"Why take the class if you don't plan on taking the test? That's all there is to it." -- words from Dr. Howell, the AP US History teacher. The teacher considers taking the AP test mandatory for his class and worth a grade. With test prices being over $90, some students think that this ultimatum is a bit over-the-top.
Where do the high costs come from? Similar to Mesa's school lunch system, families with lower incomes are offered a much lower rate so that they may still be able to take the tests. While the tests themselves have a heavy cost to begin with, a portion of the price comes from offsetting the cost of those with a reduced fee. When a student enrolls in multiple AP tests, costs can quickly add up.
Some students don't have the means to pay for multiple tests, but do not qualify for reduced prices either. They feel that they are forced to take the test that has more priority or that they are more likely to pass. For example, if a student could only afford one of two tests they would choose the one that they felt would be more beneficial to them or that would be more worth the money. These students argue that taking the AP test should not be mandatory, and that mandatory tests could even be considered illegal as a teacher is "forcing" students to pay for something. Although in order to combat this specific problem, CMHS has offered to help students with multiple full-price tests pay by setting aside some money and setting up a list. This list worked on a highest-need basis and helped approximately 20 students pay for their tests.
Howell mentioned this and other measures as things that students were responsible for taking action in. He stated, "Students who say that the price is stopping them, did not take responsibility, and utilize all the means that Mesa has offered.”
Written by Brett Bermudez