Fairfax Senior High School

Opinion: Students from middle-income families should receive benefits

How much money do you spend for your SATs? Fifty-two dollars? How would you feel if you learned that some students can take the test for free? Something is wrong with this discrepancy.

There are three types of income classes when sorting high school students in the United States: high-income, middle-income and low-income. Low-income students receive financial incentives if they fill out a meal application for their school. These students are eligible to have benefits like taking the SATs for free and sending college applications for free.

If the low-income students get so many benefits, what about the middle-class students? Their parents might not even have enough money to pay for their tests and college tuition. The College Board is an organization that determines the price for our national tests. The AP exams are approaching, and the full price for each test is $91 this year, two dollars more than last year. However, the discounted price costs only $5. There is no reasonable explanation for having a $86 difference between what two groups of students pay.

“I think it’s unfair that we have to pay $91,” junior Darian Hatcher said.

High-income students do not need much help since their parents can afford the expensive tests. However, some middle-income students do not have enough money to pay for them. Their parents might not even have enough money to pay for all their tests. Especially junior year, students will take the SATs and AP exams. Students who take a lot of the AP courses will have to pay over a hundred dollars while the low-income students will only spend a maximum of thirty dollars.

“It should be a gradual system of support,” Title I coordinator Brian Dunbar said. “People with the most need would get the most assistance and the people with some need would get some help. People that are well-off wouldn’t need assistance.”