Death, Taxes and…Additional AP Exam Fees?


Photo courtesy of The Princeton Review.

An assortment of AP prep books.

Henry Diep, Staff Writer

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Well, you can add one more thing to that list: AP exam dues.

College Board’s recent decision to move the payment deadline for Advanced Placement (AP) exams up from February to November (which you can learn more about here) has raised some additional concerns from students and parents over fees—namely why Chamblee appears to charge an extra $13 fee per exam.

According to assistant principal Anastacio Marin, who took over AP exam payment responsibilities from current principal Gail Barnes, Chamblee actually charges the same amount for AP exams as most other high schools in the county, meaning the $13 fee is not necessarily an “extra” fee.

“I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t charging anything [extra],” said Marin. “The fees I put [the payment as] are the exact same fees other surrounding high schools are doing as well, so it’s not anything out of the norm.”

There were multiple reasons behind the so-called extra fees and why they were a necessary addition to students’ exam payments.

One of the more significant reasons was due to the fact that because the deadline for exam payments was pushed from February up to November this year, the school needed to allow students to pay via credit card so that those without readily sufficient funds could meet the deadline in time.

To do so, the school had to pay for Total Registration, a test payment platform that most schools around the county are now using to pay for AP exams. The additional $4 convenience fee in exam payments covers the cost of the service.

“I did call around to the other surrounding high schools to see the platform that they’re using to pay for exams to collect money and almost all of them are using total registration, which is what we’re now using to be uniform,” said Marin. “So it was easier for me to collect money but also the biggest [reason] why I wanted to use it was because of College Board pushing the payment due date earlier, I wanted parents to be able to have the convenience to pay with a credit card or debit card.”

As for the $9 rebate that College Board offers to schools to offset exam administration costs, Chamblee does still include the fee in exam dues but most of the money goes back into the school’s AP program to pay for classroom materials, such as lab equipment and textbooks, and other AP expenses such as exam proctors and break-time snacks.

“What’s happening is a lot of our AP class teachers need things to make sure that we’re educating you as AP students, so we were able to provide some teachers maybe a set of textbooks they needed, some teachers needed interactive materials to go with what they’re teaching, so I was able to use that money to pay for those things and make sure that we’re giving you the most up-to-date instruction that you need,” said Marin. “So that money is going fully back to students and instruction.”