Cost Shouldn’t Keep Students From Taking AP Exams

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Media Outlet: Slate

Lindsey Tepe wrote for Slate about the benefits of online textbooks:

This summer, news headlines have trumpeted new data showing the rapid increase of students taking Advanced Placement computer science courses. During the 2016–17 school year, more than 111,000 students took the class, up from more than 54,000 during the 2015–16 school year. Even better, unprecedented numbers of young women and students of color are taking the end-of-year exams. And it’s not just computer science—across the board, AP STEM course enrollment has been growing.
At the same time, the cost of these tests have increased for many students. In the past, low-income students received subsidies from the federal government that covered the majority of their AP test fees, now set at $93 per exam for students. But beginning in 2017, the Every Student Succeeds Act cut those funds. Some states have made up the difference, but others have not been able to find the additional dollars to ensure all students can afford to take their tests. While the College Board continues to reimburse about one-third of the test cost for eligible low-income students, only about half of states are now offering any further financial assistance for students.

Author:

Lindsey Tepe is a senior policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the Learning Technologies project and PreK-12 team, where she focuses primarily on innovation and new technologies in public schools.