With college costs on the rise, so too is the amount of Garland ISD students taking advantage of opportunities to decrease them. The district now offers free Advanced Placement exams. A partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) also offers free test prep via Saturday study sessions.
“The district paying for the exams removes any financial barriers that may have prevented students from signing up to take the test previously,” said Jovan Grant-Wells, associate superintendent of curriculum and assessment. “In some cases, it may encourage students to take more than one test.”
In 2016, approximately 5,000 students took nearly 11,000 AP exams. Those numbers show a 180 percent and 221 percent increase from 2013, respectively. The district hopes to continue this increase, providing even more opportunities to save on college tuition. Passing AP scores can be exchanged for college credit. NMSI also awards cash incentives for passing English, math and science tests.
“We are so excited to have the National Math and Science Initiative program at Naaman Forest High School,” said Principal Erika Crump. “We want all of our students to feel confident that they can take an AP course and the accompanying test. The level of rigor and the expectations of AP really make them ready for the college experience. If that is their next step, students will get there and feel successful. If they pass the AP test, they can also enter with credit hours under their belt.”