WASHINGTON – Rhode Island was awarded a $59,451 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to cover all or part of fees charged to low-income students taking Advanced Placement tests.
The R.I. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was awarded the funds as part of a series of grants totaling $21.5 million to 43 different states.
Based on the anticipated number of test-takers, the Department of Education said it expected the grants – provided under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program – to sufficiently pay up to $38 per Advanced Placement exam for up to three exams per student.
“Advanced Placement participation is an important element in creating a college-going culture in our high schools,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.
“AP courses help students develop the study skills, critical reasoning and habits of mind that prepare them for the transition to college,” added Duncan. “They give students - particularly first-generation college goers - the confidence that they can successfully handle college level work.”
By subsidizing test fees for low-income students, the program is intended to encourage students to take AP tests and earn college credit for high school courses, thus reducing the time and cost required to complete a college degree.
“These funds will help eliminate financial roadblocks for more low-income students and allow them to fully benefit from the AP program,” Duncan said.
The Department of Education determined funding per state based on state estimates of the number of tests that would be taken by low-income students.