.g. 5 on AP physics C mechanics = "Physics 211").
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6713 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Purdue is similar. They'll take generic credits but it's much stricter what can be used for STEM courses required for FYE and one's major.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity