Staff Editorial: AP scare unfair

If you are taking Advanced Placement courses specifically to reduce the amount of credits you will have to take once in college, or to have specific classes waived during your first year, be aware that every college treats these credits differently.

Finding a school that will accept your hard-earned AP credits could become a challenge, especially when each school is allowed its own policy regarding transferable credits.

For instance, Dartmouth College, a member of the Ivy League, will no longer be accepting AP credits.

Run by the College Board, the AP program includes more than 30 courses in languages, history, calculus, and science.

If colleges — led by a credible Ivy League like Dartmouth — begin to reject AP credits, high school students will not be as inclined to take the courses.

Horacio Romero Castillo, undergraduate admissions intern at Dartmouth, said that taking the most advanced classes will better a student's chances of being admitted to any college. In most cases, those classes are AP.

The College Board has an AP credit index on each college's policy information. But currently, many colleges will continue to accept the credits under fair circumstances.

According to policy information from the University of California, Los Angeles, AP classes are important in the college admission process. UCLA's specific policy is as students should expect. Students receive college credit for AP exams with scores of three or higher, and can be placed in higher-level courses.

While many colleges stress the importance of AP classes, some have begun to place restrictions on them, which unfairly impacts students, and does not abide by their expectations.

Santa Monica College students who plan to transfer to Dartmouth will be forced to face this reality. Worse, students should be prepared for other colleges to mimic Dartmouth's policy change, potentially affecting SMC transfers.

Students are encouraged by colleges to take classes that are almost equivalent to college level work while in high school. Course credit should be rewarded to prospective first-year students who pass their APs.