SHERMAN, TX -- A Sherman high school program has received national recognition for the eighth year in a row.
The Washington Post has ranked Sherman High School's AP program as one of the top programs nationwide.
Officials at Sherman High School say their program has grown significantly in the past decade and they say more of their students are going to college already knowing what to expect.
Sherman High school is ranked one of America's most challenging high schools by the Washington Post.
The Post released a list of the top 2,000 public schools and Sherman High School is in the top eight percent.
AP coordinator and teacher, Diane Clark, says the advanced placement program is growing and more students are enrolling in AP classes.
"This year we're giving over 500 AP tests, whereas 10 years ago we were giving about 150, so the program has definitely increased," Clark said.
Clark says schools are chosen based on the number of AP tests given, divided by the number of seniors graduating that year.
She says Sherman also foots the bill for students taking AP tests, some of which cost more than $80, a price many families couldn't afford without help.
"Without AP classes they can't compete at Rice, at UT and some of those colleges and get into the programs that they want to get into, so AP gives them that leg up," said Clark.
Clark says AP classes also give students a taste of what college will be like, and senior, Sam Pitts, who's taking 7 AP classes this year agrees.
"The advanced system has given me an insight to what I might be doing," Pitts said. "For instance taking the AP macroeconomics class this year has got me interested in economics."
Pitts is attending UT next year and says AP classes also helped him learn to prioritize and be more efficient.
"Having a good studying habit is definitely something important in life and really develops a good work ethic being in so many AP classes and having to work so hard," said Pitts.
Clark says about one-third of their students are involved in the AP program and that number grows each year.