AP Awards: What are they? Do they make a difference in college admissions?

AP Awards: What are they? Do they make a difference in college admissions?

What can you do with great scores on your AP Exams? Well, other than report them to colleges (which is optional–no one ever has to know about the 1 you got on Calc AB) and make your high school look good, you can actually win awards, or in rare cases–money! Weird, right? I didn’t know that AP Awards even existed until I got one in the mail after I graduated high school. Maybe it’s just me, but AP Awards are pretty low-key. That said, they still exist! The different types of AP Awards are as follows:

AP Scholar Awards As described by the CollegeBoard, “The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams.” You do not get any sort of scholarship or money with this AP Award, but the CollegeBoard acknowledges your achievement on any score report that you send to colleges. Keep in mind that earning an AP award won’t help with college admissions unless you earn it before your senior year. Here are the different levels of AP Scholar Awards and their respective criteria:

  • AP Scholar minimum score of 3 on three or more AP Exams
  • AP Scholar with Honor average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken AND minimum score of 3 on four or more AP Exams
  • AP Scholar with Distinction average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken AND minimum score of 3 on five or more AP Exams
  • State AP Scholar one male and one female student in each state and DC with minimum score of 3 on the greatest number of AP Exams AND highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken
  • National AP Scholar students living in the US with an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken AND minimum score of 4 on eight or more AP Exams
  • National AP Scholar (Canada) students living in Canada with an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken AND minimum score of 4 on at five or more AP Exams
  • National AP Scholar (Bermuda) students in Bermuda with an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken AND minimum score of 4 on five or more AP Exams
  • DoDEA AP Scholar one male and one female student attending Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools with the the highest average score on the greatest number of AP Exams AND minimum score of 3 on three exams
  • International AP Scholar one male and one female student attending a school outside of the US/Canada that is not a DoDEA school with the highest average score on the greatest number of AP Exams AND a minimum score of 3 on three or more exams

AP International Diploma The Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID) is a special kind of AP Scholar Award. The CollegeBoard describes it as “a globally recognized certificate for students with an international outlook.” The APID is only for students attending school outside of the US and for US students applying to universities out of the country. Many international universities use the APID and recognize AP exam scores in the admissions process. In order to earn an APID, students need a minimum score of 3 on at least five AP Exams. Additionally, the CollegeBoard requires that the scores must be distributed among different subjects according to this criteria:

  1. Two exams from two different languages selected from English and/or world languages. This includes: English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, French Language, German Language, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Italian Language and Culture, Chinese Language and Culture, and Japanese Language and Culture.
  2. One exam designated as offering a global perspective. This includes: World History, Human Geography, and Government and Politics: Comparative.
  3. One exam from the math/science content areas. This includes: Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C: Mechanics, and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism.
  4. One or two additional exams from any content areas excluding English and world languages. This includes: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, US History, European History, Government and Politics: US, Psychology, World History, Human Geography, Government and Politics: Comparative, Art History, Latin Literature, Latin: Vergil, Music Theory, Studio Art: Drawing, Studio Art: 2-D Design, and Studio Art: 3-D Design.

For more intimate details about the APID, see this.

Siemens Awards for AP Getting 5’s on at least two math/science exams can qualify you for a scholarship! One male and one female student in each state scoring the greatest number of 5’s on at least two of the eligible exams are awarded a $2000 scholarship. In addition to the state winners, one male and one female student are awarded a $5000 scholarship as national winners. The eligible exams are:

  • Biology
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics C: Mechanics
  • Statistics