U.S. Education Department Awards 41 States and the District of Columbia $28.4 Million in Grants to Help Students From Low-Income Families Take Advanced Placement Tests
The U.S. Department of Education announced on September 20th that it has awarded $28.4 million in Advanced Placement (AP) grants to 41 states and Washington, D.C. as part of its efforts to boost college and career-readiness for historically underserved students. The grants will help defray the costs of taking advanced placement tests for students from low-income families.
"The cost of a test should never prevent students from taking their first step towards higher education through advanced placement courses," said James Cole Jr., general counsel delegated the duties of deputy secretary. "These grants are an important tool for states, and ultimately schools, to empower students from low-income neighborhoods to succeed in challenging courses."
The grants are used to help pay for students from low-income families taking approved advanced placement tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations. By subsidizing test fees, the program encourages all students to take advanced placement tests and obtain college credit for high school courses, reducing the time and cost required to complete a postsecondary degree.
Levels of funding per state were determined on the basis of state estimates of the numbers of tests that would be taken by students from low-income families. From 2015 to 2016, preliminary results show that the number of tests covered by the program increased from 831,913 to 862,204, an improvement of nearly 4 percent.
Based on the anticipated number of tests to be taken, the grants under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are expected to be sufficient to pay all but $15 of the cost of each advanced placement test taken by low-income students. States may opt to require students to pay a portion of the costs.
Challenges in course access are the reason why the Administration has progressively increased its focus on expanding access to computer science (CS). That is why the College Board, with National Science Foundation support, began developing a new AP Computer Science Principles course (AP CSP), designed with the goal to recruit and retain students who are typically underrepresented in CS fields. That course is rolling out nationally this month, with more than 2,000 classrooms already signed up, reaching an estimated 25,000 high school students in this academic year and putting AP CSP on track to be largest course launch in AP history.
The Obama Administration's commitment to equity in education underlies nearly every significant activity of the Education Department—from programs focused on early learning to college affordability and tools for reducing student debt. Expanding students' access to and successful completion of rigorous courses was also an initial recommendation of the President's My Brother's Keeper Task Force. By expanding access to college-level courses, more students from low-income families are able to graduate high school with the tools they need to excel in college and beyond.
The Department recently invited eight selected partnerships between institutions of higher education and non-traditional providers to participate in the EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships) experiment. The partnerships will allow students—particularly from low-income families—to access federal student aid for the first time to enroll in programs offered by non-traditional training providers, in partnership with colleges and universities, including coding boot camps, online courses, and employer organizations.
The Advanced Placement Test Fee program is administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Including the grants announced today, the Obama Administration has awarded more than $190 million to states through this program. For additional information on the program and these new awards, click here.
FY2016 Awards Advanced Placement Test Fee Program
|AK||State of Alaska Department of Education & Early Development||$3,387|
|AL||Alabama State Department of Education||$34,745|
|AR||Arkansas Department of Education||$30,718|
|AZ||Arizona Department of Education||$648,088|
|CA||California Department of Education||$11,043,703|
|CO||Colorado Department of Education||$400,447|
|CT||State of Connecticut Department of Education||$274,272|
|DC||District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education||$88,204|
|DE||Delaware Department of Education||$50,719|
|HI||Hawaii State Department of Education||$87,589|
|IA||Iowa Department of Education||$112,282|
|ID||Idaho State Department of Education||$42,941|
|IL||Illinois State Board of Education||$1,787,866|
|IN||Indiana Department of Education||$250,688|
|KS||Kansas State Department of Education||$150,263|
|KY||Kentucky Department of Education||$461,915|
|LA||Louisiana Department of Education||$236,208|
|MA||Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education||$808,991|
|MD||Maryland State Department of Education||$536,857|
|ME||State of Maine, Department of Education||$67,184|
|MI||Michigan Department of Education||$559,660|
|MO||Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education||$234,366|
|MS||Mississippi Department of Education||$189,781|
|MT||Montana Office of Public Instruction||$4,955|
|NE||Nebraska Department of Education||$42,138|
|NH||New Hampshire Department of Education||$16,778|
|NJ||New Jersey Department of Education||$586,167|
|NM||New Mexico Public Education Department||$151,207|
|NV||Nevada Department of Education||$415,783|
|NY||New York State Education Department||$2,666,444|
|OH||Ohio Department of Education||$387,737|
|OK||Oklahoma State Department of Education||$315,375|
|OR||Oregon Department of Education||$218,809|
|PA||Pennsylvania Department of Education||$750,963|
|RI||Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education||$60,442|
|SD||South Dakota Department of Education||$14,453|
|TN||Tennessee Department of Education||$362,985|
|TX||Texas Education Agency||$3,472,350|
|VA||Virginia Department of Education||$248,459|
|VT||Vermont Agency of Education||$17,019|
|WA||Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction||$541,573|
|WV||West Virginia Department of Education||$55,489|