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Guidance for LEAs on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Funding Under ESSA

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

As part of the shift to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal formula grant program that covered Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) test fees for low-income students has been moved into Title IV, Part A funding for “Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants.” The last round of AP and IB exams covered under the old funding stream, the Advanced Placement Test Fee program, were administered in spring of 2016. OSSE is now releasing initial guidance on how OSSE and LEAs using the AP Test Fee program for low-income exam takers should approach covering exam fees in spring 2017 and spring 2018.

  • OSSE will use Federal Fiscal Year 2018 (FFY18) Title IV-A state administrative funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with low-income AP and IB exams administered in spring 2017.
  • However, OSSE anticipates that these funds will not be sufficient to cover the full cost of all qualifying exams in spring 2017. Therefore, OSSE is actively exploring options at the state level and encourages LEAs to do the same to ensure students can access AP exams to the same extent they have in prior years. Some options for LEAs to consider include:
  • LEAs may use all or a portion of their FFY18 Title IV-A funds to waive fees for qualifying low-income students beginning in FFY18.
  • LEAs may choose to use Title I, Part A carryover funding to cover spring AP/IB exam fees for low-income students beginning in FFY2018.
  • Depending on funding levels and LEA costs, LEAs who want to cover the full cost of their low-income student AP/IB exams may need to use FFY18 Title IV-A or Title IV, A funds for both spring 2017 and spring 2018 exams.
  • Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, OSSE and LEAs may also use Title IV, Title I, and Title II funding to support other types of activities related to AP and IB access and performance, including funding specific AP and IB courses and exams (Title IV, Title I) and supporting professional development and training for AP and IB teachers (Title II).

See for the full guidance document [PDF].

For more information and questions regarding AP test fees, please contact Janae Eason at [email protected]. For more information and questions regarding IB test fees, please contact Janel Young at [email protected].

Related Content: Every Student Succeeds Act