Advanced Placement: Subsidies for Testing Fees
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Advanced Placement: Subsidies for Testing Fees


Advanced Placement (AP), first established in 1955 as a program for gifted students, has seen tremendous growth since the 1990s. This database provides information on state policies and programs to support AP offerings in the states.

Subsidies for testing fees: As of spring 2007, the fee for each AP exam is $83. The College Board, which administers the AP exams, provides a $22 fee reduction to all students eligible for free/reduced lunch. A handful of states have adopted policies to earmark funds to cover all or some AP exam fees, which helps not only low-income students, but also students who wish to take multiple exams the same spring and families with siblings taking exams at the same time. Some states indicate that funds to cover AP testing fees are to be awarded only to low-income students, while other states place no restrictions on eligibility. At this time, the vast majority of states receive funds through the U.S. Department of Education's Advanced Placement Test Fee Program to cover all or a substantial portion of the AP test fees of students eligible for free and reduced lunch.

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites from April to August 2006, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted. Limited information is included on federal AP programs; for details on states receiving funding through the U.S. Department of Education's Advanced Placement Incentive Program, please visit the department Web site.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.



State subsidies for testing fees
Alabama Yes. In the 2006-2007 school year, the Alabama Department of Education is offering districts competitive grants. Grant funds are available in the amount of $82 per exam for any student who is not eligible for the federal AP fee payment program. The program also offers districts $12 per student to administer the PSAT/NMSQT to students in grades 10 and 11. "These exams provide diagnostic analyses of skills attained by students and relate student scores to the probability of success in AP courses and on AP exams."

The Department also provides funds to cover AP test fees for low-income students.
Alaska Yes. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED) covers test fees for any student whose family meets or exceeds 150% of the poverty level as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Arizona Yes. According to the College Board Web site, Arizona offers funds to cover the test fees of students eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Arkansas Yes. State authorized to pay AP test fee in full or on pro rata basis.
California Yes. A state program (repeals January 2013) awards grants to districts to cover the AP test fees of economically disadvantaged students, defined as any of the following: students whose household income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level; and students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Any economically disadvantaged student enrolled in an AP course may apply to the district for a grant. A student receiving a grant pays $5 of the exam fee.

Any district may apply for grant funds, based on the number of economically disadvantaged students in the district enrolled in AP courses who will take the next offered AP exams. If the total district applications exceed the funds available, the California Department of Education must prorate the grants based on the ratio of the total amount requested to the total amount budgeted by the state. Districts and county superintendents of schools are allowed to form collaboratives or consortia to participate in the grant program. Statute likewise directs the department to obtain federal funding to support AP test fees prior to expending state funds.

In addition, parents and students in districts applying for grant funds must be notified of the availability of state funds to cover the costs of economically disadvantaged students' AP exam fees.
Colorado Yes. A federal grant provides test fee subsidies for low-income students.
Connecticut Yes. According to the Connecticut State Department of Education Web site, the state will cover the exam fees of low-income students.
Delaware Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers testing fees for low-income students.
District of Columbia According to the College Board Web site, the District will cover low-income students' test fees.
Florida Yes. State subsidizes AP test fees regardless of whether student achieves passing score on the exam.
Georgia Yes. Statute directs the state department of education to cover test fees. In addition, a portion of Georgia's Phase II Honor State grant from the National Governors Association is being used to supplement the state's AP exam fee stipends in participating schools.
Hawaii Yes. According to the College Board Web site, Hawaii pays $47 per exam for low-income students, requiring students to pay $5.
Idaho Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers test fees for low-income public and private school students.
Illinois Yes. The state covers low-income students' testing fees.
Indiana Yes. Of five AP activities the legislature funds, statute gives first priority in AP program appropriations to covering public school students' AP math and science exam fees. In covering these exam fees, the state gives first priority to those math and science AP exams taken by students in grades 11 and 12. A Department document clarifies which math/science AP exam fees are covered by state funds (not limited to low-income students) and which are covered by federal funds for low-income students.
Iowa Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers AP exam fees for low-income students.
Kansas Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP test fees.
Kentucky Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees. In addition, the department of education offers scholarships to students taking an AP course through the Kentucky Virtual High School. Scholarships may be used to cover the cost of tuition, materials, test preparation and the exam fee.
Louisiana Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state will cover AP test fees for low-income students, and will cover $60 of the AP test fee for any student who is not low-income but who is enrolled in a Title I school.
Maine Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP test fees.
Maryland Yes. According to the College Board Web site, the state covers $38.50 per AP exam for low-income students; students must cover the $13.50 not waived by the College Board.
Massachusetts Yes. "Subject to appropriation, the board shall establish an advanced placement test fee grant program which shall award grants to school districts for the reimbursement of application fees for students based on financial need in order to assist students with paying the fee for advanced placement tests. The board shall promulgate regulations defining the standards of eligibility and other implementation guidelines for this program." According to the College Board Web site, the state covers $42 per AP exam for low-income students; students pay the remaining $10 not waived by the College Board.
Michigan Yes. The department of education covers testing fees for low-income students.
Minnesota Yes. The state must pay all exam fees for low-income students (as defined by the commissioner) in public and nonpublic schools, and, as legislative appropriation allows, "pay a portion or all" of the exam fees for other public and nonpublic students. In spring 2006, the state paid $52 per exam for low-income students and $60 per exam for non-low-income students.

