The College Board has announced they will not charge schools the $40 cancellation/unused exam fee for the 2020 AP exams. However, payment processing costs are incurred from a transaction regardless of the payment method used. For example, with payments processed onsite at school, staff spent time collecting checks and cash, recording payments, issuing receipts, and depositing the funds at the bank are all transaction-related costs. The situation is similar when payments are collected via a credit/debit card. Transaction fees are paid at the time of the purchase as the card brands, banks, gateway, and processor all have costs. Since the College Board requires schools to collect the College Board’s money, schools bear all the costs of the payment collection and processing.
When exam cancellations occur resulting in refunds, schools have two options regarding transaction costs:
- School absorbs the payment processing fees – By refunding the entire amount of the initial payment. (cancellation fee is set to $0.00 when canceling an exam)
- Families pay payment processing costs – By setting the cancellation fee to a nominal amount when canceling an exam. For example, schools that charged $98.00/exam may assess a $4.00 cancellation fee, so the family is refunded the $94.00 exam fee minus the $4.00 transaction cost.
If schools select option 2, it is imperative you communicate the school’s policy on cancellation fees to families before processing cancellations.
Configuring Coronavirus Cancellation Fees
Once your school determines how much cancellation fee to assess students, you can set the Coronavirus Cancellation Fees at the bottom of the Payment Info screen (found when you click AP > Configure AP Registration > Payment Info). A $0 cancellation fee is the default so if your school plans to absorb payment processing fees, you do not need to make any changes. In the below example, the demo school is assessing a $5 cancellation fee for each exam cancelled for a non-free/reduced lunch student and a $1 cancellation fee for each exam cancelled by free/reduced lunch students.
What Students Will See
The amount you set for your school will be seen by students when they log in and request exam registration cancellations. The example below is what a free/reduced lunch student cancelling exams in the demo school will see.