College Board changes AP fee due date

College Board changes AP fee due date

This year, the College Board, AP testing’s parent company, moved up the due date for AP test fees to Oct. 4. In previous years, fees were due in February or March, meaning that this year students will have to pay the $94 testing fee months earlier than in previous years.

The fees used to be due during the second semester, but now are due towards the middle of the first. At most U.S. schools, students can drop classes at the end of the first semester. Since AP fees are nonrefundable, if a student drops an AP class at the semester, he or she will lose the $94. The new policy is meant to dissuade students from dropping AP courses and to incentivize them to study and complete AP tests.

CFHS students are wary of the change.

“I think that the policy is a little bit manipulative because it makes people pay for a class that they aren’t necessarily going to take if the class isn’t going well,” said senior Hanne Wilson, who has taken many AP classes over the course of her high school career.

Contrary to the College Board’s goal to increase student commitment to AP classes and tests, Wilson believes the new fee date might have the opposite effect.

“I think it negatively impacts your decision to take an AP class, but we didn’t know until after we’d enrolled this year, so a lot of people were hit with the storm after the fact,” said Wilson.

The new fee date comes in conjunction with other policies aimed at streamlining the test-preparation process. For example, students join their teachers’ online AP Classrooms, a website provided by the College Board that includes course materials and other tools. Additionally, upon taking their first AP class, students will be assigned an AP number that will be theirs for all of high school. Previously, students received a new AP number each year.

On the other hand, CFHS counselor Mrs. Kover has a more optimistic view of the change. She believes that in the long run, the change will better the AP testing process.

“Once kinks are worked out there will be more access for students and teachers. The whole process will be more seamless, and kids won’t have to do pre gridding [during Tiger Time] anymore,” Mrs. Kover explained. “The College Board said that if students are committed and have made a financial investment, the likelihood of them staying in the course and passing the test is higher. Not every school has a requirement to take AP tests, so statistically, the earlier students commit, they’re more likely to get college credit.”

More importantly, Mrs. Kover thinks that the new fee date will encourage students to work through the challenges that difficult AP classes present.

“Students who may have thought it was a little difficult or didn’t want the work might just persevere rather than quit. [Quitting is] what College Board tries to prevent,” Mrs. Kover said.