Omaha Public Schools introduces free dual enrollment and Advanced Placement testing

Sara Popken, Opinion and Entertainment editor

Omaha Public Schools (OPS) has decided to take a new approach when it comes to dual enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) testing. Throughout the 2022-2023 and the 2023-2024 school years, all AP testing and dual enrollment fees will be covered by OPS.

Covered fees allow students to earn college credits for free. In the past, students had to pay $97 per AP test and $250 for dual enrolled courses through University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). The district wants to give more students the opportunity to access important resources and encourage them to pursue farther education.

Hekima Muli, 12, took AP classes last year and had to pay for the testing. He said the fees being waived this year has been a “pleasant surprise” for his family.

“I had to reassure my mom several times that it was all free, because it still appeared like the bills were coming her way,” said Muli.

In addition to OPS covering costs of dual enrollment for colleges like UNO, Metro Community College is offering free enrollment for all current high school students in Nebraska. The funding for dual enrollment is coming from The American Rescue Plan.

The American Rescue Plan was designed to support the economy after many people lost money during the pandemic.

Giving students access to resources they otherwise would not have without fee waivers encourages them to pursue further education as they’re given the opportunity to avoid college debt and get a head start on credits.