Senior Evan Garcia appreciates any help toward funding his education. 

Garcia plans to major in architecture, which requires five years of college. Soon, he will receive support to decrease the cost of Advanced Placement tests that help him earn college credit while in high school. 

Instead of paying $106, a test now costs him only $40.  

His school, Northwest High School, recently received about $93,000 in grants from the National Math and Science Initiative and the Department of Defense STEM Education and Outreach Office. The funding goes toward reducing the cost of AP tests for students and providing additional training for district teachers in science, technology, engineering and math. 

“It means a lot,” Garcia said. “I appreciate it because college is expensive.” 

Northwest ISD received the grant because its student population has direct connections to active duty, guard or reserve military members, according to a district spokesperson.

Each school within the district received: 

  • Northwest High School: $92,579
  • Byron Nelson High School: $101,276
  • V.R. Eaton High School: $91,904
  • James M. Steele Early College High School: $117,326

A student on free or reduced lunch will pay $20 for an AP exam, said Audra Rowell, the district’s advanced academics coordinator. Other students will pay $40 per test.  

“​​They’re potentially getting college credit for $40 or $20, which is really exciting,” Rowell said.

Sometimes students don’t get to participate in opportunities because of financial reasons, Carrie Jackson, principal at Northwest High School, said. 

“Being able to have access to funds so that students who may not otherwise have the funds to do testing have that opportunity … with this grant money,” Jackson said. 

The funding started this summer, when Northwest ISD was able to send about 30 teachers for training, Rowell said. Over the past decade, the district has sent five or six teachers each year to the National Math Science Initiative training because of its expensive costs.

The training has helped teachers adopt different teaching strategies and make their content more accessible for students, she said. 

Dang Le is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Dang Le is a reporting fellow. He can be reached at Le has a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He was the editor-in-chief at The Shorthorn, UTA’s...