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AP and PACC: A Comparison

The Advanced Placement (AP) system and PACC (the Program for Advanced College Credit) are ways through which students can potentially earn college credit while enrolled at Saint Patrick High School.

The chart below helps to explain the similarities and differences between the two programs.


(Program for Advanced College Credit)


(Advanced Placement)

Offered by

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Lasallian university

The College Board, an educational testing and data collection service

Course rigor

PACC and AP courses are taught at a college-level to prepare students for the material they will encounter after high school.

Course weighting for Saint Patrick GPA

Both the PACC and AP courses have the same weight for determining a student’s GPA. An A on the PACC and AP scale is worth 5.0 points.

Faculty certification

PACC teachers hold master’s degrees in their academic subjects and serve as adjunct faculty at Saint Mary’s University.

AP course syllabi are submitted to the College Board for approval. Teachers do not need to hold master’s in their subject areas to teach AP courses

Earning credit

Students earn college credit by receiving at least a C for the final grade for the course. If a student has an A in the course, then the A appears on the college transcript. A semester or a year’s worth of effort is reflected on the transcript.

Students must take the AP exam at the end of the year to earn credit. Depending upon the score on the exam, the student may earn college credit. A student’s test taking abilities determines the score.

Is the credit transferrable?

Almost all of the universities accept PACC credit.

Credits are accepted by almost all universities, but the amount of credit awarded depends upon the score on the AP exam.


$75 a credit hour.
A three hour course costs $225 while a four hour course costs $300.

Each exam costs $89.00.

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