By Alyson Klein
For years, nearly 40 states plus the District of Columbia have used federal funding to help low-income students cover the cost of taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.
But, thanks to a big change to the program under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states and districts will need to think hard (and early) about whether—and how—to continue covering those costs.
Some background on how ESSA handles these tests: ESSA consolidated dozens of federal programs, including some that hadn’t been funded in years. One of the programs that had still been receiving federal funding when ESSA passed was the “Advanced Placement Test Fee Program,” which helps low-income students cover the cost of taking advanced exams. The program is currently receiving $28.5 million annually. But next year, it will be part of the brand new, larger Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants.