Advanced Placement: Subsidies for testing fees


Advanced Placement: Subsidies for testing fees


In spring 2016, the fee for subject-specific AP exams is $92. The College Board provides a $30 fee reduction for low-income students, and high schools typically waive the $9 processing fee for low-income students. As of May 2016, some states are still awaiting notification from the U.S. Department of Education on the amount of federal funds available to further reduce AP exam fees for low-income students.

This data point indicates whether state (not exclusively school or district) funds are provided to supplement federal and College Board exam fee reductions for low-income students. This data point also identifies states that are reducing or waiving exam fees for non-low-income students, either generally or for AP exams in certain subject areas such as in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

Highlights:
  • In spring 2016, 29 states are offering fee reductions or waivers to low-income students. A small number of these states are extending fee reductions or waivers to non-low-income students.
  • In spring 2016, 21 states either are not offering fee reductions or waivers to low-income students, or are awaiting information from the U.S. Department of Education on whether state support will be necessary to reduce AP exam fees for low-income students.
This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites and was fully updated in 2016. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth at 303.299.3689 or jzinth@ecs.org with questions regarding state policies on this issue.
 

State subsidies for testing fees
Alabama Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $5 in spring 2016 after state, federal and College Board grants are applied.
Alaska No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Arizona Based on the amount of federal funding available, it is estimated that the cost per AP exam for low-income students, for exams taken during the 2015-2016 academic year, will be $15 - pending an award from the U.S. Department of Education for the AP Test Fee Waiver Program.
Arkansas Yes. Statute provides that, contingent upon legislative appropriation and the availability of funding, the state may pay AP test fees in full, or on a pro rata basis, and authorizes the state board to create a sliding scale for test fee coverage, based on family income.

The state will cover AP exam fees for low-income and non-low-income students in spring 2016.
California No. However, statute provides that a district may help pay for all or part of the costs of one or more AP exams that are charged to economically disadvantaged students. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $5 per exam in spring 2016 after federal, College Board, and local grants are applied.
Colorado Yes. The Advanced Placement Incentives Pilot Program established in 2014 is intended to expand access to AP classes in rural schools and enhance the participation in AP programs by students participating in the school lunch program. The program is annually limited to the first 475 students from rural schools.

Regardless of the outcome of the AP exams taken, for each student who completes an AP class and who subsequently takes the AP exam, the department must distribute to the rural school $500 to be used for various purposes, including paying the AP exam fee for each student who takes the AP exam and participates in the school lunch program, unless the exam fee is covered by a federal grant program.

In addition, while not state funded, ESCAPE (Eliminating Student Cost for Advanced Placement Exams), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides the Colorado Department of Education with funds to pay the AP exam fees of low-income students in applicant school districts.
Connecticut Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $0 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied.
Delaware Yes. For each low-income student, Delaware will provide $2 per exam. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $5 in spring 2016 after state, federal and College Board grants are applied.
District of Columbia No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $53 in spring 2016 after College Board grants are applied.
Florida No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $53 for all but AP Research and AP Seminar exams in spring 2016, after College Board grants are applied. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $100 for each AP Research and AP Seminar Exam in spring 2016.
Georgia Yes. The state pays for one AP exam (at the College Board reduced fee rate of $53.00) for all qualifying low-income students. 
Hawaii No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Idaho Yes. Public school students are eligible for $4,125 to use toward overload courses, dual credits, college credit-bearing examinations and professional certificate exams in grades 7-12. A student must take and successfully be completing a full credit load within a given school year to be eligible for funding of an overload course. Eligible overload course exams include AP exams. Application of these funds for overload courses may not exceed $225 per overload course.
Illinois Yes. Subject to appropriation, the state board of education must create, under the College and Career Success for All Students program, a program in public schools where at least 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches whereby fees charged by the College Board for AP exams are waived by the school, but paid for by the state, for those students who do not qualify for a fee waiver provided by federal funds or the College Board.

Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Indiana Yes. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) covers the full exam fee for English, math, and science AP exams taken by 11th and 12th grade Indiana students enrolled in the corresponding course offered by accredited public and nonpublic schools. These exams include: Biology; Calculus AB; Calculus BC; Chemistry; Environmental Science; Computer Science A; Physics 1; Physics 2; Physics C, Electricity & Magnetism); Physics C, Mechanics; Statistics; English Language and Composition; and English Literature and Composition.

