AP Access Fund | An Early Victory

Lt. Governor with students from the College Success Foundation; February 7th, 2017.

Shortly after taking office, Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib learned that Congressional budget cuts and policy changes were expected to leave approximately 15,000 high-achieving, low-income students without a way to pay for their Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams and earn college credit. He found that unacceptable. In response, the Lt. Governor’s Office partnered with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and generous donors to create the AP Access Fund, a public-private partnership to raise funds so that every student receiving free or reduced cost lunch can take AP and IB exams for free.

On March 2, the Office of the Lt. Governor joined OSPI in announcing that the AP Access Fund reached its goal. Thanks to the generosity of Microsoft, the Schultz Family Foundation, Boeing, and nearly a dozen other donors, and with the support of Superintendent Chris Reykdal, the College Success Foundation, and Challenge Seattle, Washington is now able to dedicate nearly a million dollars of public and private money to guarantee access to college credits for each of these 15,000 hard-working students.

Before the state reached its goal, the AP Access Fund received praise for its swift and innovative response. Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President at the College Board, wrote in a Feb. 17 letter addressed to the Lt. Governor’s office:

“What you are doing is, frankly, unprecedented in state educational leadership; we have never yet seen a state leader rally private industry to contribute to students’ college readiness and affordability through a small, but incredibly meaningful way – reducing the cost of college credit exams like AP and IB.”

Read more about the initiative and the initial challenge in the Seattle Times and Education Week.

To learn more about the AP Access Fund, contact the Lt. Governor’s Director of Outreach, Miranda Roberts, at miranda.roberts@ltgov.wa.gov or 360.786.7746.

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