Illinois students could get credit for lower AP scores

Posted4/22/2015 5:30 AM

Illinois students could receive college credit for lower test scores on their Advanced Placement exams under a plan from a suburban lawmaker.

Legislation introduced by state Rep. Carol Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, would require public Illinois colleges to give credit to students who score a 3 or higher on one of the Advanced Placement exams.


Now, students usually can get college credit with scores of 4 or 5.

Sente says the proposal would make Illinois universities more attractive to students if they accept lower scores.

"The students that are taking AP classes and tests, they're highly motivated and bright individuals. We want to encourage them," Sente said. "They are generally dual majoring and going on to take advanced degrees. We want those great minds in our state."

But state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, argued this will lower state university standards.

"We have very well-known universities around the world because we are known for our standards," Ives said. "And if you look at the University of Illinois, they already have an entire outline of what they will or will not accept for AP credit."

The proposal has also faced scrutiny from public universities that say they already have a system in place for determining AP credit and shouldn't be mandated by the state.

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Despite pushback, the proposal was approved by the Illinois House Tuesday and will move on to the Senate.

A 3 on an exam would not be counted toward courses in a student's major but would be applied as general education or elective credits.

An analysis attached to the plan says it could save college students money in tuition as they can "bypass costs associated with earning those credits."

"This bill is ridiculously reasonable," said state Rep. Mark Batinick, a Plainfield Republican. "This is the first step in a long journey toward the affordability of college education."

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