In addition, AP exam fees are not to be charged low-income students. According to a department memo, the federal 2015 AP Test Fee Grant will be utilized to cover most of this cost for non-math or-science AP exams taken by eligible students, and state funds will be used to cover the remainder.
Iowa No. While statute provides for a fee remittance for AP exams, funds have not been appropriated for this purpose. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Kansas No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Kentucky Yes. One of the purposes of the science and mathematics advancement fund is to pay public school students' fees for AP exams in math and science.

However, for free and reduced-price lunch students not covered by the science and mathematics advancement fund, the student's school and/or district pays the $15 not covered by federal and College Board grants and school waiver of school exam rebate. Students should not pay the $15 fee.
Louisiana Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $0 in spring 2016 after $12 state [pending availability of funds] as well as federal and College Board grants are applied, for up to three AP exams per low-income students.
Maine No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Maryland No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016, after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Massachusetts Yes. Subject to appropriation, the board of elementary and secondary education must establish an AP test fee grant program to award districts grants for the reimbursement of exam fees based on financial need. The board must promulgate regulations defining the standards of eligibility and other implementation guidelines for this program.

2015 H.B. 3650 makes a $2.7 million appropriation for 2015-2016 for a competitively bid, statewide performance based, integrated program to increase participation and performance in AP courses, particularly among underserved populations, to prepare students for college and career success in STEM and English. These funds must support a number of program elements, including support for the costs of AP exams.

Low-income students who are not supported by the programs identified above will pay $15 in spring 2016.
Michigan Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $5 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied.
Minnesota Yes. By statute, the state must pay exam fees for low-income public and non-public school students, and to the extent of the appropriation, pay a portion or all of the exam fees for other public and nonpublic students. Low-income students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $0 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied. After a $40 Minnesota Department of Education reimbursement, non-low-income students will pay $43 or $52 in spring 2016, depending on whether their school waives the $9 school rebate.
Mississippi No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016.
Missouri No. While regulation establishes the Missouri Fee Payment Program to defray AP test fees of students not eligible for federal or College Board fee reductions, the legislature has not made any appropriations in the recent past to support the program.

Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016.
Montana No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $16 in spring 2016.
Nebraska No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $53 for all but AP Research and AP Seminar exams in spring 2016, after College Board grants are applied. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $100 for each AP Research and AP Seminar Exam in spring 2016.
Nevada Yes. 2015 S.B. 515 appropriates $3 million in fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 and $5 milllion in FY 2016-17 for a college and career readiness competitive grant program. A portion of these funds are intended to support establishing new AP programs or expanding existing programs, with a focus on underserved populations in rural and urban Nevada. $273,750 of these funds are earmarked to pay test fees as well as increase participation for an additional 3,000 students. Funds may be used to pay for test fees for additional students or supplement the federal AP Test Fee program for low-income students.

Independent of these grant funds, students who qualify for a fee reduction under the federal AP test fee program will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
New Hampshire Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $10 in spring 2016 after $5 state funding per exam, and federal and College Board grants, are applied
New Jersey Yes. A combination of local, state, federal and College Board subsidies make AP exams available at no cost to low-income students in spring 2016.
New Mexico Yes. A combination of local, state, federal and College Board subsidies will make AP exams available to low-income students for $3 in spring 2016.
New York Yes. A combination of federal and other subsidies result in AP exams at $14 for low-income students.
North Carolina Yes. Statute provides that to the extent funds are made available for this purpose, public school students must be exempt from paying any fees for administration of examinations for advanced courses and registration fees for advanced courses in which the student is enrolled regardless of the score the student achieves on an examination.

