College Board’s Monopoly on Education

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College Board and Education

By Chloe Bonini

    If you’re a student, you know the College Board. And you know that they have monopolized on the broken education system in America, and in some cases, worldwide.

    The College Board, established on December 22, 1899, was first established as the College Entrance Examination Board to expand access to higher education. They were established as a non-profit company, but the truth is that they are far from it. The College Board operates like a for-profit business. In fact, they are quite profitable. They pay top executives hundreds of thousands dollars a year, they charge intense fees for their services (read—inconveniences), and perhaps most worthy of concern, they lobby legislators.

    Aside from the SAT, the college board is also in charge of all AP tests and offers other expensive services such as test prep books, a “question and answer service”, and the cost to send scores to colleges. Of course, there is the option for fee waivers for low income students, but even so, not all students who meet the threshold can truly afford the costs of the exaggeratedly important services the college board provides. How is it fair that higher income families can give their students an edge with services other students cannot afford? Doesn’t seem like the “testing equity” college board claims to value.

    The College Board has upwards of one billion dollars in assets and its assessment programs took in a net of 44 million dollars from the SAT and PSAT alone. (Washington Post)

    The president and chief officer of the College Board earned $690,000 in the 2013 fiscal year, and that is only the reportable income. He earned a total of $734,192 that year—that investigations find. And this was while he was still fairly new at his job. The CEO before him was bringing in upward of one million dollars each year. This means that greater seniority could lead to bigger paychecks for the newer CEO. How is a one million dollar paycheck not considered a profit? (

    So far in 2018, the College Board has spent upwards of $13,000 lobbying to individuals in Congress. We aren’t even halfway through the year. Lobbying means that the College Board donates money to individual Congress members’ campaigns in order to later ensure favors, and that legislation does not hurt the College Board’s activities. In 2016, they spent almost $58,000 lobbying, and $42,000 in 2012. Next time you wonder why the College Board gets away with monopolizing on education, recognize that its because they are giving money to the government.

    Information about the College Board’s activities is supposed to be public, but it is far from easy to find. Extensive research yields little information on top executives, assets, and money lobbied to congress. What other “unofficial” revenue goes unreported? Surface level research already exposes the shady mystery of this “non-profit” company’s earnings. The college board exercises unwarranted control on the education system, placing extra pressure on students, monetary pressure on families, and has fostered a system where a student’s worth is reflected in their test scores.

    Students of the world, what more can we find?

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