One of those students is a Central Arkansas high school senior who is in the running for a national scholarship.
Nickolas Brooks, 17, is a semi-finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. The program is for black high school students. This year 1,600 have made the semi-finals.
"I feel accomplished, I'm very thankful that God has given me the ability to do what I do," Brooks said.
Brooks, who attends Mills High School, is hoping to go to Vanderbilt. He believes his AP Chemistry class has prepared him for the future, he hopes to become a chemical engineer or biomedical engineer.
AP classes give students a taste of what it is like to pursue undergraduate degrees. Those who qualify in math, English and science courses don't have to take prerequisites in college and that can translate into saving on tuition costs.
Brooks is slated to take his college board tests in November. He expects he will hear about the scholarship winners in January 2013.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards the scholarships. It is a privately financed competition that was established in 1964. The corporation will give out 800 scholarship awards worth more than $2.5 million, according to a news release from the corporation.