Beginning this year, Charles County Public Schools will no longer pay upfront for students’ Advanced Placement testing. The decision, handed down by the Board of Education in May, requires all students to pay for their testing, instead offering a reimbursement for those students that score a 3 or higher.
The College Board, the publisher of all AP tests, is asking students to pay $91 for each of the three-hour tests that they take, a small rise in cost from previous years. If the student cannot pay the cost of their tests, they may be eligible for a $29 fee reduction, according to the College Board website. In the case of a fee reduction, the individual school forgoes a standard $9 payment for administrative costs, dropping the test to a total of $53 for the student.
In addition, if students are not able to take the test for any reason on the date that it is scheduled, they must pay a $45 late fee. Valid reasons include vacation, illness, having two tests scheduled at the same time or a death in the family.
Students that are home-schooled, go to a school without an AP coordinator or do not go to school in Canada or the United States at the time of taking their AP test will pay $121 for their tests.
If students receive a bad score on a test, are not satisfied with having an average score or even take tests for fun, they may pay again to take the test the following year. Both scores can, and will, be reported to colleges they apply for if they do not ask the College Board to do otherwise.
In previous years, Charles County required students to pay for their first test upfront, but then paid for all other AP tests the student chose to take that year.
When asked about the testing, social studies teacher Mr. John Childers said, “The only pros I can think of are the college credits that kids will get by taking the test,” but that students may be discouraged from testing if they are not sure that they will pass, due to the extraneous costs of AP tests.