Non-profit Or Extortion Racket?

The College Board masquerades as a non-profit while forcing students to pay up


Katie Hottell, News and Lifestyle Editor

For many high school students, junior year is the most stressful and challenging of the four.

Junior year marks the year that many students begin thinking about college applications and taking challenging classes that highlights their academic success. Many students flood their schedule with the Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

The College Board is an organization that many students know the name of. Not only does the College Board produce and distribute SAT standardized tests, but they also power the college-level AP classes designed to challenge high school students academically and give them a chance to earn college credit. 

Because these classes are college-level, they introduce students to a more rigorous workload and much more challenging assignments and tests. In theory, this is great. It allows students to challenge themselves more than what they would in honors level classes. Instead, many students practically break their backs trying to earn good grades and stay up to date on assignments.

But that’s not even the biggest problem with the College Board.

If your school or state isn’t sponsoring your AP exam, the price is steep. According to the official College Board website, the price to sign up for an AP exam is $96, excluding possible added fees such as late fees and cancellation fees. To sign up late or cancel your participation, you could owe the College Board an extra $40 per exam per offense.

Non-profit organizations generally seek to provide services for public betterment and do not aim to collect profits as an average business would. According to Forbes, however, despite the College Board being a non-profit organization, the organization owns $1 billion in assets. Top College Board executives and officials can earn yearly profits of over $1 million.

The College Board is exploiting students with unnecessarily high fines and fees all while being a non-profit organization. The College Board practically has a monopoly on test taking for colleges and college-level classes. They are taking advantage of this monopoly by hiking up the prices and fees students and families must pay. For example, the SAT is a requirement for many college applications, yet it costs $55. 

Putting lower-income students at a disadvantage for their education is outrageous. Students that are unable to afford these expensive classes and tests can be put at a lower acceptance rate simply because they won’t be able to cover their applications with College Board’s overly accredited test scores.

The College Board needs to stop exploiting high school students for quick cash while hiding under the guise of being a non-profit organization.