District AP test pricing structure changes

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Isabella Abraham, Reporter

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Advanced Placement students will have to pay $96 per test starting this year. The district will cover the cost of the AP exams for students on free and reduced lunch.

Administrators considered the policies of local districts when making this decision.

“The district determined this was the policy we would follow after researching different options,” Janet Anders said. “We looked at local districts as well as like districts around the state in making our decision.”

Although the new policy forces students to pay for the exam, AP class numbers have not suffered.

“The new policy is not affecting our enrollment in AP,” Director of Advanced Academics, Janet Anders said. “We continue to have a high number of students taking our AP courses.”

With 987 students taking 1550 AP courses this year, AP proves the most popular choice. Over the past couple years, student enrollment in these courses has seen a steady increase.

“I see a lot of kids who are trying AP, probably for the first time, more this year than I have in the past years,” AP World History teacher, Samantha Cates said. “There are a lot of kids, this year, who have never taken an AP class and are trying it out, and that’s awesome to see.”

AP teachers believe the high price accounts for the possible college credit students can receive.

“Students are receiving so many benefits from that one fee,” Deshaun Dotson, AP chemistry teacher, said. “They receive exposure to the content, guided coaching from the AP teacher, and potential savings by gaining college credit or helping you be successful the first time when you do take it in college.”

Whether or not students actually earn the credit, depends on their university.

“I’ve had many students not only get the credit for the lecture, but also get the credit for the lab,” Dotson said. “On the flip side, several students have told me that their university recommended they take a certain course just in case.”

This year, students have the choice to take the test.

“It isn’t mandatory that every student takes the test, but it is our expectation that students do,” Dotson said. “When both teachers and students put in the time and effort required in an AP course, there is no reason not to take the exam.”

Even though the tests are pricey, teachers encourage students to take the AP test.

“I do believe that the price of the test is not only reasonably priced, but fair for our students considering all that goes into preparing for it,” Dotson said. “At the end of the day, they get to practice before really going into that environment.”

Update as of 1/18/18: Students will be reimbursed $100 for each AP test they achieve a four or five on.