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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Regarding the AP/IB Test Fee Program for State Fiscal Year 2013-14

Procedures for Fee Reimbursement

What are the 2013–14 reimbursement amounts for AP/IB?

The state of California will use federal funds to pay a portion of the Advanced Placement (AP)/ International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam fee for income-eligible public school students. Students who qualify for the Federal Free and/or Reduced Price Meal program are eligible for the estimated $26 College Board fee reduction. For income-eligible students, the state of California will pay up to an estimated $45 per AP exam and $98 per IB exam, depending on availability of federal funds. The California Department of Education (CDE) cannot guarantee 100 percent compensation and prorates the reimbursement amounts, depending on the availability of federal funds.

Are there any changes to the AP/IB test fee procedures for 2013–14?

For 2013–14, IB schools are required to submit their school worksheet (DOC) in addition to the CDE online application form and IB Fee Summary, and the AP Exam Invoice: State Copy (if applicable).

How does a district apply for the AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement Program with the CDE?

Participating districts must:

NOTE: In compliance with federal funding requirements, the CDE will require districts applying for the AP/IB Test Fee Program to submit additional documentation. Districts will be selected randomly each year. This documentation may include (1) agendas/minutes of staff meetings where the AP/IB Test Fee Program and application process were discussed; (2) communications with students and parents regarding the AP/IB Test Fee Program and how students may apply; and (3) board policies regarding the use of categorical flexibility as it relates to the former state funded AP/IB test Fee Program which included funding for IB grants.

How do I indicate that our school is participating in the AP/IB Test Fee Program?

The school must indicate the eligible students by marking the "Option 1" oval on the College Board AP Exam answer sheet. When generating your invoice, enter the total number of exams taken by eligible students. Send payment of $55 per exam to the AP Program for AP exams taken by students qualifying for the College Board fee reduction. The CDE will reimburse the district up to an estimated $45 for each AP exam taken by an income-eligible student. Reimbursement may be pro-rated depending on annual federal allocations.

Schools will then need to submit the CDE application form (with original signatures) and the AP Exam invoice to the CDE each June. See the FAQ section on "How does a district apply for the AP/IB Test Fee Program with the CDE" for more details. To receive the most updated information, please join the Advanced Placement Test Fee Listserv.

What are the program deadlines?

Districts that do not complete the College Board and the CDE online submissions and mail hard copies of all required forms to the CDE, will not be reimbursed.

June 16, 2014 - Districts submit invoice online to the College Board.

June 13, 2014 - Districts submit the CDE online application form.

June 30, 2014 - Hard copies of both the signed CDE online application form and the AP Exam Invoice (State Copy), IB Fee Summary, and School Worksheet (if applying for IB), must be received by the CDE. Postmarks will not be accepted. Please note that the original signatures are required on the CDE online application form and AP Exam Invoice (State Copy).

What are the most common errors?
If I submit the online request, am I done?

No. The department does not allow for the CDE online application form to be the official request because original signatures are required on the CDE online application form and each CDE form contains unique amounts which must be keyed by the CDE staff.

If the student does not show up on test day, can the student be charged the return fee?

No. Students may only be charged five dollars ($5) of the examination fee. Income-eligible students will not be responsible for any fees related to returning an unused exam or for exam administration.

When will the CDE reimburse the school district for AP/IB program participants?

Reimbursements occur after the annual state budget is enacted, and after federal funds become available. Districts that submit the proper forms by the due dates should allow approximately 16 weeks from the time the budget is enacted, or once federal funds become available. The district office is required to credit each participating school for their reimbursement based on the amounts in the summary.

How does CDE notify the county office of education that the AP/IB reimbursement has been made?

The CDE Accounting Office notifies, via e-mail, the County Treasurer that a disbursement has been sent. The CDE’s AP/IB Program Office will also notify the CDE AP/IB Listserv via e-mail.

Is there a Web site to see the reimbursement amount?

Yes. Districts and schools may view their reimbursement amounts at Search CDE Funding. The amount of reimbursement is subject to reductions if the total amount requested exceeds the federal allotment to California.

What will the state do if funds are unavailable to meet the demands of all school districts?

If the total amount of funds requested by district applications received by the deadline exceeds the total funds available, the CDE shall pro-rate the apportionments based upon the ratio of the total amount requested to the total amount budgeted by the federal government for the program.

What official submits the request for compensation to the CDE?

The district’s designee submits the request. The District Superintendent, authorizes this assignment.

