The IB exams cost more than just time and effort.
A notice was attached to 11th graders’ semester one report cards handed out in February detailing the price of taking IB exams. The notice explains that the exams, “come at a cost. We are asking families to pay a fee to help offset the cost of registering for the exams.”
The projected cost for Full Diploma Candidates is $886 for the six subject exams and $172 for registration. For those aiming for IB Certificates, registration is a projected $172 and each subject exam costs $119. Recognition of a students’ completion of the Extended Essay, ToK, and CAS all costs somewhere under $100 each for IB Certificate course candidates, but are no additional cost to Full Diploma Candidates. The fee is due by November 1, 2018. There are no refunds.
Some students believe the announcement wasn’t made early enough. Maxwell Aurnhammer, an 11th grade Diploma Candidate, commented, “It’s like a hidden fee. We didn’t know we were going to have to pay all of this money with picking this school and going to this school.”
Ms. Cheryl Goett, assistant principal and upper grades director, explained that the announcement was made when it was because exam costs are standard, and shouldn’t come as a shock. She said, “That’s one of the normal high school things, but not normal for us because we haven’t gone through it yet.” She continued that exams cost money in most schools, and isn’t exclusive to Clinton or IB. She said, “AP exams also cost money, and it’s something that the high schools also have families pay for.” AP exams cost $94 each, according to CollegeBoard.
Eleventh grader Natalie Falcon was going for the full diploma but is now unsure. Because she was absent from advisory when report cards were handed out, she was not aware of the price until it was explained in our interview. After hearing about the price, she answered, “It costs money? I’m not going for the diploma! I didn’t know about this!” She added, “There’s no longer an equal opportunity for education.”
In the notice announcing the price of IB exams, it mentions the possibility of scholarships. It states, “No student will be denied this opportunity due to income.”
In an interview, Ms. Goett said the Clinton administration is still unsure about the possibility and extent of scholarships. She said, “I am not sure about scholarships, but students right now should be thinking more about whether or not they want to do the program.”
Ms. Goett added that students right now should be focusing on their mastery of the content instead of the cost when considering the diploma program. She said, “What students should be thinking about right now isn’t the price, but ‘is it something that I even want to do?’”
For 11th grader and diploma candidate Kyle Robinson, the price will influence his decision to take the exams. He explained, “I’m only going to take it if I know I’m doing well in my courses, so if I don’t feel like I’m strong enough in my courses, I’m not going to waste the money.”