AP Rural Access Gap Substantially Narrowing
AP Rural Access Gap Substantially NarrowingCollege Board Communications
A joint report released today from Education Commission of the States and the College Board—Advanced Placement Access and Success: How Do Rural Schools Stack Up?—shows a steady increase in Advanced Placement® (AP®) participation in rural communities over the past 15 years. As a result, the AP participation gap between rural students and their urban and suburban peers has narrowed significantly, though it is not yet closed.
The percentage of rural high school seniors who took at least one AP Exam during high school more than doubled, from 10% in 2001 to 23% in 2015. Much of the growth in participation is due to more rural schools offering at least one AP course. Between 2001 and 2015, rates of AP access for rural high school seniors increased from 56% to 73% for at least one AP course and from 42% to 62% for at least one STEM AP course. Nearly all students in urban and suburban regions attend a school that offers at least one AP course, with rates near or exceeding 90% across the past 15 years. If the rate of progress continues in rural schools, the report concludes, rural students will soon enjoy access to AP at the same rate as their urban and suburban peers.
“We must no longer let economies of scale neglect rural America. All students with the potential to succeed in AP should be able to access those opportunities,” said Trevor Packer, head of the AP Program. “This report shows that many educators are steadily removing barriers to access in rural communities, yet more work can be done. State education leaders can take action to further close the rural AP opportunity gap.”