By Tim McNicholas

LAKE ZURICH (CBS) – Junior Vince Petropoulos studied for months to take upcoming Advanced Placement exams. Now, thanks to a clerical error and the stringent new rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, he can’t take the tests next week–or any time this year.

The Lake Zurich teenager has studied AP calculus, chemistry and U.S. history all year. Scoring high enough on the tests earns a student college credits. That means paying for fewer college courses.

“Nowadays, college tuition is so expensive and that can really have a big impact on my future,” said Vince, who signed up for the exams with his school’s AP coordinator. He even got an email on March 23 from The College Board, which administers the tests.

The email laid out the new rules for testing at home due to COVID-19, so Vince thought he was good to go. But a couple weeks ago, he logged onto the College Board’s web portal and saw he was not registered for the tests.

His mom, Sue, reached out to the College Board and their school district. A Lake Zurich district administrator emailed the College Board, saying Vince wasn’t registered by the March 13 deadline because of a school district system error. The district even offered to fly Vince somewhere to take the test in person–but the College Board wouldn’t budge.

“Of course [school district officials] want him to take the exams, too, and it’s disappointing for them as well because the College Board is unwilling help,” Sue said.

The College Board sent CBS 2 an email saying they had to add a unique electronic ticket for each exam to keep students from cheating at home. They say the process is complex and cannot be re-started now that it’s complete.

Vince says he can’t retake the tests next year because by then he’ll be studying for a whole new set of AP classes.

“I don’t know how I’ll be able to like study for seven tests all that are taking place within weeks,” he said.

There are makeup exams next month, but the Board closed the books on those too.

The College Board says students could have checked their status online since Oct. 4, but Vince said he had no reason to believe he wasn’t registered. At one point, the Board recommended Vince take a different kind of test, a CLEP test, but experts say not as many colleges accept those compared to AP.

Tim McNicholas