About the Iowa Online AP® Academy (IOAPA)

The University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education has made a concerted effort since 2001 to bring AP® and advanced learning opportunities to all high schools in Iowa.

IOAPA seeks to enhance advanced course offerings in the state of Iowa through four main components:

  1. Offering online AP® and advanced courses
  2. Online AP® exam review
  3. Professional development for AP® teachers
  4. Above-level testing

IOAPA provides Iowa students who are in schools without a traditional AP® course the opportunity to enroll in online AP® coursework through Apex Learning without paying the $350/student course fee.

During the 2017-2018 school year the completion rate for all IOAPA courses was 94.2%. (Retention rate for all online learning opportunities is 20%-50% nationally). The passing rate in Fall 2017 was 91.1%. The passing rate in Spring 2018 was 87.2%.

2017-2018 IOAPA Registered Schools and Number of IOAPA Students by County


IOAPA also provides Iowa students with access to the AP® Exam Review at no cost. During the 2017-2018 school year, there were 498 student registrations for online AP® Exam Review.

IOAPA provides professional development grants for teachers to participate in the College Board-approved Advanced Placement® Teacher Training Institute at the University of Iowa. During the summer of 2018, 90 teachers attended the institute and 26 grants were made available for Iowa teachers to attend.

The Belin-Blank Center's academic talent search program, Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS), offered in-school, above-level testing using the 8th grade I-Excel test to students in 6th grade, so that schools and students could use the information to determine readiness for advanced learning opportunities in middle school, thus paving the way to Advanced Placement® participation in high school.

IOAPA Annual Report

Timeline of History and Funding of IOAPA

IOAPA timeline

Click on the image above to enlarge.

Selected Sources Related to IOAPA

The College Board. (2014). 10th Annual Report to the Nation. http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-to-the-nation-two-page-spread.pdf Accessed on: August 28, 2014.

The College Board. (2014). 10th Annual Report to the Nation: Iowa State Supplement. http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-iowa.pdf Accessed on: August 28, 2014.

Iowa Department of Education. (2013). The Annual Condition of Education Report. http://publications.iowa.gov/17090/1/2013ConditionOfEducation.pdf Accessed on: August 28, 2014.

McKillip, M.E.M. and A. Rawls. (2013). A closer examination of the academic benefits of AP. The Journal of Educational Research. 106:4. 305-318. DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2012.692732

Theokas and Saaris. (2013). Finding America’s missing AP and IB students. The Education Trust.

Wilson, H.E. and J.L. Adelson. (2012). College choices of academically talented secondary students. Journal of Advanced Academics. 23(1). 32-52.