Amazing Potential

AP courses offer students many early advantages to their college careers

Matthew+Paszkiewicz+focuses+on+AP+coursework+in+the+AP+Lounge.+

Cassidy Waigand

Matthew Paszkiewicz focuses on AP coursework in the AP Lounge.

Cassidy Waigand, Staff Writer

The wide variety of AP courses offered to Fox High School are recommended by teachers and students alike. Despite the change in difficulty level most students face, there are many positives that come out of the program.

One such benefit is the college credit that can be earned by taking the AP test at the end of the course. The cost of college is a struggle for many people. Besides paying for the courses themselves, college students are also faced with paying for books and other supplies the classes may require. Even in programs such as CAP, students are required to purchase books and other supplies, and this cost can quickly grow.

“Whereas the AP test at most will cost you about 95 dollars,” Tyson Sigette, the AP computer science teacher, said, “the price changes slightly every year.” Even with the slight fluctuation in price however, the AP courses still offer students a more affordable way to get ahead with college credit. That advantage, Sigette admitted, was a very important goal. “Our goal is to try to send students [to college] with at least 15 credit hours. That would be five AP courses, or other courses that offer college credit, if you start college with at least 15 credit hours of college your chances of success are skyrocketing.”

Junior Payton Kostich also saw the financial benefit that there is to be gained by taking AP courses. She said that “college credit is really great because I don’t want to go into too much debt.”

Besides the credits that can be gained by taking the courses, AP also offers students a chance to prepare for what college will be like. “The difficulty level is kind of intense especially when you are not used to it,” Kostich said, “but once you get the hang of it, you learn you actually have to study for stuff.” So, in the long run, even though AP classes may seem harder, they are a beneficial way to prepare for what the stress of college will feel like. Overall, Kostich believed that the AP courses “give me an opportunity to challenge myself.”

Sigette agreed. “The benefits of taking AP classes are to get a student ready for college. Fundamentally ready to answer higher level thought questions, and not only to do well but to excel above other students who are going to college that did not take AP,” he said. “A lot of times in a regular class there is going to be a right or a wrong answer and students can memorize ‘hey this is the right answer I can write it down on a test I can get a good grade’. With college level work, and in this case AP, a lot of times it comes down to there is no right or wrong answer, it’s what do you think and how well can you justify your answer.”

Because of this more challenging aspect of the course, some students may not take AP. “A lot of students believe that the AP program is just for the smart kid but it’s really not. The AP program is open to everyone. Yes, there is a lot of hard work in it, but the rewards for that hard work are tremendous,” Sigette said. He also added that many “students that suffer from a lack of self-confidence.”

In the end though, it is important for any student who is considering taking AP courses to remember a couple of things.

One such thing is to remember to be confident in your work. “It’s being able to justify yourself and having that confidence and going I can do this because we’re asking what do I think,” Sigette said. Besides this, it is important to understand that the AP teachers are ready to help any student who is willing to take the extra time. “I see the AP teachers come in early, stay late, always willing to work with people who are willing to work. And it’s that mind set of I can, I can do this even if I never took harder classes before because ultimately everyone can succeed,” Sigette said.

Kostich also pointed out that students taking AP have access to the AP Lounge, and this can be a very helpful asset to keep in mind while going into the courses.

So overall, the AP courses offer many benefits to students who are planning on attending college. Even if a student does not wish to take AP classes in math, language arts, science, or history, there still may be a class they are interested in. “We have a large offering of AP classes here and honestly I couldn’t begin to list them all,” Sigette said. So in the end it is an option that many people at Fox High School would recommend.