Students shocked by $110 per class AP exam fee


Graphic by Storey Ahl ’25

The AP exam fee for the 2022-23 school year increases by $10 from the 2021-22 school year, making this year’s fee $110.

You, an AP student who is under enough pressure and stress already, open your email one day to find out that you owe yet another fee: this time, it’s for $110. This is the price you can write the check out to College Board for so that you can take your AP exam.

According to Vice Principal James Farnen, each year Staples administers approximately 1,100 AP exams to about 600 AP students. In total, it costs Staples about $111,000 to administer and oversee AP exams each year. Last school term, the price of an AP exam was $100. Although the fee of an AP exam is listed as $97 on the official College Board website, Staples now adds an additional $13 to the cost suggested by College Board, making the fee charged to students $110 for the 2022-23 school year.

Since I’m taking four APs this year. It’s gonna be $440 to pay for the AP exams which is kind of a lot because that’s almost half a grand that I have to use on just, like, taking some tests.

— Charlotte Strange ’24.

“Since I’m taking four APs this year,” Charlotte Strange ’24 said, “it’s gonna be $440 to pay for the AP exams which is kind of a lot because that’s almost half a grand that I have to use on just, like, taking some tests.”

The additional money added to the cost suggested by College Board can be attributed to many different components.

“The price per exam went up $10 due to the increased amount of kids, Covid related, that we had testing in the late and make-up exam window where we cover the cost of the proctor whether it’s one student testing or many,” Farnen said. “We are using a new software application for online registration which is an additional cost, and the cost of labor to pay proctors to cover four weeks of exams, two regular and two late, has increased.”

Another factor to consider is the incorporation of the exam make-up fee. Staples does not charge an additional fee to the particular students that miss their exam like College Board suggests. Instead, an additional dollar or two is added to every single student’s fee, whether one misses their exam or not, to cover the cost of resources needed for a retake exam.

“If you are late to pay, there’s an extra fee, which multiplied by four is $160, so that’s almost another $200 that I would have to pay,” Strange said.

Many believe that spending the money on AP classes and tests is worth it. It’s a way to gain college credit and it can lead to tuition savings as an undergraduate. These challenging classes dive deeper into topics and are designed to be more challenging. Doing well in AP courses can potentially show college admissions staff that you are ready to succeed in college.

“I took them as a way to learn more about specific classes, because I feel that A level classes don’t move very fast,” Anna Moody ’23 said. “[…] AP classes are at a faster pace. Plus they increase your chance of getting into better schools if you pass the exam.”