Likewise, students who took Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses were more likely to persist in college, even when those students failed the end-of-course test. Those low-achieving, low-income students were 18 percent more likely to return for a second year at four-year colleges and universities, and 30 percent more likely to return at two-year schools.
Students who had higher GPAs and spent more time on homework also returned for a second year of college at a higher rate, according to the study.
Discussion is urged
Jim Hull, a Center for Public Education policy analyst, said the study was intended to identify factors that high schools can control. A wide range of factors predict how a student fares in college, he said.
Hull said he hoped the study would lead to a greater discussion about the value of Advanced Placement courses and high school counselors, who help students determine which courses to take and discuss with them how those choices might affect their academic careers.
“This is really a call to action to invest more in our high school counselors, so that we can get more out of our investment in our students,” he said.
"This is really a call to action to invest more in our high school counselors, so that we can get more out of our investment in our students."
— Jim Hull
Center for Public Education policy analyst