The value of a college degree is undisputed. A 2010 report from the College Board estimates that, among full-time workers, high school graduates earned a median annual income of $33,800; workers with an associate’s degree, $42,000; and, workers with a bachelor’s degree, $55,700.

Chapter 3 | Fee Waivers

The information included on this webpage was excerpted from Chapter 3 of College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers, available in its entirety at

exam thought bubbleChapter 3, Part 2 | Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Fee Waivers
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Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: The Basics

The Advanced Placement (AP) program, created by the College Board, offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. If a student receives a high grade on an AP exam, colleges may grant the student either advanced course placement, college credit, or both. Successful AP participation also may help a student stand out in the college admission process. While each institution sets its own policy, most U.S. four-year colleges give students credit, advanced placement, or both on the basis of AP exam scores. As such, taking AP courses often is a cost-effective way to get ahead in one’s college education. Also, by entering college with AP credits, students may be able to move quickly into upper-level courses, pursue a double major, or study abroad.

AP Exam Fees and Reductions

The fee for each AP exam administered in the United States or Canada in 2014 is $89. The school normally retains $8 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. The College Board provides a $26 or $28 fee reduction for each exam taken by eligible students with financial need, depending on the student's state. For each eligible student, schools should forgo their $8 rebate. Most states provide additional fee reductions for students in financial need. Each state determines whether or not students qualifying for the College Board's fee reduction are eligible for additional fee reductions through federal and state grants.

Eligibility Criteria

Students who are either enrolled or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program qualify for the College Board fee reduction on all AP Exams that they take in a given year. A student is eligible for free or reduced price lunches if his or her family's income is at or below 185 percent of the poverty level issued annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Further, as established by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, children and youth experiencing homelessness are categorically eligible to receive free school meals. As such, homeless students, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, meet the eligibility criteria for the College Board's AP exam fee reduction.

Requesting an AP Exam Fee Reduction

Each school participating in the AP program designates an AP Coordinator who takes primary responsibility for organizing and administering that school’s AP program. The AP Coordinator manages the receipt, distribution, administration, and return of AP Exam materials. Students who wish to receive an AP exam fee reduction should communicate the need for assistance to their school’s AP Coordinator as soon as the need is known.

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NAEHCY 2018 Conference
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The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Homeless Students in ESEA Reauthorization
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