Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
2010–11 School Year
NEW AP/IB COORDINATORS and DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES:
Where should new coordinators or representatives start?
The California Department of Education (CDE) recommends that you take several steps to develop your role and responsibilities:
- To learn how to subscribe to the AP Listserv, please visit the CDE Advanced Placement Test Fee Reimbursement Listserv Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/ps/aplistserv.asp.
- Read the CDE FAQ to see if your questions have been asked and answered.
- Attend an AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement Information Session to learn current procedures and requirements.
- Information Sessions are scheduled for Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Jose beginning October 2010. Specific information on dates, times, and locations will be sent via e-mail.
- Information Sessions, via Webinar or Video Conference, will be scheduled for spring 2011.
- Determine if a previous AP Coordinator left information that explains the process and the responsibilities.
- Determine if a previous district office representative was identified and what information is available that explains the process and what the responsibilities are.
INCOME & VERIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY:
How do I determine eligibility?
The test fee reimbursement 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 or 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 or Reduced Price Meal Program.
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 1 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:
- An approved Free or Reduced Price Meal application for the student’s family.
- Verification from another governmental source.
- A signed financial aid application.
- A signed United States or Puerto Rico income tax return.
The Student Eligibility Verification form serves as verification to determine eligibility and must be kept on file for seven years and be presented if requested.
How do I help a student access the AP/IB Test Fee program when the parent(s) will not submit documentation?
Ask the student and/or talk to your district office to see if the student has a sibling who is participating in the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program at a feeder middle and/or elementary school. Eligibility is for the family, not an individual student. The application verifies the high school student’s eligibility. If a sibling is eligible so is the high school student.
Are there students who qualify for the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program but are not eligible?
No. All students who qualify for the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program are eligible. A student does not have to participate 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 fee reimbursement program.
Note: A student must be enrolled in the IB 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. Therefore, districts may want to develop a policy that clarifies when a test retake is appropriate.
Note: The CDE cannot guarantee 100 percent reimbursement (see Reimbursement Process: What will the state do if funds are unavailable to meet the demands?).
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.
COST OF THE AP/IB TESTS:
How much does an eligible student pay for each AP/IB test?
The CDE application for federal funds to support the AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement Program states that income eligible students shall pay $5.00 per AP/IB test and $5.00 per IB registration fee. Therefore, students shall pay $5.00 for each AP/IB test and each IB registration fee per student.
What is the school’s cost of the AP test for income eligible students? How much do I collect from the student?
The cost of the AP test for income eligible students is $56.00. The student shall pay $5.00; the CDE may reimburse the district up to $52.00. Refer to the 2010–11 Fee Distribution Chart.
What is the cost and reimbursement of the IB tests? Are registration fees reimbursed?
The cost of the IB test for income eligible students is $96.00; the reimbursement rate may be up to $91.00. The cost of the registration fee is $145.00; the reimbursement rate may be up to $140.00. The student shall pay $5.00 for each test and $5.00 for the registration fee.
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 fee waiver for students who do not qualify for the reduction?
NOTE: The CDE is the government agency that reimburses the district. The College Board is a non-government agency that provides the tests. Both agencies have submission requirements.
How does a district apply for the AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement Program with the CDE?
Districts that apply for reimbursement for the AP/IB tests and registration fees must complete the following procedures:
- Submit an AP Invoice that includes the number of income eligible students and the number of tests to the College Board Education Professionals Web page at http://professionals.collegeboard.com/gateway (Outside Source).
- Complete and submit the CDE Form C at the CDE RFA Advanced Placement and International BaccalaureateTest Fee Reimbursement Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r17/apfee10rfa.asp. The online application documents the date and time of the district submission.
- Mail to the CDE a hard copy of the completed College Board AP Invoice: State Copy and the CDE Form C for reimbursement. The AP Invoice must include the AP Coordinator’s name, school e-mail, school phone number, and signature. Both documents must have original signatures.
- District office keeps a copy of the College Board AP Invoice: State Copy and the CDE Form C to track reimbursement amounts per school and apply the funds to each schools account when the reimbursement is received. Please do not submit the school or district worksheets to CDE.
