The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

OP-ED: AP Testing should stand for A Profit Testing

Hello Gauchos! 

It’s time for me to get up on my metaphorical soapbox and preach about an organization that I think nearly all high school students have experienced in some form—namely College Board, the provider of the SAT and AP exams that millions of students take every single year. But before I begin, let’s give a brief rundown on what the College Board does, and why I think the organization is terrible.

In the College Board’s own words, they’re “a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to educational success and opportunity.” But, its fees and policies tell a much different story, especially given the nearly $8 million that the organization pays its executives annually, according to their December 2022 tax filings:

David Coleman (CEO): $2,562,624

Jeremy Singer: $1,008,578

Stefanie Sanford: $1,008,128

John Mcgrath: $940,762


These statistics are only compounded by the nearly $1.04 billion in revenue and $2.01 billion in total assets that the organization possesses, earned from:


  1. $97 per exam – in 2023, over 5.2 million exams were taken
  2. $40 late fees for any exams ordered after November 16th
  3. $40 cancellation fees for not taking the exam you ordered.


  1. $60 registration fees to just take the exam
  2. $12 per sent report – students apply to 6 colleges on average
  3. $31 for “rush reports” – which are still digitally sent and aren’t exactly “rush” delivery
  4. $15 to get scores by phone

For any students who want higher education, the costs are already piling up. I, myself, will have already taken 12 AP exams by the end of my senior year, a cost totaling to over $1000 in hopes of getting transferable credits for college. 

However, defenders of College Board might point to their fee-waivers for low-income students as evidence that the organization is doing its due diligence to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities. Or at least that’s what College Board itself says, according to Jerome White, a spokesman for the organization, who released a statement saying, “Our revenue is reinvested into fee waivers and in programs that expand educational opportunities for all students.” But for as positive as their claims are, the reality is that not even low-income students aren’t spared from College Board’s costs.

Apparently, College Board’s “not-for-profit” mission does not extend past 2 free SAT tests and a $53 per AP exam cost. These fee waivers also didn’t total to more than ​​$129 million in 2018, which was only about 10 percent of their revenue that year. In contrast to its self-declared goals, College Board acts as a for-profit business in its nearly every move, a theme made worse by how the organization is essentially treated as the be-all and end-all of higher education.

College Board dominates the K-12 curriculum across the US, with nearly 70% of public high schools in the US offering at least one AP class. But aside from just quantity, College Board has done a terrific job at advertising themselves as a solution to a problem they created. By winning bids (yes, you read that right, bids like in auctions) with various states, College Board has established itself as the “official state assessment tool” of schools across the nation. Michigan is a prime example of this after the organization won a three-year contract with the state for $15.4 million in 2015. Now, in 2023, 10 states all require the SAT as a part of their graduation requirements. If College Board were an advertising agency, they would have enough brand recognition to rival Nike’s Just do it slogan.

For all these reasons (and the many more issues that I couldn’t cover here), I think that calling College Board a non-profit organization is akin to saying a hot dog is a sandwich. It’s time to push for reform and make an organization that truly acts as “a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to educational success and opportunity.” But if you disagree, as always, feel free to leave any questions, comments or concerns about a particular article.

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