NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: AUGUST 8, 2012


Thanks to a grant and supplemental funds from the U.S. Department of Education, every eligible North Carolina high school student who took an Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exam last year will have his or her test fees covered. As a part of the federal Advanced Placement Test Fee Program, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) will receive more than $800,000 to cover AP and IB test fees for all low-income students who qualify.

"Many students use their AP and IB courses to get a head start on earning a college degree," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "The cost of a test should not be a hurdle in any student's path to reaching his or her goals for higher education or a career."

Forty-three state education agencies were recently awarded a total of more than $21 million in grants from the USDE's Advanced Placement Test Fee Program. The individual amount that states received ranged from $9,000 to more than $7.6 million and was based on the number of AP tests that low-income students would take, according to state estimates.

North Carolina has received AP Test Fee Program Grants since at least 2003. AP and IB tests are administered by the College Board and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), can cost students $87 or more per test and many students will take more than one exam. NCDPI officials estimate that this grant will help pay for AP and IB exams for more than 8,000 low-income students.

As a part of the grant, AP and IB exam coordinators and district leaders submit the necessary paperwork to the College Board for students who qualify for the fee reduction and work with NCDPI to ensure students receive the support they need. If parents or students have questions about test fees, they should contact the AP or IB exam coordinator at the student's school. School officials with questions about the grant should contact NCDPI Director of Gifted Education and Advanced Programs Sneha Shah-Coltrane.          

In 2011, 30 percent of the state's high school seniors took at least one AP exam.  A total of 15,496 students or 18.4 percent of the class of 2011 earned a 3 or better on an AP exam. In the past five years, AP exam participation in North Carolina has increased by 15.9 percent and the number of students scoring an exam score of 3, 4 or 5 has increased by 21.6 percent.  Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses offered in 37 subject areas. Visit The College Board website for more information.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.