With an AP credit, a student can skip that course.
"We do not like to see our students getting shortchanged or graduating from our institutions without the best education that they can possibly get," Fourkas said.
One flaw in their argument is their idealized view of introductory college courses. On many college campuses, introductory courses are not as sophisticated as those at Georgetown and Maryland.
And during that first year of college, many undergraduates are enjoying the freedom of being away from their parents and aren't as motivated to study as when they were high-schoolers hoping for good grades to impress colleges.
But Fourkas and McCann show colleges are hurt by one of the greatest weaknesses of public high school education - the lack of required research projects, even for the best students.
IB students and private school students must do long papers. But the vast majority of high school students don't have that requirement and arrive at college unable to appreciate the research skills that the best introductory college courses teach.
Fourkas said that "professors and high-school teachers are all on the same team, and the goal of that team is to give the best education we can to our students."
Here is a possible joint venture: Why don't the professors help the teachers persuade public high schools to teach research with required projects?
That might raise the quality of the first year of college in a way that would please AP teachers who see the students off and the college instructors who greet them.
Mathews is education writer for The Washington Post.