Massachusetts to Cover Low-Income Students’ Costs for AP Exams in STEM Subjects
Massachusetts to Cover Low-Income Students’ Costs for AP Exams in STEM SubjectsSara Sympson, Associate Director, Communications
The Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, under the leadership of co-chairs Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Dr. Jeff Leiden, and U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy III, has announced the state will pay for low-income students taking Advanced Placement (AP) Exams in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, calculus, environmental science, and statistics in May 2017.
The one-time allocation of approximately $326,000 is expected cover the costs for low-income students taking the tests across the state. Previously, since 1998, a federal program called the AP Test Fee Program had provided states with dedicated funding to offset the costs of AP Exams for low-income students. Beginning in 2017, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) eliminates this program and consolidates AP funding with 40 other educational programs under a new Title IV, Part A block grant.
“Massachusetts has one of the fastest growing innovation economies in the nation, and it is important we continue to develop a strong pipeline of skilled workers to fill critical job openings in STEM fields,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a news release. “The Administration’s ability to help provide this impromptu support will ensure low-income students who are challenging themselves with AP courses are given the opportunity to earn college credit for their hard work.”
“With the AP exams approaching soon, I am pleased to announce that we are able to cover the cost of these exams for STEM subjects to support advanced placement testing and bolster more opportunities for student success,” added Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who co-chairs the STEM Advisory Council. “We know this was a great concern for many educators, students and their families, and we are very happy that the Administration and the STEM Advisory Council can help.”
Members of the STEM Advisory Council expect this one-time support will provide a bridge for districts to cover costs during the 2017-18 school year; later, school officials will be in a better position to predict federal aid levels and appropriately plan for continuing AP STEM access for all Massachusetts students.
The College Board recognizes Massachusetts officials for their leadership and has been working with states and districts across the country to ensure continued access to AP Exam funding. Visit our website for more information about the changes to AP funding under ESSA and to learn about action to take to help make sure that all students can take advantage of the opportunities they’ve earned.