If you are a high schooler at Washington, without a doubt, you will have a run-in with the College Board. The College Board was founded in 1900, and they’ve held an immoral monopoly on the college admissions process ever since. They are the lone provider of the SAT, (Scholarly Aptitude Test) a test over 2.2 million high schoolers took last year for college qualification. Since there is no meaningful competition for the SAT, the College Board can control everything about the test, particularly price. Unnecessarily ratcheting up the cost each year, it is getting harder for many people to take the test. Students need to start taking a stand.
The College Board was originally established to ensure that a person’s knowledge, instead of any advantages or disadvantages they may have been born with, would earn them the right to a college education. Today, most college-oriented high schoolers feel the pressure to take the expensive SAT. This puts a strain on low-income families who pay over a hundred dollars for a single test and the prep courses that come with it. With the addition of the high cost of AP tests this year, the company has not been following the fundamental guidelines it was founded with. How long should we—as students—put up with this? The College Board has given the advantage to wealthier students over their low-income peers. If the College Board truly wished for an equal testing experience, they would offer their extra test prep services for free to the people who cannot afford them. The College Board labels itself as a “not for-profit” company under the national tax code, yet the corrupt corporation made over $1 billion in the last fiscal year. According to Financial Samurai, a blog about money and investments, the salary of College Board’s president David Coleman is over $1,000,000 per year, while his executives make $300,000 to $500,000 with full benefits. David Coleman and his executives do not need to make this much money. We can no longer allow the College Board to profit off low-income families that suffer from the cost of their tests, and award themselves with excess wages.
The College Board recently came up with the SAT adversity index; students’ average SAT scores are broken down by family income, race and parents’ education. For example, students whose families made over $200,000 scored 260 points higher on average compared to families that made less than $20,000. With the assistance of this index, the College Board baits people into spending more money. Low-income families see the trends in which their student’s scores are lower, and are baited into paying more for SAT test prep. This is horrendous. The College Board is making money by cheating low-income families.
So how do we take the College Board down—or at least get them to lower prices? The College Board has a tight grip on the college admissions process; to get rid of them would be a tough task. But, as both students and customers, it is our duty to pressure the College Board to share their massive profits by lowering the price of both the tests and the test prep services. Take a stand, and reign in the toxic College Board.
Emma Warren is a senior at Washington High School. This is their second and final year at the Hatchet. They serve as the web developer and the Arts & Entertainment editor. Emma loves working on the Hatchet and writing stories for all kinds of people, whether it be the fall play review or a portfolio of an artist. In her free time, they enjoy writing and indulging in the simplicity of life by watching The Office.