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Aug 26, 2016 10:01 AM EDT

Can AP Courses Help Students Pay For College?

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Paying for college is not easy. Even while in high school, students should think about how they will be financing their higher education in the foreseeable future.

It was previously reported that 90 percent of families expect that their student will get a bachelor's degree while 54 percent said that they are expecting a graduate degree. It's always best to start saving for college early, frequently and wisely.

While it is good to apply for prestigious colleges, academic programs and financial details should be taken into consideration. There are various factors that could make college affordable or not.

One factor is taking up Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. According to U.S. News, these courses not only provides real-life college-level academics experience to students, these also give them a chance to amass credits before graduating from high school. This may save students money on college tuition in the long run.

"AP classes mimic college courses in the requirements, the workload, and what's expected of the students," Gaye Weintraub, a tutor from Texas, said. University of Texas-Austin allowed her to place out of nine hours of freshman coursework because of her AP credits.

AP courses in high school are offered in a variety of subjects like chemistry, music theory, physics and calculus. At the end of each course, students are given the option to take a standardized, 5-point exam.

Getting a score of at least a 3 usually allows a student exemption from taking the same course again in college. This varies by university and subject, though.

"In the best possible scenario, it could save you a year of tuition," Steven Goodman, an education consultant and college admissions strategist for TopColleges.com, said.

It does not mean that students should take as much AP courses as they can. Finding a balance is key.

Parents should look out for their kids who may be experiencing academic burnout because of piling on too many AP courses. "Be excited about the AP curriculum, but it's not the be-all, end-all," Goodman added. "It's good, but it's not necessarily the best for every student."

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