Stetson University is the first university in the state of Florida to sign an agreement with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to provide students an accelerated path to earning their accounting degree while saving on tuition.

Incoming first-year students who have completed the AICPA-sponsored high-school accounting course and who meet an exam requirement will now receive four hours of course credit for financial accounting. The agreement goes into effect immediately and can include students from one high school in Volusia County.

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Valrie Chambers

“This gives students an opportunity to earn college credit for free while still in high school. It’s a great way for students and parents to make the most of their college dollars,” explained Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., associate professor of taxation and accounting and chair of the M.E. Rinker Sr. Institute of Tax and Accountancy.

To qualify for these free course credits, students must:

Successfully complete the AICPA’s Accounting Program for Building the Profession: Advanced High School Accounting (APBP).

After completing the course, take the AICPA-owned qualifying examination, which will be administered by their high school.

Achieve a score of 80 percent or better on the qualifying examination for Stetson to count the course for credit.

Request the AICPA submit their score to Stetson. After receiving the students’ scores, Stetson University will grant college credit for ACCT 211 – Financial Accounting, and may advance the students to higher-level accounting courses.

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Maria Rickling

“Taking this class in high school also allows students to get a step ahead before entering Stetson, as this is a core requisite class for all School of Business Administration students,” said Maria Rickling, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting at Stetson University. “We are so pleased to be an early adopter of this program and believe the benefits to students are numerous.”

Educators teaching the APBP course must receive appropriate training and must follow the prescribed curriculum for students to be eligible for the qualifying examination. The AICPA works with state CPA societies and departments of education to train high-school educators to teach the Accounting Program for Building the Profession: Advanced High School Accounting course.

Central Florida schools with trained educators include Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, and West Orange High School in Winter Garden.

High-school teachers can find more information about the course and resources at

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in 137 countries and territories, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887.