AP courses are designed for students ready for college level academic work. This program is operated by the College Board which defines course curriculum, provides teacher training, and administers a national standardized examination for each course. Per South Carolina regulation, students enrolled in an AP course funded by the state MUST take the corresponding AP test. Most colleges award college credit to students who earn at least a rating of "3" out of a possible "5" on the examination. Some colleges require successful completion of AP courses for admission but do not award credits toward the college degree. Parents and students are advised to check with colleges for details. The student's grade for a high school Carnegie unit will be based on the teacher's course grades. AP courses receive an additional weight of 1.0 on the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale.

Students who enroll in AP courses take the advanced placement examination for possible college credit or reimburse the school the expenses incurred on their behalf.