The Costs of Enrolling in Advanced Placement Classes

Female high school teacher offering assignment assistance and three students in classroom setting wearing face masks and working at desks observing social distancing using technology of laptop computers and digital tablet; part of a series (Shot with Canon 5DS 50.
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High school students may be offered the opportunity to take Advanced Placement classes, considered equivalent to a college-level course. These classes tend to be more challenging and offer a number of perks, including possible college credit (depending on AP exam scores), improved college admissions chances and could help students be better prepared for the demands of college classes. But they also come with a number of added costs that you may want to consider before encouraging your child to enroll.

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AP Exam Fees

AP classes are meant to prepare students to take an exam at the end of the course, which can count toward college credits or advanced placement, depending on the student’s score and which college they attend. But these come with hefty fees — $95 to $143 per exam.

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Fee reductions are available, however. According to College Board, “If you have significant financial need, you may be eligible for a $33 College Board fee reduction per AP exam. Depending on your state, there might also be additional funding available to supplement the College Board fee reduction and reduce your cost even further. Check with your AP coordinator to find out what support may be available to you.”

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Tutoring

AP classes tend to be academically rigorous, so your child may need extra tutoring to keep up with the curriculum. The cost for tutors can vary. According to My Guru, pricing for private tutoring ranges from $49 to $129 per hour.

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Test Prep

Even if your child doesn’t need a tutor to keep up with the demands of the class, you may consider hiring a professional to get them ready for the AP exam. Study Point recommends six 60-minute sessions of exam prep per subject, with costs for tutoring ranging from $60 to $150 per hour.

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Extra Supplies

A graphing calculator is typically needed for AP calculus and AP physics courses. According to Conquer Your Exam, the Texas Instruments Nspire Graphing Calculator is the preferred choice for AP calculus — it’s quite pricey at $145.

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Last updated: Aug. 5, 2021

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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