Where Should I Take AP Courses Online?

June 19, 2022

Here at College Transitions, students often ask us, “Where should I take AP courses online?” There are a variety of reasons that high school students seek out online Advanced Placement (AP) course opportunities. The most common types of students who desire a remote-based AP course are:

  • Those who wish to take an AP course in an area of interest that is simply not offered by their high school.
  • Homeschooled students.
  • Those who, in the midst of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, are seeking additional coursework for the spring, summer, or fall (as a back-up plan).

Locating the right school/organization for an online AP course is an epic challenge as there are plenty of predatory online “schools” with shoddy technological capabilities and/or instructional abilities. In contrast, the following eight schools are high-quality, reputable institutions, each of which has years of experience delivering instruction to thousands of satisfied students. Every school selected for our list meets the criteria of being a) accredited, b) generally well-reviewed, and c) affordable.

1) Johns Hopkins CTY

Price: $1,605-$1,980

Eligibility: Grades 9-12, must test at CTY or Advanced CTY levels.

# of AP Courses Offered: 18

More Info:

  • Offers individually-paced and session-based options, albeit at a higher cost than other schools on this list.
  • Courses offered in the areas of: computer science, economics, U.S. history, government, mathematics, psychology, science, writing, and world languages.
  • Methods of instruction include virtual classroom lectures, live discussions, and interactive review workshops.

2) Northwestern CTD

Price: $750-$1,215

Eligibility: Grades 9-12, 95th percentile on any normed, standardized achievement test; admission portfolio.

# of AP Courses Offered: 24

More Info:

  • Courses begin at the 15th of every month and enrollment is rolling.
  • Classes offered span from AP Biology to AP World History. Includes some that are hard to find online such as AP Physics C, AP Latin, and AP Computer Science A.
  • You can learn at an accelerated pace while “receiving personalized guidance from expert instructors.”

3) Florida Virtual School

Price: Non-residents: $475 Residents: Free

Eligibility: Grades 9-12, prerequisites vary by course.

# of AP Courses Offered: 15

More Info:

  • FLVS offers courses in art, biology, calculus, computer science, English, environmental science, geography, economics, psychology, statistics, U.S. government, and history.
  • In particular, the Computer Science A program has been around for a long time and receives generally favorable reviews from students.
  • Courses run between 16 and 36 weeks in duration.

4) UC Scout

Price: $399

Eligibility: Open, certain courses have prerequisites.

# of AP Courses Offered: 26

More Info:

  • Offers an incredible array of courses in history/social science, English, math, science, languages other than English, visual & performing arts, and computer science.
  • One of the few schools to offer AP Music Theory and AP Art History online.
  • Founded by the University of California in 2013 – courses are aligned with required high school coursework for admission into a UC campus.

5) National University Virtual High School

Price: $395

Eligibility: Open, certain courses have prerequisites.

# of AP Courses Offered: 16

More Info:

  • Courses can be completed at your own pace but you will always have access to an instructor.
  • AP courses take a minimum of 8 weeks to complete.
  • There are no hard science or CS offerings here, but NUVHS does have a nice variety of offerings in the social sciences.

6) Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

Price: $625-$875

Eligibility: Open

# of AP Courses Offered: 25

More Info:

  • Many of the courses are taught by the same highly-qualified instructors year after year.
  • You can read about your teacher ahead of time, and in many cases, select from more than one section/instructor for each course.
  • Hard-to-find course offerings include AP Studio Art – Drawing, AP Studio Art- 2D Design, and AP Latin.

7) The Potter’s School

Price: $550-$695

Eligibility: Open to all 11th & 12th graders (some courses open to 10th graders).

# of AP Courses Offered: 20

More Info:

  • Many instructors possess advanced degrees.
  • You can read the entire syllabus and all about the instructor BEFORE joining the class.
  • Most classes run from late August to early May.

8) VHS Learning

Price: $975

Eligibility: Open

# of AP Courses Offered: 24

More Info:

  • The average class size is 21 students.
  • Teachers must respond to student questions within 24 hours.
  • Courses offered include Calc AB, Calc BC, AP Latin, Physics C, and AP Music Theory.

Where Should I Take AP Courses Online – Final Thoughts

In sum, if you utilize this list to start your search for an online AP course, you can rest assured that you will end up at an accredited institution that does not charge exorbitant prices. Of course, as at any school (virtual or brick and mortar), teaching quality varies greatly so there are never any guarantees of a positive classroom experience (not even at your own high school). However, we are confident that these eight schools give you a very solid chance at uncovering a fruitful remote-based AP opportunity.

For additional online opportunities, check out the following blog: Virtual/Online Volunteer Opportunities for High School Students.