The money, awarded under the Advanced Placement Test Fee program, will help ensure that all students will be able to take the advanced exams that could earn them college credit. California has received funding under the program since 1999-2000.
“Students who do the work and succeed in Advanced Placement courses should not then be limited by their financial resources,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. “We in California are committed to giving all our students – including those from low-income families – the benefits that come with these courses.”
The grant funding allows qualifying low-income students to pay just $5 to take AP or IB exams. AP exams, offered through The College Board, typically run $89. The IB tests are $108 each. Students are eligible for the subsidy if they receive free or reduced price meals or whose family income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which is about $24,000 for a family of four.
Many colleges and universities offer credit to students who pass the exams, allowing qualifying students to forego some required, introductory courses.
The U.S. Department of Education handed out more than $28 million to 40 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands under the grant program. The grants were announced Tuesday.