I’m in agreement that the AP change is overkill (not the ‘money grab’ ARCH conspiracy part). 4s and 5s on APs are hard to achieve. As I recall the % of all who take a given AP test and score 4-5 is sort of low. We were taken back at first when we read that 3s were not accepted at RPI. As it later turned out we had all 5s, and this new standard would have been moot. Some schools don’t take any (Manhattan College) wanting students to learn all from the ground up. Others accept 3s and above pretty generously (SUNY Binghamton). For some this sadly will be a tie breaker.
I see the unintended consequence as it making it harder to do a dual major in 4 yrs, or being able to complete a masters in 5 years. Both options I would hope RPI would support with a better AP policy. Not to mention maybe taking a slightly lighter load during the transition to college life, or creating some room in the schedule if you need to W out of a class.
What I will say, based on my student’s experience and observations, is AP’ing out of Calc 1 and Physics 1 sounds good at 1st, but realistically, those APs are not at the college level / RPI pace, meaning the follow on classes, particularly Calc 2 (which is a challenge at any college), is a bit of a culture shock. Some students will get off to a better start taking Calc 1 and Physics 1 at RPI and likely do better later with the AP experience.