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AP Coordinator Responsibilities

Collecting AP Exam Payments

Responsibility

School staff must collect students' AP exam payments, issue receipts, record payments, and process any required refunds.

Why?
  • The College Board (CB) charges schools for the exams, so schools need to collect the appropriate amount from each student.
  • Neglecting to collect payments opens schools to financial liability.

Implementation

There are a few ways that schools collect payments from students:

  • Schools collect cash and checks at school, generate receipts, and issue required refunds by check.
  • Schools with billing accounts (typically private schools) add the exam fees to the student's bill.
  • Schools add the fees to the beginning of the year school/class fees.
  • Schools use a web store to accept payments online via credit/debit card.
Challenges
  • Collecting cash and checks is time-consuming for staff and error-prone. Typically this is drawn out and requires students to remember to pay.
  • Using Billing Accounts requires knowledge of which exams a student wants to take and requires staff time to populate bills.
  • Collecting fees upfront can require many future refunds and does not work for independent study students or non-attenders.
  • Web stores often have a rigid fee structure, unable to handle many of the intricacies of AP Exam fees, fee reductions, scholarships, and late and cancellation fees.

Simplification

Total Registration (TR) has been an AP Fee Collection Provider since 2007, collecting more AP fees than any other provider.

A Better Way
  • Students indicate the exams they wish to take, and the system calculates the appropriate fees.
  • Families pay online with a debit/credit card or mail a check or money order if unable to pay online.
  • The system handles fee reductions, scholarships, and variable fee calculations.
  • Save significant staff time while increasing organization and transparency.

TR's payment collection is deeply integrated into TR's full AP Exam service. This deep integration gives schools complete control over the fee structure. TR helps schools successfully implement the following fee structures in addition to the common structure of the number of exams times exam fee:

  • Fees vary by exam (some exams cost more, others less).
  • Fees vary by the number of exams (first exams cost less while additional cost more, exam fee decreases with the number of exams, etc.).
  • The system gracefully handles fee reductions for students who qualify for a reduced fee.
  • Schools can provide waivers based on various questions, helpful for variable STEM exam pricing, students in programs like AVID, etc.
  • The system can handle multiple late fees as well as the CB's cancellation fee after the Nov. ordering deadline.

When schools have TR process the payments, all students will pay online with a credit or debit card or mail a check or money order, completely removing payment collection from the school. TR processes the payments, sends the family a receipt, and takes care of any refunds needed due to additional fee waivers or exam cancellations. Schools have the option of allowing families to make partial payments which works great for schools that require students to pay a deposit to cover the CB's sizeable cancellation fee for exams canceled after the Nov deadline. Families that make a partial payment can log back in and pay their outstanding balance before the final payment deadline set by the school

Learn more by downloading our Payment Processing PDF which details the process and answers common questions.