Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Charol Shakeshaft


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Virginia school divisions’ policy of paying the fee for students to take Advanced Placement exams on Advanced Placement course enrollment, the number of Advanced Placement exams taken by students, the average scores earned and the percent of students earning qualifying scores of 3, 4, or 5 on Advanced Placement exams. The hierarchical regression models utilized Advanced Placement scores and school demographic data provided by the Virginia Department of Education combined with survey data on Advanced Placement policies and the number years that exam fees had been paid collected from school principals, directors of counseling and division officials. School level demographics considered in the analyses included school size, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and school achievement. Advanced Placement enrollment and the number of exams taken increased significantly over the period of study while the average scores and number of qualifying scores earned by Virginia students remained unchanged. The payment of exam fees by Virginia school divisions had no impact on the change in Advanced Placement participation. Average scores and percent of qualifying scores earned on Advanced Placement science exams fell over the study period, though participation grew in line with the overall Advanced Placement participation. No significant differences in the change in Advanced Placement participation or scores were observed based on the underserved minority enrollment of schools, however both enrollment, average scores and qualifying scores on Advanced Placement exams fell significantly as the percent of students qualified that for free and reduced-lunch programs at a school increased.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

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