Bismarck students receive $100 reward for passing AP exams

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The National Math and Science Initiative rewards students who get a four or five on any science, math, or English AP test with a $100 check.

Legacy, Century, and Bismarck High schools are all participants of this initiative.

For many students at Legacy High School, one AP course isn't enough,

"I’m in four, I've done seven," said Sean Joyce, senior at Legacy High School.

Legacy offers a variety of 18 courses, however some students go out of their way to find time for more.

"We've had students that not only enrolled in the courses that we have, but have self-studied to pass tests beyond that. So, I think multiple AP courses is good for an upper level student because it challenges a student beyond what they might normally get," said Brett Mitchel, AP teacher at Legacy High School.

The extra course load may be harder than regular classes, but the benefits outweigh the work.

"I believe if I get them done now, and I pass them, then I won’t have to take them in college," said Leah Haman, junior at Legacy High School.

With a $100 incentive, some students are willing to put in the work.

"It’s great that it covers the application fee of the test, and actually getting the money at the end is a great reward. So it really encourages you to study and pass all your exams and its a great start to your college fund as well," said Maggie Sorensen, junior at Legacy High School.

The first exam is covered by the program, each one after is an additional $40.

"AP tests cost money, so if you're taking five like me, it gets pretty expensive. But then having that check gives you incentive to study more and do better on the test because if you pass you get $100 per test," said Nick Mathern, junior at Legacy High School.

Last year, students are Legacy High School were rewarded close to $15,000, after 148 students passed their exams,

"Throughout the year, you know how high school students are, they want to say they're not important, but when they get that qualifying score and they get that $100 check, you see a sense of pride because they know they've work so hard to achieve that," said Mitchell.

Teachers also see the benefits from the incentive, such as bonus and money to purchase supplies for their classrooms.

Outside of the Bismarck Public School district, Mandan High School and St. Mary's are awarded money through the National Math and Science Initiative.