Advanced Placement or Additional Pricing?
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BALDWIN PARK, CA– Advanced Placement (AP) classes challenge students and allow them to get ahead in college. Every year in May, AP exams take place. The scoring system ranges from 1 to 5, with 3 and above considered passing scores. These scores are later revealed in early July on the College Board website. When students pass, they can possibly earn college credit, save money and time. However in some cases, they will have to repeat the class. For example, a math major may have to take chemistry again, depending on the university.
At Baldwin Park High School, the price of one AP exam is $93, a dollar more than in 2016. However, students with reduced or free lunch have an advantage: only $5 per AP exam. Students whose parents work with an income just slightly higher than the criteria are unfortunately, unlucky.
“As AP tests are approaching, students like me who do not have free or reduced lunch are not only worried about the test alone, but also the expensive price,” said Tiffany Yu, BPHS senior. She currently takes four AP classes and has to pay the full price of $372.
That deal may seem worth it, but many BPHS students complain about the price range. Although $93 is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars students will spend on classes in the near future, there should be a smaller gap between the AP exam prices.
Paying the full price is unfair, especially for seniors, who all have once-in-a-lifetime activities planned at the end of the year, including events such as prom, Grad nite, and preparing for graduation. All these activities can add up to around $400.
“This year I am taking four AP classes,” said Wendy Wong, BPHS senior. “Because I am qualified for reduced lunch, I only have to pay $20 for my tests.” Ever since her sophomore year, Wendy has been lucky enough to pay only $5 per exam.
There are students who may be eligible for fee waivers, in which they had to see and talk to Mr. Cuevas, BPHS Vice Principal. All the AP exam total costs have to be paid at the school ASB by Friday, February 24. There is also a rule for students who have already paid for the exams but don’t take them in May. Unfortunately, they will have to pay an additional $20 fee for each exam.
As a sophomore, Tommy Nguyen, can only take on one AP class. “I only have to pay $5 for my AP World test,” he explained. “It’s such a great deal.”
The prices to pay for AP exams should vary according to each family household. Currently, prices range from $5 to $93. There should definitely be a middle price between the two to close up the large gap, such as $50. Some schools such as Arroyo High School or West Covina High School have their districts pay for AP exams. As Baldwin Park High School progresses through the years, hopefully the Baldwin Park Unified School District will be able to settle with a middle price and eventually pay for its students as well.