Advanced Placement Program (Advanced Placement Test Fee; Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants

Award grants to States support State and local efforts to increase access to advance placement classes and tests for low-income students and to cover part or all of the cost of test fees for low-income students enrolled in advanced placement courses.

Examples of Funded Projects

Awards support activities to increase the participation of low-income students in both pre-advanced placement and advanced placement courses.

Grants support teacher training, distance learning, and training for "vertical teams" or teachers from different grade levels in a given subject.

Grants also help procure books and supplies and support other activities directly related to expanding access to, and participation in, advanced placement courses and tests for low-income students.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

In 2007, 47 States participated in the AP Test Fee program; and 46 AP Incentive grants were awarded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Advanced Placement Incentive Grants program provides grants to eligible entities to enable them to increase the participation of low-income students in both pre-advanced placement and advanced placement courses and tests.

The Advanced Placement Test Ffee program provides awards to enable States to cover all or part of the cost of test fees for low-income students who are enrolled in advanced placement classes.

The ESEA requires the Secretary to give priority to funding the Advanced Placement Test Fee program, with remaining funds allocated to Advanced Placement Incentive Grants.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Local educational agencies, nonprofit organizations, and State educational agencies may apply for AP Incentive grants.

State educational agencies may apply for the AP Test Fee program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Low-income high school students who (1) are enrolled in an advanced placement class; and (2) plan to take an advanced placement test.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102 must be used for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Secure grant application forms and instructions from the Federal Register. Prepare and address submission according to published directions. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Applications are reviewed by Education Department staff. Final decisions on grants are made by the Secretary on the basis of statutory considerations.


Established for grants each year by notice published in the Federal Register.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, Title I, Part G.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Up to 120 days of receipt of applications.




Awards are made annually based on an applicant's eligibility and contingent on the availability of funds and project performance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are made for one year for the AP Test Fee program, and for up to 3 years for the AP Incentive Grant program.

Post Assistance Requirements


A final report must be submitted.

Reporting requirementa are included in the final grant documents.

Grantees also may be subject to national evaluation performed by the Department of Education.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Records are to be maintained as indicated in the grant or contract award document.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $37,026,000; FY 08 est $43,539,834 and FY 09 est $70,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Average new AP Test Fee award in 2008: $266,830. Average API continuation award in 2008: $571,776.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

EDGAR; 34 CFR 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, and 99. Contact the Program Office for this information.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Education, OESE Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202-6140 Contact: Ivonne Jaime, E-mail:, Telephone: (202) 260-1519.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

To receive funds under the AP Test Fee program, an SEA must submit information to the Department describing the Advanced Placement test fees the State will pay on behalf of individual students along with assurances that (1) the requested funds will supplement and not supplant existing fee payment efforts; (2) there will be a method by which low-income individuals will be identified and that funds will be used to serve this population; and (3) there will be a description of the applicant's plan to disseminate information on the availability of test fee payments to eligible individuals through secondary school teachers and guidance counselors. To receive an AP Incentive grant, eligible entities must expand access for low-income individuals to advanced placement programs. Eligible activities include teacher training, development of pre-advanced placement courses, coordination and articulation between grade levels to prepare students for academic achievement in AP or IB courses, books and supplies, and participation in online AP or IB course. In awarding grants, the Secretary gives priority to applications that: (1) demonstrate a pervasive need for access to AP incentive programs; (2) provide for the involvement of business and community organizations in the activities to be assisted; (3) assure the availability of matching funds from State, local, or other sources; (4) demonstrate a focus on developing or expanding AP programs and participation in the core academic areas of English, mathematics, and science; (5) demonstrate an intent to carry out activities that target LEAs serving schools with a high concentration of low-income students, or schools with a high concentration of low-income students; and (6) in the case of applications submitted by LEAs, assure that the LEA serves schools with a high concentration of low-income students; or (7) demonstrates an intent to carry out activities to increase the availability of, and participation in, on-line AP courses.

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