By Ben Rosenthal | Staff Writer
Students have been given the opportunity to receive a cash reward for passing AP exams through grant money from nonprofits. This cash reward gives students an incentive to take more rigorous classes and prepare for college-level classes.
The program originally began in 1996 in the Dallas ISD. Students who received a three or higher on an AP exam were given a $100 reward. Students could earn as much as $400 for taking AP exams. At Pearce, the bonus is only available for math and science classes.
Last year was the first time Pearce offered the incentive. Students who passed the exam last year received their money during the first semester of this year.
“A reward for students who pass is a good idea, but overall I think that the cost to take the exams outweighs the bonus,” junior Collin Hitt said. “I received $100 last year for AP Chemistry, but I also took AP World History, so there really was no profit.”
The entry fee for taking an AP exam at Pearce is $53. If a student passes his AP exam, he will be making a net profit of just $47.
The goal of the AP tests is to gain more attendance for AP level classes. The cash reward has been successful in gaining greater attendance in AP classes.
“I planned on taking a lot of science classes next year, and this reward system is just another reason why I should,” junior Jaron Williams said.
The cash reward has begun to spread throughout the nation. States including Illinois, Alabama and Arkansas have taken up this program.
Money comes from non-profit organizations such as the National Math and Science Initiative.
“I hope that I will see more people taking AP Physics next year because of the new bonus,” AP Physics teacher Brendon Eaton said.