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The College Board: Power of the American Education System

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The College Board: Power of the American Education System

Students pay a high price for education.

Students pay a high price for education.

Students pay a high price for education.

Students pay a high price for education.

Lucia Garay, Copy Editor

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The average high school student must jump through several hoops before they can even be considered by colleges. In addition to the volunteer service, good grades, well-rounded academics, and sports; students must complete a profusion of tests and applications. A single may have to take the PSAT, the SAT, or the ACT; four AP tests; apply to scholarships, apply to colleges; and take practices courses for all of them. All of these things cost money.

The PSAT test books cost $16, international shipping costs $6, $100 for score reports, and $13 to send score reports to colleges. The SAT costs $64.50 to register, the online prep course costs around $69.95, and $13 to send score reports to colleges. The ACT costs $62.50 to register, $20 to receive score reports and $13 to send score reports to colleges. Individual AP tests cost $96. College board administered practice tests and training sets for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT cost around $30. University of California (UC) applications cost $70 per school. The California State University (CSU) applications cost $55. College applications cost, on average, $25 to $90.

Given that the average high school student in California takes the PSAT twice, the SAT twice, three AP tests, registers for the Common App, the Coalition, and apply to 10 colleges on average; students have to spend a fortune before they even get to college. All of these services add up to $2,022.90.

This system makes it difficult for students from low-income backgrounds to achieve their academic dreams.”

The College Board charges for nearly every aspect of a student’s academic journey, but where does all this money go?

Despite being officially labeled a “nonprofit,” the College Board is incredibly profitable. The president of the College Board David Coleman will earn a base salary of $550,000, with total compensation of nearly $750,000 for a grand total of a 1.3 million dollar salary. The 23 executives of the company make an average of $355,271 per year. Altogether the “non-profit” company has a revenue of 200 million dollars and a profit of 62 million.

Along with its claim to be a not-for-profit-company, the College Board claims to work for equity of opportunity for all students. Hispanics and African Americans each make up 25% and 16% of high school students respectively. Despite this, African American students make up only 2% of students who scored in the top scores for the SAT, and Hispanics, who make up 25% of high school students, account for only 5% of top SAT scores.

Aside from ethnic barriers, there has always been a profound class divide between college graduates and those who never went to college. This contrast has existed in the American university system since there were first colleges in the USA, but it has become especially obvious with the recent allegations against celebrities and rich families who cheated and bribed college admissions to allow their children to be accepted into top schools. The latest allegations caused many to question not only the reliability of college officials and admissions systems but the culture that enabled such extreme fraud and permeated every level of the college admissions apparatus. It is no secret that the spots in top colleges that privileged students cheated and bribed to gain could have gone to underprivileged and hardworking high school graduates. The College Board itself is also under scrutiny for allowing students to achieve high scores on the SAT, ACT, and even tests in college.

Despite all of the clear flaws within the College Board and the rest of the college structure, it appears that very little, if anything at all, will be done to change things. Students and high schools rely on the College Board at every stage and there is currently no alternative. If students don’t want to support the College Board, their only choice is to opt out of SAT, ACT, and a college education altogether. With many speaking out against the scandal and injustice surrounding the College Board, they still have no choice but to give thousands of dollars to the very organization they oppose or lose their chance at a college education at all.

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The College Board: Power of the American Education System