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Determinants of Students' Success: The Role of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Programs

By Cecilia Speroni

Using data from two cohorts of all high school students in Florida and controlling for schools' and students' characteristics (including prior achievement), this NCPR working paper examines the relative power of Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment in predicting students' college access and success.

Both AP and dual enrollment are strongly associated with positive outcomes, but the enrollment outcomes are not the same for both programs. Dual enrollment students are more likely than AP students to go to college after high school, but they are less likely to first enroll in a four-year college.

Despite this difference in initial enrollment, the difference between dual enrollment and AP in terms of bachelor's degree attainment is much smaller and not statistically significant for some model specifications. In addition, the effect of dual enrollment is driven by courses taken at the local community college campus; there is no effect for dual enrollment courses taken at the high school