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Easing School Transitions for Military Families
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Support for AP Test Fee Funding Program

11/24/2014 Published by: Amy Soupene

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Categories: Moving to a New School, Your Child's Ages & Stages, Transition to College, Moving to a New School, Transition to College, Your Child's Ages & Stages

The mission of the Military Child Education Coalition is to ensure inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. The children of our brave service members, while certainly among the underserved youth of our nation, nevertheless continually sacrifice for our country along with their parents. We owe it to them to provide the academic support they need.

One of the key outcomes that we pursue is that the educational needs of military-connected students are recognized at the national level and receive appropriate support.  Transition is especially tough academically for high school students. Fitting in is one thing; staying on track for academic success can determine a student’s options for the future. Access to high quality academic opportunities is a game changer for military-connected students and having predictable, proven courses matter. Advanced Placement (AP) courses can earn students college credit without the associated costs, and they transfer equitably between states- making them great options for all students, but even more so for military-connected students transitioning in and out of states.

Therefore, we wish to express our support of the federal Advanced Placement (AP) Test Fee Program. At a time when our country is expressing its commitment to increase college attainment and improve college affordability for underserved students, the AP Program is a great return on the investment by providing students access to rigorous college-level work while still in high school. Ultimately, the AP path leads low-income students to gaining admission to college and increasing their chances of completion with reduced overall costs.

Most  four-year colleges give students credit, advanced placement or both, based on AP Exam scores and thereby saving families thousands of dollars in college tuition. Between 2013 and 2014, there was a nine percent growth in the number of low-income students participating in the AP Test Fee Program. It only makes good sense for the families of low-income students to seek both college-level academic success and significant financial savings based on this federal investment in our future.  In 2014, the federal allocation for the AP Test Fee Program was $28.5 million.  Taking that down to the individual student level, the federal subsidy per AP Exam was $37.00, the College Board subsidy was $26.00, and the remaining fee per exam was $18.00.  It is noteworthy that in 2014, there were 14 states that recognized the value of this program and opted to provide all or part of the remaining fee for these students.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the funding for this remarkably successful program has been in continual flux with each budget cycle. Given the current fiscal environment, we recognize the sincere efforts of our Congress in adjusting to the budget constraints. However, we feel that cutting the support that underserved students and their families receive is not the path our government should take while working its way through the unintended impacts of sequestration and budget reductions.

The results of the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are demonstrable and measureable.  The Military Child Education Coalition applauds the investments made thus far in this program, and we implore our Congress to continue investing in the future success of our youth and our great country.

 

for the sake of the child…

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