CollegeBoard: Please stop charging students to send scores
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Definition of "not-for-profit" (nonprofit): "not established for the purpose of making a profit; not entered into for money" (Dictionary.com). They are "tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as 'public charities'" (National Council of Nonprofits).
Every year, millions of high school students take the SAT, SAT subject tests, and the AP exams, which are administered by the CollegeBoard.
The CollegeBoard claims to be "not-for-profit", yet the monopolistic company charges students a ridiculous amount of money, profiting off of students' anxieties. The organization itself earns half of its profit from AP exams; according to John Tierney, a former teacher, "the CollegeBoard had $720.65 million in revenues (96.5 percent of which were program service revenues) and expenses of $684.98 million" from June 2010 - June 2011 (NPQ). In 2014, they had a revenue of $840 million. They are being funded by various organizations, such as the Bill and Melinda gates foundation. Twenty-three of their executives make an average of $355,271 per year (Patch New Jersey). Their former CEO, Gaston Caperton, made a whooping $1.3 million USD in 2009 (keep in mind that this was almost 10 years ago and now we have even more students taking their tests). To put it into perspective, "in 2014, a nonprofit salary study indicated that the average salary of a CEO was $118,678" (Chron). Statistically, it should've been even lower in 2009.
Let's look at the amount of money an average student would spend on the CollegeBoard:
PSAT - The school pays $16 (+ $6 for shipping if you're an international student) and charges you extra (mine charged me $45)
SAT With Writing - $64.50 (to change test centers/test dates, it's an additional $29. If you register late, it's another additional $29). Assuming that you take it twice, it's $129
AP Exams - Student pays school $94 per exam and school pays College Board $85 (it's $30 more for international students). It's $45 extra per exam if you test late (due to school mistake, student conflict, etc). Assuming that you take it 5 times in the US on time, it would cost you $470. It may vary; my school charges us $100 per exam.
SAT Subject Tests - $26 for the first and $22 for each additional (If you register late, it's an additional $29). If you take two tests (example: math II and U.S. History) and choose to retake one on another date, it would cost you $74.
Total: $698, not including late fees. Only a handful of people can actually get their fees waived, so your average student will be paying almost $700
They charge $12 to send your SAT score to the college of your choice. If you are in a rush to get a score in before a deadline, they charge a "rush fee" of $31. To send AP scores, you have to pay $15 for each; $25 for rush. The SAT offers you to send your score for FREE to four colleges before you take your test, but there's no guarantee that you would achieve your goal. If you put down Harvard for the free school report and get a 300/800 on your SAT subject test, they will still send it. If you send a SAT, 2 subject tests, and 5 APs to 10 schools, you will be charged $870.
After you take your tests, you realize that colleges are spamming you with emails. That is because CollegeBoard sells your data to colleges and advertisers for $0.43.
Now here's the part where it gets disgusting:
The "not-for-profit" send wrong scores and promise to rescind the score afterwards yet fail to do so: https://redd.it/9qvdrn
They fail to send scores, which costed this student's opportunity to get into his dream school: https://redd.it/88iquu
Those are just two examples; keep in mind that students paid hundreds to this monopoly. The CollegeBoard greedily manipulates the fear of students and even goes so far as to take away the chances of some students.
Here's my message to the CollegeBoard on behalf of every test taker: we are PAYING YOU to determine our futures. We are spending hundreds of dollars for our tests and you are making hundreds of millions, yet you find a loophole to charge us even more (honestly I'm surprised that we aren't being charged for pencils, air in the testing room, and break time). Fine. You can charge us for late fees. But to send scores? With all the mistakes that you have made that costed the opportunity of so many students you should be ashamed to charge us to send our scores. You don't need that much money to run a "nonprofit".
Each scantron costs $0.02 if bought in bulk. Each test booklet costs $0.10 if bought in bulk. Shipping the test booklets out to schools should be no more than $400 for all the boxes ($18.9 a box * 20 boxes). There are MANY students taking the tests at a location so I don't know how each person paying $15 for the tests won't cover the cost listed above AND proctors. Scores are sent ONLINE. Last time I checked, emails are free. OUR SCORES ARE NOT DELIVERED BY HOMING PIGEONS AND WITH THE $0.43 YOU MAKE FROM SELLING OUR DATA, YOU CAN SEND OUR SCORES FOR FREE.
If you are going to charge us hundreds, you might as well as strip that "not-for-profit" from your name because the welfare of students seems to matter less than the money you get your grubby little fingers on. Pat your sacks of coins and ask yourself why you would charge so much extra fees if you truly care about how students do on the test itself. If you are a member of the "mission-driven not-for-profit organization" that you claim to be, then why not make it affordable so that every student has a chance to test their abilities? And to the current CEO who makes base salary of $550,000, stop playing Robber Baron and get out there to check on how students are doing rather than counting your stash of bills. Please. Please make score sending free.
Please share with your friends and family so they will understand the "nonprofit" that we are feeding into.
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