Low-income and non-low-income students will pay $0 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied. This applies both to subject-area specific AP exams, as well as AP Research and AP Seminar Exams.
North Dakota Yes. Per a March 2016 announcement, for economically disadvantaged students, the state will cover the entire exam fee for up to 4 exams in English, math, science or computer science over the student's high school career. For non-economically disadvantaged students taking AP exams in these subjects, the state will cover the exam fee for the student's first qualifying exam, and will cover 50% of the exam fee for the following 3 qualifying exams over the student's high school career. These exam fee waivers extend to private school, Bureau of Indian Education, and home school students.
Ohio No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Oklahoma Yes. Students who take more than one AP exam in a school year will have a portion of their examination fee paid by the state department of education. In 2016, non-low-income students taking 2 or more exams pay $67 per exam. In addition, a combination of local, state, and College Board subsidies make the cost of AP exams $10 for low-income students, regardless of the number of exams a low-income student takes in a year. More details here.
Oregon Yes. A combination of local, state, federal, and College Board subsidies result in AP exams at no cost to low-income students in 2015-16. In addition, AP exams are available at $33 to private school students qualifying for test fee reduction, and, as a result of state funding, $59 to public school and home school students who do not qualify for the test fee reduction.
Pennsylvania Yes. Public and private school students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied
Rhode Island No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
South Carolina Yes. Low-income students will pay $0 in spring 2016 after grants are applied; non-low-income students will pay either $0 or $9 if the school does not forego its rebate.
South Dakota Yes. A combination of local, state, federal, and College Board subsidies result in three AP exams at no cost to low-income students in 2015-16.
Tennessee No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.

2013 legislation created a two-year pilot to determine whether covering AP exam fees increased the number of students pursuing completion of rigorous course work and passing AP exams. In accordance with the legislation, the office of research and education accountability, in the office of the comptroller of the treasury, submitted a report to the legislature in late 2015 on the outcome of the pilot.
Texas Yes. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $7 in spring 2016 after state, federal, and College Board grants are applied.

In addition, statute authorizes:
  • A student earning ≥ 3 on an AP exam to receive up to $65 reimbursement for the testing fee. The reimbursement must be reduced by the amount of any subsidy awarded by the College Board. However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, the $65 test fee reimbursement has never been funded by the state.
  • A student demonstrating financial need to be entitled to a subsidy for an AP exam fee paid by the student. On approval by the state board, the state education agency may pay each eligible applicant an equal amount, not to exceed $25 for each applicant.
Utah Yes. Under the Enhancement for Accelerated Students Program, the state board distributes appropriated funds to school districts and charter schools in accordance with a state board-determined formula. The distribution formula may include an allocation for AP test fees for students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch who take an AP test and have applied for the AP test fee reduction. Under state board regulation, all LEAs are eligible to apply for the Enhancement for Accelerated Students Program funds. The distribution formula includes an allocation of money for AP courses, whereby the total funds designated for the AP Program are divided by the total number of AP exams on which students earned ≥ 3 score. Each participating LEA receives that amount for each exam passed by one of its students.

The state board must develop criteria to measure the effectiveness of the Enhancement for Accelerated Students Program and annually report to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee on the program's effectiveness. The report must include data showing the use and impact of money allocated for AP test fees of eligible low-income students. Under state board regulation, all LEAs receiving program funds are required to submit to the state office of education an annual evaluation report that includes, among other metrics, the number of AP classes taken, completed, and exams passed with a score of 3 or above by identified students. 

Low-income students whose districts and schools are not involved in the Enhancement for Accelerated Students Program will pay $53 in spring 2016 for each subject-specific AP exam, and $100 for each AP Research and AP Seminar exam, after College Board grants are applied.
Vermont No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Virginia No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied. 

School districts must notify students and their parents of the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take AP exams. In addition, school boards must notify home school students and their parents of the availability of AP exams and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take these exams.
Washington Yes. Subject to funds appropriated for this purpose, the Academic Acceleration Incentive Program is intended to enhance access to dual credit courses, including AP courses. One-half of appropriated funds are to be allocated by the office of the superintendent of public instruction on a competitive basis to provide one-time grants for high schools to expand the availability of dual credit courses. Funds may be used to support exam fees.

Low-income students whose schools are not involved in the Academic Acceleration Incentive Program will pay $15 per exam in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
West Virginia No. Students who qualify for a fee reduction will pay $15 in spring 2016 after federal and College Board grants are applied.
Wisconsin While not state support, districts are required to cover test fees of low-income students. After the College Board's $30 fee reduction and school foregoes its $9 rebate, districts pay $53 per exam for low-income students.
Wyoming No. Many districts offer AP test fee reimbursements, but these are not administered by the state.

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