Are the AIMS Really Worth All the Trouble?

By: Trenton Thompson

Every Arizona high school student has taken the AIMS test at least once. Some students who do not pass them may take them more than once. In some cases, students elect to take the tests multiple times so that they can exceed on each one. This is a practice that Tri-City Prep encourages its students to do. But is it worth it? Does it really help that much?

In the past several years, exceeding on your AIMS would pay for 100% of your freshmen college tuition to any in-state university. However, in 2010 the Arizona Board of Regents decided to cut this scholarship down significantly for htose who were a sophomore or younger at th time of this agreement. Basically, after 2012, graduates that qualify for the scholarship will only have 25% of their tuition covered.

The Board of Regents decided that not only should the amount of tuition be cut, but also the standards of elgibility for the scholarship should be raised. Their agreement said, according to azcentral.com journalist Anne Ryman, that the scholarship would be cut to 25% of freshmen tuition and that students must pass their ACTs with a 28 and their SATs with a 1300. This allows the state to ensure that the students who are getting the scholarship will actually be ready for college and that they will be less likely to drop out.

Although these standards are tough compared to the former qualifications, it has not deterred students from trying.

Emily Stanfill, a Junior at Tri-City, said, “I am going to retake the AIMS to try and exceed.” Stanfill is one of the multiple students who said that regardless of how small the scholarship was she was still going to try for it.

Mrs. Norris, the school counselor, said that there are fewer students than usual retaking the AIMS, but she also said that the school has an abnormally large number of students who exceed the first time through. Nevertheless, 11 students opted to retake the Reading section, 8 retook the Writing portion, and 7 slated to retake the Math section. Although the scholarship has been significantly reduced, it has not greatly affected the amount of students retaking the AIMS.

For more information about the Tuition Waiver visit the Arizona Education website at http://www.azed.gov/endorsement-tuition-scholarship/

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