beginning of content:

College Board provides a $33 fee reduction per AP Exam for eligible students with financial need. Schools are expected to forgo their $9 rebate for these students, resulting in a cost of $53 per exam (for international: $83 per exam; for AP Seminar or AP Research Exams: $101).

AP coordinators need to indicate through AP Registration and Ordering by April 30, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) each student who is eligible for a fee reduction. Please closely review the details in Deadline to Indicate Fee Reduction Status.

To provide funding for AP Exams for low-income students, states and districts need to act to commit resources to support low-income student exam participation. Talk to your principal and/or administration to ensure a plan is in place to dedicate funding to subsidize students’ 2021 exams.

For those states that provide funding for AP Exams, and for those states that do not, state-specific fee reduction information, including fee reduction information for schools outside the U.S., will be posted on Federal and State Assistance as soon as each state’s funding plan is finalized.

Fee Reduction Eligibility Criteria

College Board has different eligibility criteria for AP Exam fee reductions, depending on whether a school or district participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a program that enables high-poverty U.S. schools and districts to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students.

Schools and districts that meet the criteria and choose to participate in CEP can’t use a student’s enrollment in CEP to determine eligibility for AP Exam fee reductions, because all students in these schools or districts, regardless of family income, are automatically eligible for free meals. Accordingly, CEP schools and districts must determine each student’s eligibility for AP Exam fee reductions.

Criteria for Schools/Districts

Schools and districts that don’t participate in the Community Eligibility Provision can still use enrollment or eligibility to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) as a proxy to determine eligibility for AP Exam fee reductions. For these schools/districts, use the following primary criteria:

Students who are either enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) qualify for the AP Exam fee reduction on all AP Exams that they take in a given year. Students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if:

  • their family’s annual income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, or
  • the students are categorically eligible or directly certified without application for free school meals because they are:
    • in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or in some states, Medicaid benefits, or
    • homeless, migrant, runaway, or in foster care, or
    • enrolled in a federally funded Head Start Program.

Students are eligible for the AP Exam fee reduction on all AP Exams that they take in a given year if:

  • their family’s annual income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, or
  • they qualify as an “identified student” because they are:
    • in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or in some states, Medicaid benefits, or
    • homeless, migrant, runaway, or in foster care, or
    • enrolled in a federally funded Head Start Program.

If your school prefers to use another method for determining which students qualify for AP Exam fee reductions, any of the following criteria are allowed:

  • The student is enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • The student’s family receives public assistance.
  • The student lives in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home or is homeless.
  • The student is a ward of the state or an orphan.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Income Eligibility Guidelines for 2020-21

The following table lists annual family incomes by family size, at 185% of the poverty level. If the student’s annual family income falls within the amount listed in the relevant row and column, that student qualifies for an AP Exam fee reduction.

Size of Family Unit

Annual Family Income* for 48 Contiguous States, Washington, D.C., Guam, and U.S. Territories

Annual Family Income* for Alaska

Annual Family Income* for Hawaii

1

$23,606

$29,508

$27,158

2

$31,894

$39,868

$36,686

3

$40,182

$50,228

$46,213

4

$48,470

$60,588

$55,741

5

$56,758

$70,948

$65,268

6

$65,046

$81,308

$74,796

7

$73,334

$91,668

$84,323

8

$81,622

$102,028

$93,851

For each additional family member, add:

$8,288

$10,360

$9,528

* The figures shown under annual family income represent amounts equal to 185% of the 2020 federal income poverty guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These levels were published by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service in the Federal Register, Vol. 85, No. 55, 3/20/20, pp. 16050-53. These Income Eligibility Guidelines are effective from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Schools Outside the U.S.

College Board will provide a fee reduction of $33 per AP Exam, including AP Seminar and AP Research Exams, for qualifying low-income students in schools outside the U.S.

Student eligibility for fee reductions is determined by your school’s AP coordinator. College Board may audit fee reduction claims. AP coordinators should be able to produce documentation verifying fee reduction claims.

The fee reduction is available for any student whose annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. To determine if your students meet these guidelines, refer to the “Annual Family Income for 48 Contiguous States, Washington, D.C., Guam, and U.S. Territories” column in the “USDA Food and Nutrition Service Income Eligibility Guidelines for 2020-21” table above, and convert American dollars into your country’s currency.

Deadline to Indicate Fee Reduction Status

Key Dates

  • Event
    • FRI, APR 30, 2021, 11:59 PM ET

    Deadline to Make Changes to Students’ Fee Reduction Status

    To be properly credited, the fee reduction status for each eligible student must be indicated in AP Registration and Ordering by this date. After this date, you won’t be able to make any changes to fee reduction status in AP Registration and Ordering. If a change is needed to a student’s fee reduction status after this date, call AP Services for Educators.
    •  

New! Starting this year, you only need to check a box for each student who’s eligible for a fee reduction. (You’ll need to do this even for students who have taken AP Exams in the past and have been marked as eligible for fee reductions. Their fee reduction status doesn’t carry over in AP Registration and Ordering from year to year.) If a student isn’t eligible for a fee reduction, you don’t need to take any action.

We encourage you to indicate the fee reduction status for AP students taking exams by the time you submit your AP Exam order, so you’ll know as early in the school year as possible the fees you’ll need to collect from AP students. However, if you need more time to verify this information, you can update students’ fee reduction status through AP Registration and Ordering after submitting your exam order, but no later than April 30, 2021.

For more information about indicating fee reduction status in AP Registration and Ordering, please see the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 1.