National Funding for AP Exam Fee Waivers Slashed
Funding for AP exam waiver fees was cut from $43 million to $29 million during the 2011-2012 school year. The smaller fee reductions will impact low-income students, who will now pay $15 for the first three exams and $53 for each exam thereafter.
As the exams approach in May, more students will be forced to search for alternative sources of funds to pay for AP exams.
In May 2011, 91,009 low-income students took 160,605 exams. College Board predicts that 29,000 students within America will avoid taking the test entirely due to inability to meet financial need.
“It’s been rough to get by so I’m trying to get an education and fix that, but it’s even rougher when I have to put out more money that I can barely even spare,” says Bryan Cao (’13).
College Board plans to increase aid for such exams from $22 to $26 to meet the normally $87 exam.
Within California, a state program provides further financial aid to low-income students. For those schools and distracts that participate in the program, low-income students can pay $5 for the first three exams. Any test paid for after the first three will cost $53.
However, students within districts that don’t participate in the state program must pay the entire $15 per test, which may be enough to deter them from taking the test altogether. Some schools have begun to allow students to pay the exam fees in small installments rather than all at once.