More than 1,000 Schools Earn College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award
Nearly 50% of the schools honored this year earned the award for the first time
During the 2020-21 school year, 1,020 institutions earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award by achieving either 50% or higher female exam taker representation in AP Computer Science A and/or AP Computer Science Principles, or a percentage of female computer science exam takers that meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population. This is the fourth year of the award and nearly 50% of the institutions honored this year earned the award for the first time.
Of the 1,020 schools that received the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award:
- 503 schools earned the award for the first time in 2021
- 760 schools earned the award for AP Computer Science Principles
- 199 schools earned the award for AP Computer Science A
- 61 schools earned the award for both AP computer science courses
- 40% of schools earning the award have 50% or more students from underrepresented minority groups
- 19% of schools earning the award are in rural areas
“By encouraging young women to study advanced computer science coursework, these schools are closing the gap in computer science education and empowering young women to access the opportunities available in STEM career fields,” says Stefanie Sanford, College Board chief of Global Policy and External Relations. “Computer science is the foundation of many 21st-century career options, and young women deserve equal opportunities to pursue computer science education and drive technological innovation.”
College Board research about AP CSP shows that female students who take AP CSP in high school are more than five times as likely to major in computer science in college, compared to female students of similar background and academic preparation who did not take the exam. The study also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA, and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework. According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school.
These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Overall, female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 34% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 25% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 51% of high schools teach foundational computer science. The 1,020 schools that receive this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools.