The 2015-16 school year (FY16) was the final year of the federal Advanced Placement Test Fee Program. However, a substantial portion of 2016-17 school year (Fiscal Year 2017) Advanced Placement test fees will still be covered, with support from College Board and the state, for students enrolled in an Advanced Placement class and qualify as low-income.
College Board Fee Reduction: This year, the College Board is charging a $93 fee per AP exam, but will provide a $31 fee reduction and a $9 school rebate per exam for low-income students. A low-income student is defined as an individual who is determined by the local educational agency to be a child, age 5 through 19, from a low-income family based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch Act.
NJDOE Contribution: In addition, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) will provide a $20 contribution to support a portion of the remaining balance of the test fee.
Other Federal Funding Sources (Title I-A, Title IV-A): Finally, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), districts are permitted to dedicate a portion of the Title I, Part A and/or Title IV, Part A funding they receive to defray the cost of AP and other advanced course or industry credential exams taken by low-income students. (See the NJDOE's ESEA District Guide for more information of allowable uses of funds.)
If intending to use Title I, Part A funds for this purpose for this year (2016-17), districts must ensure such costs are supported by their needs assessment and reflected in the budget section of their 2016-17 ESEA Consolidated Application in the NJDOE's Electronic Web-Enabled Grant (EWEG) system.
If districts intend to use their Title IV, Part A funds for this purpose, districts may allocate a portion of their 2017-18 (FY18) Title IV, Part A funding to cover the costs of AP exams taken in spring 2017. (See Section 4107(b) of ESEA as amended by ESSA for more information.) Such costs must be supported by the district's needs assessment and reflected in the budget section of the district's 2017-18 ESEA Consolidated Application in EWEG. Please note that typically, funds received in a fiscal year cannot be used to cover costs incurred in a prior year. However, the law allows a one-time exception to this rule for districts' FY18 Title IV, Part A allocation, so that districts may use their FY18 Title IV, Part A funds to cover test fees for low-income students for both the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 school years. Please note that the amount of funds that will be dedicated to Title IV, Part A is pending final federal budget approval; the NJDOE will provide information on Title IV, Part A funding that districts can expect as soon as the information is available.
Please share this information with the appropriate staff. If you have questions regarding the Advanced Placement Test Fee program, contact Donna Schmitz at (609) 943-5398 or APexams@doe.nj.gov.