A Breakdown of Advanced Placement Test Funds

By Bennett Baker, Staff Writer

// Throughout the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD), students are charged $110 to sign up for each Advance Placement (AP) test they wish to take. However, AP tests cost different amounts from district to district.

   According to the College Board’s website, the baseline price for an AP exam is $93. However, certain districts choose to increase this cost, explaining why Acalanes charges $110. Of the standard cost, the College Board receives $84. The remaining $26 goes to AUHSD to cover the cost of administering AP tests in the district.

   According to AUHSD Chief Business Official Julie Bautista, the district-wide $110 price tag pays for associated costs such as table rentals, paying test proctors, purchasing envelopes, and sending score reports.

   Additionally, according to Acalanes Testing Coordinator Hannah Welling, AP exams require her to work many overtime hours, for which she must be compensated.

   Out of the $26 difference between the test price and the College Board’s portion, $5 goes to covering webstore fees charged for each purchase. Thus, the district is left with $21 per test to cover the cost of administering AP exams.

   The school district didn’t arrive at the $110 price out of nowhere; the price per exam is calculated so that the AUHSD can administer the tests without losing money or having much left over.

   “When we looked at it over the years, we should not have any kind of balances. If we have about a thousand or so then that money just gets carried forward and then we collect some more money and then it gets spent out,” Bautista said. “So we look at it year after year and that’s when we determine do we increase it or are we asking for too much, maybe we need to adjust.”

   According to Bautista, approximately 843 tests were purchased. At $21 per exam, the district received almost $18,000. Of that, the district has spent approximately $15,000.

   “We want to make sure that it just kind of evens out and that we’re not collecting way above and beyond what’s really needed,” Bautista said. “If money is not spent, it gets carried forward so then next year we make sure that it does break even and we’re not having a big unbalance.”

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