Spending money to save money

Spending money to save money

Since the school has stopped funding for the majority of the AP exams, students and parents banks are feeling the consequences.

Stephanie Thomson, Staff Reporter

To students with a rigorous course list, spring means more than Easter and bunnies and warm weather. It means hours of extra studying and preparing for AP tests coming up in the next couple months.

The school requires every student enrolled in an AP class to take its AP exam at the end of the year. While some students take AP classes solely for the advanced learning opportunities, most students are equally interested in the possibility of gaining college credit for the class through their score on the test.

“I didn’t know you were required to take the tests, but I would have taken them anyways,” senior Aaron Otiker said.

While this sounds like it would have completely positive feedback, the controversy surrounding the test-taking requirement centers around the financial toll it is taking on some families. Each test is $87, and if a student is enrolled in more than one class, the costs can add up. On top of that, if multiple children in each family are taking AP tests, the cost for the family can be massive.

The Otiker family is no exception to this. Triplets Hannah, Aaron, and Jonathan are seniors, and each enrolled in four to five AP classes for a total exam cost of $1,218.

While testing may be a huge cost for their family to pay for right now, the triplets are confident that it is worth it in the end.

“Depending on the college you choose, if you get a three, four, or five on the test then you gain college credit, so you save money by being exempt from the course in college,” senior Jonathan Otiker said. “The costs all balance out in the end, and you actually save money, so I don’t mind the cost of the tests.”

Even though taking the test now may save money in the long run, some families enroll in AP tests without anticipating having to cover the entire cost of the required test.

“I thought the school covered some of the cost, but I guess if you do well it can save you money in college so it’s not that big of a deal,” Aaron said.

Some students wonder why the school doesn’t cover the cost of the students’ testing fee, if it is required by administration as part of the course. However, with so many students taking AP tests every year, it makes sense.

“It’d be beneficial if the school helped pay for the tests, but I get that that would be a lot of money to spend for all AP testers,” senior Hannah Otiker said.

If families do feel uncomfortable about the cost of the test, financial aid is available.

“There are in selected cases ways that the school district can assist in paying for the test, if it’s a case where there are lots of tests taken and that the family is having difficulty with the AP fee payments,” assistant principal Mr. Coachman said. “The student would come talk to me if they wanted to request aid.”