Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib today announced that his office will be leading a coalition that includes Washington businesses, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and education nonprofit the College Success Foundation to raise $800,000 to help the state cover the cost of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exam fees, which range from $53 to $116 per test, for low-income students in Washington state. The timeline to raise the funding is extremely short, given the March 7 deadline for students to sign up for AP exams.
Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Nordstrom have each made early commitments to help launch the initiative, pledging a combined $150,000.
The Lt. Governor spearheaded the initiative immediately after learning about changes to a federal grant program called the “Advanced Placement Test Fee Program” that has issued federal funding to 41 states, including Washington, since 1999. The program subsidized the high cost of AP exams for students on free and reduced lunch.
With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) this past year, which consolidated dozens of federal programs, the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program was moved from Title I into a block grant in Title IV—the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants— for which Congress failed to appropriate full funding in time for the 2017 academic year.
According to the College Board, the number of AP Exams taken by low-income students in Washington grew from approximately 420 in 1998, the year before the federal subsidization program began, to approximately 14,500 in 2015. The potential college tuition savings attributable to AP Exams taken by low-income students in Washington who received federal funding in 2015 and scored a 3 or higher is $5.8 million.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Lt Governor Spearheads Effort to Cover AP Test Costs
From the office of Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib (partial):