Funds awarded through the state's competitive grant program for districts and charter schools to expand AP access may be used to pay course or program fees.

Mississippi Yes. The department of education subsidizes low-income students' testing fees.
Missouri Yes. To be eligible under "the Missouri Fee Payment Program, "students must be enrolled in an approved course, plan to take the appropriate exam and have either scored proficient or advanced on the same content area section of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test." Policy also clarifies that for a student to be eligible under the federal AP fee payment program, "students must be enrolled in an approved course, plan to take the appropriate exam and meet the federal definition of 'low income' ..., not to exceed 150% of the poverty level." The department of elementary and secondary education is also required to "establish a systematic process for identification and reporting the names of students eligible for aid to pay a portion of the cost of AP exam fees, ...; and an evaluation used to determine the effectiveness of the program as a whole and the program's impact upon participating students."
Montana According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees.
Nebraska According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees.
Nevada According to the College Board Web site, the state covers all but $10 of low-income students' AP testing fees.
New Hampshire According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees.
New Jersey According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees.
New Mexico According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' testing fees.
New York According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP testing fees.
North Carolina According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP testing fees.
North Dakota According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP testing fees.
Ohio According to the College Board Web site, the state will cover low-income students' testing fees.
Oklahoma Students who take more than one AP exam in a school year will have a portion of their exam fee paid by the state department of education. The state board is likewise authorized to cover a share of the AP test fee for students who demonstrate financial need.
Oregon No
Pennsylvania According to the College Board Web site, the state covers AP testing fees for low-income students.
Rhode Island No information available
South Carolina According to the College Board Web site, the state will pay $52 per exam for low-income students and $74 per exam for students who are not low-income.
South Dakota According to the College Board Web site, the state covers AP testing fees for low-income students.
Tennessee According to the College Board Web site, the state covers AP test fees for low-income students.
Texas Yes. Students demonstrating financial need may receive a testing fee subsidy of up to $25 (all students must receive same amount, subject to state board approval).

In addition, statute authorizes a student who earns a 3 or higher on an AP exam to receive up to $65 reimbursement for the testing fee. The commissioner of education is authorized to enter into agreements with the College Board "to pay for all examinations taken by eligible public school students." The state defines an "eligible student" as one taking an AP course at a public school or "who is recommended by the student's principal or teacher to take the test." However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, the $65 test fee reimbursement has never been funded by the state.
Utah Yes. "Funds are distributed on the basis of the following: the total funds designated for the Advanced Placement Program are divided by the total number of Advanced Placement exams passed with a grade of 3 or higher by students in the public schools of Utah. This results in a fixed amount of dollars per exam passed. Each participating school district receives that amount for each exam successfully passed by one of its students."

State also covers low-income students' AP exam fees.
Vermont According to the College Board Web site, the state covers low-income students' AP exam fees.
Virginia Yes. In addition, local boards must implement a plan to notify students and their parents (of public school as well as home schooled students) "the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take" AP exams.
Washington State covers all but $5 of AP testing fees for low-income students.
West Virginia According to the College Board Web site, the state will pay low-income students' exam fees.
Wisconsin Yes, in some districts. Local boards of common or union high school districts must cover the costs of AP exams taken by students eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Wyoming According to the College Board Web site, the test fee is $52 for low-income students, although if funding is available, the state may cover some or all exam costs on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.
American Samoa No information located.
Guam No information located
Puerto Rico No information located

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