Are private or charter schools eligible for AP/IB Test Fee Program funds?

Yes. Charter schools are eligible as long as federal funds continue to support the AP/IB test fee reimbursement efforts.

Private schools are eligible as long as there are federal funds to support the AP/IB test fee efforts. The CDE cannot reimburse private schools directly. Private schools must work with a local public school district and receive any reimbursement from the local public school district.

Where to Start

Where does a new coordinator or representative begin?
How are AP Tests ordered?

AP Coordinators order AP Tests from the College Board. AP Test information can be found in the AP Coordinators Manual and at College Board Testing Coordinator External link opens in new window or tab. .

How are IB Tests ordered?

IB tests are ordered through the International Baccalaureate External link opens in new window or tab. organization.

Income and Verification of Eligibility

How do I determine eligibility?

The test fee funds shall be used only to pay the fees required of income eligible students who take an AP and/or IB test. Schools are required to notify all students and parents of the availability of these subsidies.

The income levels are for families in which the income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty income levels. A student who qualifies for, or is participating in, the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program qualifies.

The federal poverty income levels change each year. The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United States Department of Agriculture, issues the guidelines for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program. See the "Federal 2013–14 Income Eligibility Guidelines" (DOC) document on the CDE Web site.

Which income level should be used?

Annual gross or total income level is used to determine eligibility. If you are using a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Form 1040, refer to line 22; line 15 on the 1040A; and line 6 on the 1040EZ.

What income verification is needed to qualify for the reimbursement?

The federal government states that “a student’s status as a low-income individual include documentation required under Chapter 1 of Subpart 2 of Part A of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.” This documentation can be:

The Student Eligibility Verification form serves as verification to determine eligibility and must be kept on file (five years) and be presented if requested.

Are there students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program but are not eligible?

No. All students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program are eligible. A student does not have to participate in the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program to be eligible for the fee waiver.

Are students eligible for the fee reimbursement if they did not take the AP class but want to take the test?

Yes. A student does not have to take an AP class to be eligible to take the test and/or to be eligible for the AP/IB Test Fee Program.

NOTE: A student must be enrolled in the IB Diploma Program to register for and take the IB tests.

Can a student retake a test?

Yes. The student may retake a test in the following school year providing the student meets the income guidelines or moved from another school and did not have an opportunity to take the test. Districts may want to develop a policy that clarifies when a test retake is appropriate.

Are foster students eligible?

Yes. The student stands alone as a family of “one.” Only the income the foster parent receives for the foster student is used to verify that the student meets the income guidelines; the income of the foster parent is not included.

Are homeless students eligible?

Generally, a homeless student will be eligible. If the student is living on his/her own, the student will probably qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program and stands alone as a family of “one.” If the student lives with a family member or members, then the income for that family unit will be used.

Is a student who is in a home-school program eligible?

Yes. The student’s parent must complete income-eligibility criteria and work with a local public school district and receive any reimbursement from the local public school district.

Cost of the AP/IB Test

How much does an income-eligible student pay for each AP/IB test?

Income-eligible students shall pay $5.00 per AP/IB test. The school or district will be responsible for contributing the other $5.00 per AP/IB test for income-eligible students. Students are now responsible for the full amount of the IB registration fee. Therefore, students must pay $5.00 for each AP/IB test, which is unlimited, and $157.00 for the IB registration fee.

What is the school’s cost of the AP test for income-eligible students?

The cost of each AP test for income-eligible students is $55.00. The student shall pay $5.00 and the school or district will be responsible for contributing $50.00. The CDE may reimburse the district up to an estimated $45.00. The College Board will also provide a fee reduction of an estimated $26.00 per exam for income-eligible students. Refer to the 2013–14 Fee Distribution Chart.

What is the cost and reimbursement of the IB tests? Are registration fees reimbursed?

The cost of each IB test for income-eligible students is $108.00. The student shall pay $5.00 and the school or district will be responsible for contributing $103.00. The CDE may reimburse the district up to an estimated $98.00. The student shall pay the full amount of $157.00 for the registration fee.

Are there any limits to the number of AP or IB tests income-eligible students can take?

No.

Do students qualify for any additional discounts from the CDE if they take more than one test?

No. All reimbursements are based on a student's household income. The reimbursement will be issued up to the rate designated per test.

Is there a waiver for students who do not qualify for the reduction?

No. However, schools may use other funds to help students who do not qualify.

Questions:   College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office | apibtestfee@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6398
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