Federal grant to offset testing costs for low-income students


The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that it awarded the Hawaii State Department of Education a $104,030 grant as part of its efforts to boost college and career readiness for historically underserved students.

Hawaii’s funding will help defray the costs of low-income students taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

“We know that when students of all backgrounds are held to high expectations they excel. High school instruction needs to become more rigorous to foster college and career-readiness, and provide multiple pathways to success in order to prepare students for the 21st century global economy,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a prepared statement. “Advanced Placement courses are helping schools meet this challenge by developing the study skills, critical reasoning, and habits of mind that prepare students for college. These grants eliminate some of the financial roadblocks for low-income students taking Advanced Placement courses, letting them take tests with the potential of earning college credit while in high school.”

The grants are used to help pay for low-income students taking approved advanced placement tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations. By subsidizing test fees for low-income students, the program is intended to encourage those 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.

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 $18 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.

The Advanced Placement Test Fee program is administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. For additional information on the program and these new awards, click here.