The College Board sucks and here’s why.
1) They are an exploitative “non-profit” organization.
In 2020, The College Board grossed approximately $1.2 billion USD by exploiting desperate high school students. Nearly 2.2 million students took the SAT in 2020 and were forced to pay a fee of $52 and $68 if they chose to complete the essay as well. Additionally, many students will take the test multiple times to improve their score as attending a prestigious institution is partially contingent on high standardized testing scores. For example, I took the SAT three times outside of school and ended up paying a total of $156. The College Board recognizes that a majority of students will take the SAT at least once and have chosen to capitalize on students’ desperation for a high score. In addition to standardized testing, students are forced to pay outrageous amounts to take AP tests. AP courses count as “college-credits” and represent a high-intensity course load on high school transcripts. If you want to show colleges you’re capable of taking on college-level courses then you bet your a** you’re taking an AP test, especially at AMHS. The issue is, in order to take an AP test you have to pay a fee of $95 per exam and if you order the test late you incur a $40 late fee. Even if you only took one AP class per year in HS, you would still be giving $380 to The College Board to take tests. In addition to this, if you want to send your AP scores to colleges after you receive them you have to pay a score-send fee of $15 PER COLLEGE and pay $11.25 to send your SAT scores if you don’t use your “4 free sends” when you register for the test. If you don’t want to blindly send your AP and SAT scores to schools then you might end up paying an arm and a leg just to apply for higher education. The College Board wants you broke before you even get a chance to be accepted.
2) You can’t get into college without them… and they know that.
This one is quite possibly the most infuriating aspect, The College Board has a monopoly. It is essentially impossible to apply to college without them. Even if you somehow make your way through high school without taking a single AP class or taking the SAT, a large majority of schools will require you to submit a CSS profile in addition to FAFSA if you want to be eligible for non federal financial aid. And guess what… there’s a fee! It will cost you $25 to fill out the CSS profile and send it to one school. If you want to send it to more, it’s an additional $16 per college. There is no way around it, one way or another every high school student will eventually be roped into forking over their money.
Finally, I think it is time to dive a little deeper into the financial aspect of The College Board and where all the money they steal from students goes. First off, the CEO of college board, David Coleman, supposedly makes about $1 million dollars a year. That’s right, MILLION. Additionally, many college board executives will take home about $300,000 – $500,000 a year. The average household income in the United States is roughly $68,000 and the average cost of college is about $20,000 – $30,000 per year. The College Board uses lower income students and families to make a profit and include their employees in the 1%. The company has no concern for the students it was designed for and could care less if simply applying to college makes it harder to put food on the table. When America decided that a college education would be the baseline to acquire a successful career, The College Board should’ve recognized it as well. Getting a higher education should not be a luxury when it has become a necessity.
Overall, The College Board is a shady “non-profit” monopoly that has little to no concern for students or their families. They find money in any way they can through score sends, testing fees, cancellation fees, late fees, etc because they recognize there is no way around it. I am disgusted by their practices, and yet I probably gave them over $1000 because I want to go to college. It is essentially impossible to boycott The College Board, so sign every petition that you can, leave them snarky comments on Instagram, make your voice heard and tell them how much they suck. I’m not one to support bullying, but maybe if we hate on the company just enough… they’ll see the error of their ways (but probably not). At the end of the day, money is what makes the world go round, and it’s difficult to make money without going to college.