Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 •
Advanced Placement: State Provides Scholarship Incentives for Achieving Certain Scores

Advanced Placement (AP), first established in 1955 as a program for gifted students, has seen tremendous growth since the 1990s. This database provides information on state policies and programs to support AP offerings in the states.

State provides scholarship incentives for achieving certain scores: Many students take AP courses without sitting for the year-end AP exam. To encourage students to take and do well on AP exams, three states — Arizona, Massachusetts and Minnesota — include performance on AP or other specified exams among the eligibility criteria for state-supported college scholarships.

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites from April to August 2006, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or

State provides scholarship incentives for achieving certain scores
Arizona Yes. The state offers a tuition waiver valid at state universities for one full year following graduation from high school (renewable for up to 4 additional years based on university-determined criteria). Eligible students must meet three sets of criteria:
(1) Complete 16 "Core Competency Courses" with at least a "B" OR earn an acceptable score on the AP test or a "4" on the International Baccalaureate (IB) test for that subject area.
(2) Meet GPA or class rank requirements.
(3) Exceed standards on all 3 AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards) tests OR exceed standards on 2 AIMS tests and earn at least a "3" on any two AP tests or at least a "4" on any two IB tests.
Massachusetts Yes. A candidate for the Certificate of Mastery must attain minimum scores on one of the following sets of assessments:
(a) Two SAT II exams;
(b) Two AP exams;
(c) One SAT II exam and one AP exam;
(d) One SAT II exam and one Other Achievement; or
(e) One AP exam and one Other Achievement.

Students must earn at least a 3 on an AP exam or a "score on an SAT II exam determined by the Department to be comparable to a score of three on an AP exam where there exist SAT II and AP exams in the same subject area." Students earning a Certificate of Mastery receive a tuition waiver to state postsecondary institutions for up to 8 semesters, provided students maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA.
Minnesota Yes. The Achieve Scholarship offers up to $1,200 to high school graduates who completed a rigorous high school curriculum and meet various other criteria. One of the four means by which students may meet the "rigor" requirement is by completing at least AP or International Baccalaureate courses and scoring at least "3" on the AP exams or "4" on the IB exams.

© 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy