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Report: More low-income students getting a higher ed head start


More Michigan kids are making college dreams come true while still in high school. That's according to a new report that finds the number of low-income Michigan pupils taking Advanced Placement coursework has increased eight-fold over the past ten years.

According to Trevor Packer, who heads up the College Board's AP program, there is still much work to be done when it comes to reaching low-income pupils, but he says the results show just how much potential all kids have for learning.

"While ideally they would have had great, high-quality educational experiences from infancy, it's not too late necessarily to help students who are behind in sixth grade begin to catch up and get ready for this type of rigor," he said.

AP coursework is accepted for placement and credit at many universities for students who score well on AP exams. Those exams are free for low-income Michigan students, thanks to subsidies from the College Board and the federal government.

Packer said the success of the AP program in Michigan can also be attributed to strong support from the state's colleges and universities. He noted that more than 100 professors from across Michigan provide input on AP course work and help score the exams.

"And that sends a really powerful message to students, that if they do this work it's going to count for something in college, it's going to matter to college professors, it will help the students move through college at a reasonable pace and earn their degrees on time," he declared.

Packer said pupils who take AP courses in high school typically go on to earn their college degrees a full year sooner than those who don't.

The full report is available at CollegeBoard.org.