Yesterday, we wrote about how College Board, the maker of the AP exams, announced plans to move up the registration deadline for AP exams beginning next year. As reported Jim Jump for “Inside Higher Ed” in a piece entitled “Ethical College Admissions: AP Registration,” “Whereas registration for the May AP exams has up to now happened in the spring, beginning next year students will have to commit to taking the exams and schools will have to place exam orders by Nov. 15.” And while Jump lamented how this would make high school counselors and administrators more stressed since they’d have to make sure students were all registered while they’re helping seniors navigate the college admissions process, that argument didn’t hold water for us. School counselors can’t do two things at once? We have more confidence in them! And in fact we wrote yesterday that we take no issue with College Board’s deadline change, but in less than a day’s time, well, we’ve changed our mind. It happens.
College Board’s Likely Motivation to Move Up AP Test Registration Deadline
A reader wrote in to our post yesterday with a Comment that read, “I’m pretty sure I’ve read this sentiment here on your blog: what about the senior who decides to enroll at a school that doesn’t give credit for certain AP tests? A student will not know where they’re going to attend in November, but they might know by February. Why would they bother spending the $94 to take a test that doesn’t benefit them? This is a money grab.”
The reader is spot on and frankly, we’re surprised we didn’t say what he said yesterday since we’ve said it before on the pages of our college admissions blog. As our loyal readers may remember, we’ve been critical of some high schools that require seniors to take certain AP exams even when the college to which they’ve already been admitted (and to which they’ll be matriculating) doesn’t offer any credit for the AP tests. And we’ve been critical of College Board for not refunding fees paid to their organization by the students who no longer need to take these tests. We even shared with our readers a story about a student who doodled all over his AP Calculus exam booklet and wrote a heartfelt note to College Board requesting a refund for the unnecessary test fee.
College Board Should Do Better and Make Right
We suppose we were just so flummoxed by Jump’s argument that moving up the deadline would stress out school counselors and administrators that we failed to focus on what we suspect is College Board’s likely rationale for moving up the registration deadline: to ensure payments for AP tests taken by high school seniors — even when taking these tests may prove unnecessary since their admitting institutions may not accept the credit and they’ve already been admitted to college come May of senior year.
We thank this loyal reader for pointing out why this deadline change isn’t right and we hereby echo our decades-long call to College Board to refund that aforementioned AP Calculus test-taker’s exam fee since his admitting institution, an Ivy League school, didn’t accept any score on the exam — even a 5 — for college credit. We’ll be happy to provide payment remittance instructions.