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International Baccalaureate: State Subsidies for IB Test Fees

Why does it matter?

  • Test fees should not be an obstacle for students who want to take IB exams.
  • Highlights:

  • Nine states allocate state funds to cover IB test fees, either for low-income students or for all students. This number does not include states that have received a U.S. Department of Education grant to cover low-income students' test fees.

    States with no written policy in this area do not appear below.

    Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    What is International Baccalaureate? For more details on the IB Diploma Program, please refer to this summary for state policymakers or visit the IB Web site.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes and regulations, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last update: August 20, 2007

    This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or
  • State subsidies for IB test fees
    Arkansas Yes. State authorized to pay IB test fee in full or on pro rata basis.
    California Yes. A state grant program makes available grants to school districts to cover the IB exam fees of a "eligible economically disadvantaged high school" student, defined as a student from a family whose annual household income is 200% below the federal poverty level or who is eligible for free/reduced lunch. An eligible student enrolled in an IB course may apply to the district for a grant; a student receiving a grant pays $5 of the exam fee. Statute directs the state department of education to "make every effort to obtain and allocate federal funding for the purposes of this program prior to expending any state funds."

    In addition, the superintendent of public instruction annually allocates up to $25,000 to each district, for each high school or middle school that offers an IB program. The funds must cover teacher professional development and test fees for low- and middle-income students in need of financial assistance. Grants must "be increased annually by a cost-of-living adjustment, based on the same percentage increase that is provided to the revenue limits of unified school districts with 2,501 or more units of average daily attendance."
    Florida Yes. Students are exempt from paying IB test fees regardless of whether or not the student earns a passing score on the exam.
    Minnesota Yes. The state covers the exam fees for all public and nonpublic low-income students, and to the extent appropriations are available, the exam fees of other public and nonpublic students. The 2007 appropriation also directs that the AP program and IB program must receive 75% and 25% of the appropriation, respectively, to support teacher training, teacher support programs and test fee subsidies. "The department, in consultation with representatives of the advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs selected by the Advanced Placement Advisory Council and IBMN, respectively, shall determine the amounts of the expenditures each year for examination fees and training and support programs for each program."

    The legislation also provides that any unused portion of the $500,000 annually allocated for teacher training may be used to cover exam fees.

    Funds awarded through the state's competitive grant program for districts and charter schools to expand AP and IB access may also be used to pay course or program fees.
    Missouri Yes. To be eligible under "the Missouri Fee Payment Program, "students must be enrolled in an approved course, plan to take the appropriate exam and have either scored proficient or advanced on the same content area section of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test." The department of elementary and secondary education is also required to "establish a systematic process for identification and reporting the names of students eligible for aid to pay a portion of the cost of ... IB fees; and an evaluation used to determine the effectiveness of the program as a whole and the program's impact upon participating students."
    Oklahoma Yes. The state department of education covers a share of the IB exam fee for students who take more than one IB exam in one year, or who demonstrate financial need.
    South Carolina Yes. 2007 H.B. 3620 allocates funds to support Advanced Placement (AP) programs, and provides that these funds may cover $75 of an IB test fee (the same amount awarded to cover a student's AP test fee).
    Texas Yes. Students demonstrating financial need may receive a testing fee subsidy of up to $25.

    In addition, statute authorizes a student who earns a 4 or higher on an IB exam to receive up to $65 reimbursement for the testing fee. The commissioner of education is authorized to enter into agreements with the International Baccalaureate Organization "to pay for all examinations taken by eligible public school students." The state defines an "eligible student" as one taking an IB course at a public school or "who is recommended by the student's principal or teacher to take the test." However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, the $65 testing fee reimbursement has never been funded by the state.

    Virginia Yes. The department of education anticipates that it will pay $53 for each IB exam taken by a low-income student in a public or private school. "It is anticipated that AP/IB test fees will be reimbursed up to 200 exams per" district.

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