Opportunities for students in Illinois to take AP courses and complete AP exams are unequal across the state. According to the “Chicago Tribune,” “In DuPage County, Lisle High School offered two AP subjects, while a few miles down the road, Glenbard West High School had 25. In Will County, Lincoln-Way East High School’s roster included APs in 20 subjects — from Latin: Vergil to statistics — while Reed-Custer High School said it offered one AP class, in Spanish. And in Chicago Public Schools, Marshall Metropolitan High School offered no AP courses this year while Lane Technical High School had 27 subjects and Whitney Young Magnet High School provided a smorgasbord of 26.”
This disparity in AP courses in Illinois is by no means unique to the state. So what if you’re a student at a school in Illinois that doesn’t offer the AP courses you’d like to take? Take the courses online through a program like Aventa Learning, The Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, or K12 Inc.
Read the College Board’s guidelines on taking AP courses virtually so as to ensure that you’re using a program that meets the College Board’s standards. And don’t forget to put as much effort into the course(s) you take online as you do towards your regular courses. You can typically arrange to take the actual AP test at your school and it’s important to do well on the exam for the course(s) you took online. In the end, college admissions counselors will love to see your demonstrated love of learning. Your high school may not have offered the best coursework and so you augmented your education with AP coursework online.