Photo of a hand with a pencil writing on a test sheet.

Students Required to Pay for their own AP Exams

By: Alex Esparza. Jocelyn Moran-Puentes and Natalia Gonzalez-Arevalo

For the past few years, the exams for advanced placement classes at West High had been paid for by the Alumni Association. However, this May AP students will have to pay out of pocket. 

“It is my understanding that we have had an organization that has traditionally paid for them, but then the students aren’t showing up,” Fine Arts and Communications Academy Principal Christie Ramsey said. “Students aren’t showing up and then aren’t performing very well on there.”

When students don’t show up and try their best for AP exams, there is no incentive for the Alumni to help pay. For some students, getting help to pay for the exam is what helps offset a hardship in taking the exam. 

“The previous year, we had only one kid take an AP test. So we felt, is money the problem?” West High Assessment Leader Nora Rayl said. “So I reached out to (Principal at the time) Mr. Jolliffe and the two of us then reached out to the Alumni Association and they gave us some money, and that money lasted for two years of testing.”

However, with that pool of money gone and the bill from unused tests is around $5,000, administration decided students who wish to take the AP exams will have to pay for their own tests. Following along with how other buildings deal with AP exams, and how they were done at West previously.

“ Kids just pay for it themselves if they want to take it. I was Like, ‘okay, and maybe their (other schools) population is different than ours.’ I don’t know. And maybe because they never helped finance it.” Ms. Rayl said

Students who plan to take the AP exam will have to pay for it on their own, however there is some relief for students who need help paying for their exams. The exam is typically $93, but students who qualify for free and reduced lunch can take the exam at the reduced fee of $55.