The Pros And Cons Of Taking Free AP Classes

February 24, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Pros And Cons Of Taking Free AP Classes

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level classes in high schools to help students prepare for higher education. AP classes are recognized by most colleges and universities in the United States, and students who successfully pass the AP exams can receive college credit or advanced placement. However, taking AP classes can be costly, and not all students can afford to pay for them. That’s where free AP classes come in.

Free AP classes allow students to take advanced courses without the financial burden. Non-profit organizations, community colleges, and universities typically offer these classes. In this day and age, where education costs continue to rise, free AP classes provide an excellent alternative for students who want to challenge themselves academically, prepare for college, and save money at the same time. This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of free AP classes, how to enroll, and provide tips for success.

How to find and enroll in free AP classes?

How to find and enroll in free AP classes? Finding and enrolling in free AP classes can be tricky, but it’s possible with some research and effort. Here are some steps to follow:

Three students talking in front of a laptop.

  • Check with your high school: Talk to your guidance counselor or AP coordinator. Some high schools partner with community colleges or universities to offer AP classes to their students.
  • Look for non-profit organizations: Several non-profit organizations offer free AP classes to high school students. These organizations include Khan Academy, College Board, and National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI).
  • Search for free online AP classes: Many universities offer free online AP courses. For example, MIT OpenCourseWare offers free online classes in various subjects, including AP Calculus AB and AP Physics.
  • Reach out to community colleges: Community colleges often offer AP classes to high school students. Contact your local community college to find out if they offer any AP courses for free.
  • Attend college fairs: College fairs are a great way to learn about AP classes offered by different colleges and universities. Representatives from these institutions can provide information on how to enroll in their AP courses.
  • Apply for scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships to cover the costs of AP classes. Check with organizations like the College Board or local community foundations to see if they offer any scholarships for AP courses.

Once you’ve found a free AP class, you’ll need to enroll in it. Follow the enrollment process outlined by the organization or institution offering the course. Make sure to meet any prerequisites or requirements before enrolling. And remember to stay on top of any deadlines, as free AP classes tend to fill up quickly.

a group of high school gathered together looking at a note

Benefits and drawbacks of taking free AP classes

Taking free AP classes comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common benefits and drawbacks of taking free AP classes :


  • Cost-effective: The most significant advantage of taking free AP classes is the cost savings. With the rising education costs, AP classes provide an excellent opportunity to earn college credits without the financial burden.
  • Academic challenge: AP courses are more rigorous than regular high school classes and can challenge students to perform at their best. Free AP classes offer a chance to push yourself academically and gain valuable critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management skills.
  • College credits: Passing the AP exams can earn college credit, reducing the time and money spent in college. This can be especially beneficial for students who plan to attend college but have limited financial resources.
  • College admissions: Taking AP classes can demonstrate a student’s academic ability and preparedness for college. Colleges and universities consider AP courses favorably during the admissions process.


  • Limited availability: AP classes can be limited in availability, and not all schools or organizations offer them. Students may have to search and travel to find free AP courses.
  • Lower quality: AP classes may not be the same quality as paid courses. These classes may have different resources, qualified instructors, or access to the latest curriculum updates.
  • No college credit guarantee: While AP courses are designed to earn college credits, colleges or universities are not guaranteed to accept them. Students must pass the AP exams and meet specific requirements to receive credit.
  • Time-intensive: AP courses require a lot of time and effort. AP classes are no exception, and students must dedicate time to studying and preparing for exams. This can be challenging, especially when juggling other academic and extracurricular activities.

The benefits of free AP classes can outweigh the drawbacks, especially for students who want to prepare for college and save money. However, students must weigh the costs and benefits of free AP classes and choose the best option for their academic goals and financial situation.

Tips for succeeding in free AP classes

Succeeding in free AP classes can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right mindset and strategies. Here are some tips for succeeding in free AP classes:

Three students sitting on the bench inside the campus.

Stay organized: AP courses require a lot of reading, assignments, and deadlines. Stay organized by keeping a planner or calendar and tracking assignments, exams, and due dates.

Stay engaged: Active participation in class discussions and activities can help you better understand the course material. Ask questions, contribute to discussions, and attend study groups or tutoring sessions.

Manage time effectively: AP courses can be time-consuming, so managing your time effectively is important. Create a study schedule that balances academic work, extracurricular activities, and personal time.

Practice self-care: Don’t forget to care for yourself physically and emotionally. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthy foods. Take breaks when needed, and find healthy ways to manage stress.

Stay motivated: AP courses can be challenging, but staying motivated can help you succeed. Set goals, reward yourself for accomplishments, and find inspiration in the course material.

Use resources: Take advantage of resources like textbooks, online study guides, practice tests, and tutoring services. These resources can help you better understand the course material and prepare for exams.

Review regularly: Reviewing class notes and course material can help you retain information and prepare for exams. Make sure to review the material regularly, and ask your teacher or classmates for clarification if needed.

Practice test-taking strategies: AP exams can be challenging, so practicing test-taking techniques can help you succeed. Take practice tests, manage your time effectively, and read questions carefully.

By following these tips, students can better prepare for and succeed in free AP classes. Remember that success takes effort and dedication, but the rewards can be significant.

In conclusion, free AP classes can be a fantastic way for high school students to challenge themselves academically, prepare for college, and save money on tuition. While there are certain drawbacks, for many students, the benefits of free AP programs outweigh the expenses.

It can be an excellent investment in students’ academic futures, equipping them with the skills and information they need to succeed in college and beyond.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.




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