Test Fee Eligibility Criteria

Fee Reductions for AP Exams

The College Board provides a $28 fee reduction per exam for students with financial need. For each exam taken with a fee reduction, the school forgoes its $8 rebate, resulting in a cost of $53 per exam for the student.

Most states provide additional fee reductions for students in economic need, and some states provide fee reductions for all students taking AP Exams. Each state determines whether students qualifying for the College Board's fee reduction are eligible for additional fee reductions through federal and state grants. Information about these state-specific contributions is posted on this website in February.


Eligibility criteria

Primary criteria

Students who are either enrolled or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program qualify for the $28 College Board fee reduction on all AP Exams that they take in a given year.

A student is eligible for free or reduced price lunches if his or her family's income is at or below 185 percent of the poverty level issued annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The table below lists annual family incomes, by family size, at 185 percent of the poverty level. If the AP student's family's income did not exceed the amount listed in the appropriate row and column, he or she qualifies for a College Board fee reduction.


Size of Family Unit


Annual Family Income*


Annual Family Income* for Alaska


Annual Family Income* for Hawaii

































































*The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 185 percent of the 2012 federal income poverty guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These levels were published in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 57, 3/23/12, pp. 17004-17006.

For family units with more than eight members, add the following dollar amount for each additional family member: $7,326 for the 48 contiguous U.S. States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Territories; $9,158 for Alaska; and $8,418 for Hawaii.

Alternative criteria

If your school would prefer to use another method for determining which students qualify for AP Exam fee reductions, any of the following criteria are allowed:

  • The student's family's income is at or below the Census Bureau's "poverty threshold." The Census "poverty threshold" varies by family size and the ages of family members, but it is not adjusted for differences in the cost of living, including the higher costs of living in Alaska and Hawaii. If your school chooses to use the Census Bureau's "poverty threshold" to determine a student's low-income status and eligibility, it should use the 2011 "poverty threshold" information available at the U.S. Census Bureau website.
  • The student's family receives assistance under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act.
  • The student is eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act.



AP Coordinators must complete three important tasks for their schools to be appropriately credited for available fee reductions:

Step 1: Indicate Fee Reduction Totals Before Ordering

Coordinators must indicate before ordering how many AP Exams will qualify for the fee reductions for low-income students. An optional online roster/calculator is available in the AP Exam Ordering website to help you determine the total number of qualifying students and exams. If you already have this information you do not need to use the online roster/calculator and can simply enter the total number of qualifying students and exams. Schools will be able to revise their totals as needed prior to generating their invoices, but should make every effort to provide accurate totals before ordering.

Step 2: Fill in the Fee Reduction Circle on Answer Sheets

The fee reduction circle must be filled in for all students who qualify for a College Board, federal, and/or state fee reduction. Coordinators must indicate which students are eligible for fee reductions by filling in the appropriate circle on the student's registration answer sheet. AP Coordinators should not bubble in all other answer sheets for those students taking multiple exams.

There are two fee reduction circles on the answer sheet, in the "School Use Only" section. Only one circle should be filled in for each student eligible for funding.

  • Option 1: Low-Income Students (who meet low-income family guidelines for College Board, federal and state fee reductions).
  • Option 2: Non-Low-Income Eligible Students (who are eligible for subsidies based on state criteria other than the College Board fee reduction policy).

Fee reduction options are captured separately for exams that don't require answer sheets:

  • Schools administering AP Studio Art Exams: Coordinators can designate a student's fee reduction for AP Studio Art using the Digital Submission Web application. For more information, visit the online demo or the Web application help text for details.
  • Schools administering AP Chinese or Japanese Exams: Coordinators must use the Fee Reduction/Section Designation Form to indicate students eligible for fee reductions.


Step 3: Generate, Submit and Return Your Invoice

All schools must generate and submit an invoice online, print a hard copy, and mail the completed invoice to the AP Program in the envelope provided with their exam shipments by June 15, 2013. You will need to indicate the total number of exams with fee reductions again when generating your invoice. Schools accessing this screen after June 15 will have a $200 late fee automatically added to their invoices.