Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Share feedback related to your experience on College Confidential to help us shape future initiatives.

How does your school pay for AP tests?

WalkingTessieWalkingTessie Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
edited February 2011 in Parents Forum
How does your school pay for AP tests? Does the school pick up the tab, or are the students (families) responsible for paying for their own tests?

Beginning next year, our school will strip the "AP" designation from the transcript of any student that does not take the AP test. Currently, about 22% of our students taking AP classes do not take the AP tests, and I am guessing that cost is a factor for many.

It seems unfair to deny the opportunity of pursuing and demonstrating a rigorous curriculum to students who just can't afford to pay for the tests.

Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Thanks!
Post edited by WalkingTessie on

Replies to: How does your school pay for AP tests?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,858 Senior Member
    At both D1's public high school and D2's private high school, parents pay test fees, but at both there is a fund to pay the test fees for any student who qualifies for the free or reduced price school lunch program.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,297 Senior Member
    Students are required to pay for the test. The AP test counts as the final in any AP course. So if you can't/won't pay you can't take the class at S's private school. I am sure they funding available for those unable to pay. Money for the test is collected at the beginning of the school year.
  • rockvillemomrockvillemom Registered User Posts: 6,756 Senior Member
    Our hs collected the money for AP exams this month. Note that the fee is $87 with an $8 rebate per test going to the hs. For low-income students - the fee charged by College Board is $57 - and schools could subsidize this further if they wish to do so. So - for every 7 full pay tests - the school has collected $56 in rebates which can then be used to pay for one low-income student's test. What is your hs doing with the $8 per test rebate money?

  • Aj39vn23cf2Aj39vn23cf2 Registered User Posts: 398 Junior Member
    I'm a student, but I saw this thread and hope you don't mind my input.

    My school is ranked 173rd out of 225 in my state for the most recently released test scores. Our principal wants people to take as many AP tests as possible; he is willing to pay for every exam but the first. I assume this is because he wishes to have his students take as many tests as possible.

    If a student scores a three or higher on the exam, the money they paid is refunded, in addition to their final grade being automatically an A, no matter what it was before.

    I am taking one AP class (US History) and three other exams (Environmental Science, Biology, US Government and Politics). I (read: my parents) had to pay a $87 fee for the first test, and the principal was willing to pay for the rest. If/when I get a 3+, that money will be refunded.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    We have always paid for the AP tests at every high school, public, independent, Catholic.
  • MichMom07MichMom07 Registered User Posts: 292 Junior Member
    Students (read: parents!) are required to pay at our school, too. While it could possibly be seen as "unfair" to some families who may struggle to pay the fee(s), most, if not all, students taking AP classes are college-bound. When comparing the cost of an AP exam to the amount it may save in college tuition, it seems like a bargain to me.
  • mnmomof2mnmomof2 Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    Parents pay all AP fees at our public high school. I love my ambitious D, but this spring will be expensive! It would be easier if her APs would save her some $ in college, but, given her list, it won't.
  • rocket6louiserocket6louise Registered User Posts: 3,391 Senior Member
    My high school did not make you take AP tests, IF you did, you paid or if you were on free lunch, there were waivers/fund.

    Most kids from my HS weren't going to college and/or were poor, so they didn't force the issue

    i like the non-mandatory. The mandatory makes no sense to me. I took 5 AP classes that I did not do the exam for and am grateful I didn't have to shell out 400 bucks for them.

    If I had gone to UAlabama, I would have taken the exams, started as a sophomore, and it would have been worth it. But, at my current college (Smith) they were basically useless.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,000 Senior Member
    The family pays for the AP tests. At our school, they collect the money for the AP tests in the FALL for the spring administration of the AP tests. Students taking the AP courses are required to take the tests where we are. There is money for students who have financial need and the school will pay for those students.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,444 Senior Member
    Famlies pay for the test. Our public doesn't have many AP classes and student's are not required to take the test. Most kids do take the test. The school will pay for kids in AP who clearly have "need" just as the school will cover fees for sports participation for some kids.
  • FindAPlaceFindAPlace Registered User Posts: 4,706 Senior Member
    My S's school uses the carrot/stick approach to the AP tests. I believe there is some funding available for low income students. The carrot/stick is that if the students desires the class to be considered for a weighted grade, they must take the AP test (no particular AP score is required but taking the test is.) So, for all his AP classes (including those senior year), S took the exam with the exception of AP English Lit his senior year. If he could have gotten out of taking a lit class he would have but then he wouldn't have gotten the diploma, so he took the AP class because he liked the teacher ... but he only got her part of the time, so (for him) it was a fairly miserable time taking the class ... so now way was he taking the test because, of course, by that point it time his college acceptances were in, he was already the sal and was going into a STEM major so it didn't matter.
  • RoxSoxRoxSox Registered User Posts: 2,179 Senior Member
    My high school paid for all AP tests. There was a rumor that if you didn't show up to the test, they'd bill you, but I don't think they ever followed through with that. They cared a lot about offering a lot of AP classes and having a lot of people take the tests, but it was more to make the school look good, I believe. They didn't care about your scores and many many people failed the tests (but did okay in the classes since they were easy).
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    It is not beneficial to the school and to many of the students if many kids take the AP courses and do not take the exams. The exams are a check as to how well the teachers are teaching the course, for one thing. The other thing the AP exams do is let the colleges know how competitive the high school is. It's not going to help a student much for competitive school admissions to take a slew of AP courses senior year when the high school's track record for high scores is not there, with many kids not taking the exam.

    One of the solid things about my sons' prep school was that many colleges were well aware that the courses the kids took there covered AP materially solidly. Those kids almost all got 4s and 5s on the AP exams. So looking at a senior from that school taking a solid slate of AP courses senior year, really gave colleges a good idea of what that student's competency level was going to be. I was told that the difficulty of course load for kids at that school was nearly always a 5 out of 5, or top level.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,338 Senior Member
    Parents pay, and anyone on free/reduced lunch program has fees covered. Other families who can't afford it may ask for a fee waiver. Students must take the tests to have the AP designation appear on their transcript.

    I'm quite grumpy about it for D1, a senior who will be taking 6 AP tests this spring. She has an ED acceptance in hand. She knows that her college won't give her credit for most of her APs, or that she wants to retake the classes in college. So the testing fees are a total waste.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,627 Senior Member
    My kids' went to a Catholic high school. Parents were req'd to pay for the tests. the tests were not optional. However, AP students did not have final exams for those classes...so for many kids/families...the cost was worth it.

    Slithey...if your D doesn't take the tests...then all she loses is the AP on the transcript...what difference does it make with an ED acceptance?
This discussion has been closed.