AP tests include financial burden
No matter how often I write down the date, it never fails to surprise me that the school year is coming to an end. June is only a couple months away. However, like many other students enrolled in advanced placement classes, my attention is focused toward May, the month of AP tests — the preparation needed for the exams as well as my plan to pay the test fees.
In the past, AP tests at Lindhurst High School used to be paid for — for all students. Unfortunately, since the economy hit the tank and funding dried up, LHS and Marysville Joint Unified School District stopped paying for the exams.
A group of students formed the Coalition of Advanced Placement Students during that time as a way make up the difference. Ever since then, LHS students have raised money each year for the AP exams.
"CAPS has provided students with the opportunity to raise money for AP tests that may have previously been financially out of reach for their families," said Dave Atkinson, a physics teacher at LHS and faculty adviser to CAPS.
"Over the past few years, the club has garnered enough savings to help Lindhurst and MJUSD offset much of the up-front costs of these exams. Eventually, our goal is to build up enough money through fundraisers so that the school, the district and, most importantly, the students and their families won't have to provide any of it."
This year, CAPS has done its best to fundraise money to cover the fees of the AP tests. CAPS has estimated a total of 189 tests to cover, but this number will probably drop because students can't afford to pay for any more tests.
Each AP test costs $87. Fortunately, those of us with low incomes are able to receive subsidies from the federal government and the College Board that reduce the cost to $15 per test per student for up to three AP exams. Nevertheless, students who want to take more than three AP tests have to pay $53 per test for the additional exams.
"The cost is unbelievable, and the fact that we aren't getting much support from the district is even worse," said Ocil Herrejon, a senior at LHS and president of CAPS. "You'd think they'd help contribute at least some money for us, but, unfortunately, that's not the case.
"CAPS members are all putting a ton of effort into raising the money in order for us to pay for our exams. We have fundraised by selling items such as candy bars, butter braids and See's candies, but the fact is that it's a lot of money to obtain. We will attempt to have a bumper sticker or food sale, but the deadline is coming up quick," Ocil added.
So far, we have mustered up about $3,900, which allows us to pay for a portion of the test fees needed. Hopefully, the financial issues are taken care of soon, so LHS students can shift our complete focus to preparing for the upcoming AP exams.
Jamie Yang is a senior at Lindhurst High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.