When will the CDE reimburse the school district?
Reimbursements occur after the annual state budget is enacted. Districts that submit the proper forms by the due dates should allow approximately 16 weeks from the time the budget is enacted. Once CDE has processed the applications for reimbursement, a request for payment is sent to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) for issuance of a warrant.
The SCO issues warrants to each County Treasurer for the total amount for all school districts that participated in the fee reimbursement program. A summary of districts and schools that applied and received the reimbursement accompanies the warrant. The County Treasurer forwards this information to the County Office of Education which then forwards the reimbursement for each district along with the summary. The district office is required to credit each participating school for their reimbursement based on the amounts in the summary.
Note: The amount of the reimbursement is subject to reductions if the total amount requested exceeds the federal allotment to California.
How does CDE notify the COE that the 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 ListServ via e-mail.
Is there a Web page to see the reimbursement amount?
Yes. Districts and schools may view their reimbursement amounts at the Search CDE Funding Web page located at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/sf/.
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. CDE will apply for supplemental federal funds. If these funds are awarded, CDE will authorize a second payment to districts.
Districts that do not complete both online submissions and mail hard copies of both forms will not be reimbursed.
- June 15, 2011 – the CDE online application (Form C) submission time frame.
- June 15, 2011 – the College Board Invoice online submission.
- June 30, 2011 – hard copies of both the signed Form C and the College Board Invoice: State Copy must be received by CDE. Postmarks are not accepted.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
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 on the College Board Testing Coordinator Web page at http://professionals.collegeboard.com/educator/test-coordinator (Outside Source).
Who submits the request for reimbursement to the CDE?
The district’s designee will submit one request for all participating schools. The district designee must be assigned this responsibility by the district superintendent.
- Districts that request reimbursement for both AP and IB tests will submit one online submission that includes reimbursement requests for both programs.
- If a district office applies online, but neglects to mail the signed CDE Form C and the College Board Invoice: State Copy to the CDE, the district will not be eligible for reimbursement.
- If a school site sends the College Board Invoice directly to the CDE, it will not be processed as a request for reimbursement.
- If the district office misses the online submission deadline, the district is not eligible to apply.
- There will be no exceptions for late or incomplete forms.
- The CDE will e-mail the PIN and Password to all designated district representatives in May 2011.
- Information Sessions, via Webinar or Video Conference, are scheduled for spring 2011.
Are private or charter schools eligible for AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement 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 reimbursement 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.
How are schools and districts made aware of the AP/IB Test Fee Reimbursement Program?
The CDE uses several approaches to notifying school and district personnel about the AP Test Fees Reimbursement program:
- Annually, information is sent to all high school AP/IB teachers, counselors, principals and superintendents; AP, IB and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) coordinators; and charter schools regarding the program.
- Annual Income Guidelines, Student Eligibility, and Student Verification forms are sent to the above individuals in August and throughout the school year as requested by school and district personnel.
- Monthly bulletins are e-mailed to the above individuals with updates to ensure that all school and district personnel receive information.
- Statewide information sessions and webinars are scheduled to assist AP/IB coordinators, teachers, and district office personnel with the process and forms.
- The CDE consultant attends College Board and IB meetings and a variety of conferences to provide information and to emphasize access and equity for all students.
- The CDE disseminates information through the Advancement Via Individual Determination Program (AVID) regional staff, teachers, and site coordinators.
- The CDE provides participating high schools an informational brochure for counselors and career center staff to provide to students and parents.
- The information is posted on the CDE, College Board, and California Association of International Baccalaureate of World School Web sites and can be accessed by students, parents, and educators.
- School and district personnel may download and print the forms from the CDE RFA Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Reimbursement Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r17/apfee10rfa.asp. This page is updated annually and school and district personnel should check the Web page for updates if they do not receive the information via e-mail.
- The CDE uses a Lyris account to notify appropriate school and district personnel that new information is available and has been posted to the CDE Web site. To be added to the Lyris
e-mail account, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.