Amid news of the weakening rupee, students hoping to study abroad will have one new avenue to count on — the advanced placement (AP) programme.
The programme, administered by the College Board in the US, allows high school students to take undergraduate-level courses while in school itself. Earning credits this way, students can graduate earlier, saving both time and money.
Students will now have the option of sitting for the AP exams with two centres in the city. While one privately-run centre, AP Guru, has already enrolled 45 students, the United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF) is also expecting to have its centre ready from May this year.
Until now, only a couple of schools in Mumbai offered AP but only for their own students. However, the new centres are open to all. Any student of Class 10, 11 or 12 is eligible to enroll. “The earlier you finish the course the better. This way I will save five or six months and at least Rs8 lakh to Rs9 lakh,” said YashTulsani, 17, who will appear for the AP exams in May. Students can choose to take the AP exam in one or more courses of their choice. Those appearing for the exams from Mumbai will have their papers assessed by the College Board.
“It’s a factor that goes in to getting admission,” said Chirag Arya, founder of AP Guru. “It helps students to take offbeat courses, and is a standardised exam across the world.”
Students who were able to take the AP exam last year through their own school –—Cathedral is one of the few in the city offering the exam privately — say it gives them an edge. “It was very useful, especially given the current dollar rate,” said Sneha Arya, 19, a second year student at University of Texas at Austin. “I’ll be saving both time and money by graduating a semester early.”
It also allows students to fit better into the undergraduate system abroad. “The APs made it easier for me to understand what was going on in class,” said Aparna Pande, 19, a second year student at Cornell University.