Advanced Placement

Rigor. Relevance. Success.

Des Moines Public Schools has a long and successful history of providing students with access to high-level, rigorous Advanced Placement courses, a program of the College Board. In fact, Central Academy is regarded as one of the top AP programs in the nation, with more students recognized as AP scholars than any place in Iowa. Each year, AP students in Des Moines earn thousands of hours of college credit – along with millions of dollars in scholarships – as they prepare for studies at top colleges and universities in Iowa and across the nation.

In addition to Central Academy, Des Moines Public Schools is in the midst of a major expansion of AP course offerings at all five high schools. This will make AP courses available to thousands of students in Des Moines, providing a significant advantage to students planning to continue their education after high school.

To learn more about our program’s vision and goals, please visit: ap.dmschools.org

Parents and students: Want to learn more? Please visit: http://ap.dmschools.org/parentsstudents.html

Why AP?

Several studies point to success in higher education enjoyed by students who experience AP courses while in high school. A few examples include:

  • Most students take five or six years, and sometimes even longer, to earn their bachelor’s degrees at public colleges and universities. Students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely to graduate in four years. Students who took the AP English Literature course and exam in high school had a 4-year graduation rate 62% higher than students who did NOT take an AP English course and exam in high school. (“College Outcomes Comparisons by AP and non-AP High School Experiences.” Linda Hargrove, Donn Godin, and Barbara Dodd, The College Board, 2008)
  • Students who take longer to graduate from a public college or university typically pay between $8,000 and $19,000 for each additional year. Students attending private institutions who take longer than four years to graduate might expect to incur $26,197 for each additional year it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. (“Trends in College Pricing,”Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2008-09. )
  • College Admission and Scholarships Taking AP increases eligibility for scholarships and makes candidates more attractive to colleges.

In addition, to learn more about the differences between the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs offered at Des Moines Public Schools, be sure to download and read Comparison of AP and IB.

Advanced Placement

Amber Graeber

Address: 901 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
P: 515-242-7947 | F: 515-242-7702 | E: amber.graeber@dmschools.org