District to support AP classes, students

High school costs go beyond new pens, notebooks, and a comfortable backpack.

For those wanting the best college preparation, late night studying and Advanced Placement classes aren’t the only paths to get there. There are also financial commitments involved.

For those expecting to pay a large amount for every AP test, Stockton Unified School District has smoothed that path quite a bit.

The district has announced that it will be paying $77 of the $82 required to be paid for each AP test, to College Board. As a result, every student will only be paying $5 as part of a reimbursement.

For previous years, students who qualify for fee waivers had the opportunity to take the test discounted, only having to pay $5, while the remaining cost was covered by the district, the state of California, and College Board.

This time all students, including those who don’t qualify for a waiver, like senior Sofia Rodriguez, are being helped out and have a little less strain out of their own pockets.
“It will be really helpful,” said Rodriguez. “Expenses add up.”

Rodriguez has been paying for her SAT’s and other tests since junior year, and, during the season of college applications, she was required to pay for every school she applied to.

With two California State University applications along with three colleges out of state, Rodriguez spent around $210, whereas a student who is taken care of under fee waivers can apply to four CSU and University of California colleges for free. Currently, she is taking two AP courses and plans to take the American Government and English literature tests in May.

AP Government teacher Tara Hayes believes that this change will encourage more students to take AP classes and the tests in the future. “I wish (students) would’ve known earlier because they would’ve studied more.”

Chan Sam, head counselor, describes the transactions among the student, district, the state, and College Board as a business. “It will definitely help students who don’t qualify for fee waivers,” Sam said. “Thanks to the district.”