This one’s on the house

Mr.+Edeza%2C+an+AP+Exam+coordinator%2C+gathers+a+group+of+students+as+they+register+for+their+upcoming+AP+exams.
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This one’s on the house

Mr. Edeza, an AP Exam coordinator, gathers a group of students as they register for their upcoming AP exams.

Mr. Edeza, an AP Exam coordinator, gathers a group of students as they register for their upcoming AP exams.

Mr. Edeza, an AP Exam coordinator, gathers a group of students as they register for their upcoming AP exams.

Mr. Edeza, an AP Exam coordinator, gathers a group of students as they register for their upcoming AP exams.

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Everyone knows college is expensive, but one way to make it a little cheaper is taking an Advanced Placement course. AP Exams allow students who get a 3 or higher on the exam to gain college credits. But with it being priced at $92 for students who don’t qualify for reduced lunch and it being $31 for students who do qualify for reduced lunch, this pricing can limit some students from taking the test according to AP English teacher Ignacio Mendez.

However, this year that wasn’t going to be the case because of the ESSA Grant that the district had applied for. According to Assistant Principal, Gloria Chaidez, “The district completed a grant that waivers every AP students exam, regardless of free reduced lunch eligibility.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA gives back the “power” that the federal government held with the No Child Left Behind Act on education reforms to states and districts to take matters into their own hands. According to an overview on the Act, the block grant of $1.6 billion covers certain programs in schools with Advanced Placement classes being 1 out of the 4 programs. Aside from the entire block grant, the grant that the district applied for, about 30% of that money has to be spent on making students more diverse and well-rounded and another 20% on student safety and health.

Students who signed up for an AP exam, but that were not enrolled in that class could still take it, but according to Chaidez, “There will be a payment fee of $23 for students who qualify for reduced lunch and $54 for students who don’t qualify for reduced lunch.” They still have to pay a portion of the exam because the district is paying $30 worth instead of the student paying the full price of the exam. On the topic of fees, students who fail to show up to the exam they signed up for, would have to pay a fee of $15 for each test they don’t show up for. However, she feels that with the fee being waived she feels that students should feel more than ready for the exams with the school providing AP tutorials and Saturday sessions.

This grant makes more students feel relieved for not paying the full price for their exams. Senior Chris Oseguera, who last year paid the full total of $465 to take five AP exams since he did not qualify for reduced lunch, was going to take another five AP exams due to the grant being available. He said, “I like going above and beyond the normal and taking APs will prepare me for college.” Senior Karina Briseno who last year enrolled in 3 AP courses says, “It looks good on my college applications and I feel that I know more now.”

With the district grant it takes a certain amount of stress off AP teachers shoulders. According to AP English Literature teacher Ignacio Mendez, “Paying for the test stressed out students for finding ways to pay for it.” With it being highly priced he thinks that paying for the test before is a better investment as opposed to the risk of an actual college course. But, now since the district has the grant he believes the amount of test scores will increase and that it doesn’t hinder students from taking the test oppose to motivating them.

Chaidez believes that students should take advantage of the district paying for their tests, as it is a grant and isn’t guaranteed, but she hopes that the district will apply again for the grant so that future classes don’t have to pay for their exams as well. Also, she hopes to see more students enroll in AP courses because she feels, “Students should enroll in AP classes to understand the rigor of a college ready course.”

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