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Gov. Susana Martinez announced today that thousands more New Mexico students than ever before are taking and passing Advanced Placement courses.

AP classes are rigorous, university-level courses that give students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

“I’m so proud of our students for stepping up and taking some of the most challenging high school courses possible,” Martinez said. “When our students succeed in Advanced Placement classes, they show that they can succeed in a college classroom. New Mexico students are once again proving that when we set high standards and give them challenging opportunities, they will always rise to the occasion.”

In 2017, New Mexico students passed 6,028 AP exams. At an average of more than $200 per credit hour, New Mexico students and families could save as much as $4.26 million on college tuition costs. More than twice as many New Mexico students are taking AP courses than in 2010.

“Governor Martinez’s leadership is expanding access to and success in Advanced Placement courses in communities large and small across the state,” said New Mexico Education Secretary-Designate Christopher Ruszkowski. “We must continue to invest in tools like Advanced Placement that help our students succeed.”

Last year, the state invested more than $10 million to support AP programs in New Mexico. Additionally, New Mexico now offers more training for AP teachers and is expanding access to online AP courses so more rural and underserved students can access the program. New Mexico also provides waivers for students from low-income families that lower the cost for Advanced Placement exams to $3. Last year, nearly half of AP exam takers (4,707 students) benefited from this waiver.