March 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

U.S. DOE Awards $28.4 Million in Advanced Placement Grants to Low-Income Students

DOEToday, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced that it has awarded $28.4 million in grants to 40 states—plus Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands—in its Advanced Placement Test Fee Program (APTF), which helps defray the costs of taking advanced placement tests for low-income students.

The APTF program awards grants to eligible state educational agencies to enable them to pay all or a portion of advanced placement test fees on behalf of eligible low-income students who are enrolled in an advanced placement course and plan to take an advanced placement test. According to the White House DOE August 12 press release, the grants under the program are expected to be sufficient to pay all but $18 of the cost of each advanced placement test taken by low-income students. (Levels of funding per state were determined on the basis of state estimates of the numbers of tests that would be taken by low-income students.)

The grants are part of an overall effort by the Obama Administration’s commitment to equity in education—from My Brother’s Keeper to the proposed Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity grant program, which would create incentives for states and school districts to drive comprehensive change in how they identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps. The APTF—administered by the DOE’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education—will be used to help pay for low-income students taking approved advanced placement tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization, and Cambridge International Examinations.

“Advanced Placement courses are helping schools meet this challenge [of college readiness] by developing the study skills, critical reasoning, and habits of mind that prepare students for college,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the U.S. DOE press release. “These grants eliminate some of the financial roadblocks for low-income students taking Advanced Placement courses.”

For additional information on the program and these new awards, visit

Carolyn Sun About Carolyn Sun

Carolyn Sun was a news editor at School Library Journal. Find her on Twitter @CarolynSSun.