Inequalities in College Board put some students at disadvantage

The College Board is a non-profit organization that aims to provide students with opportunities for high-quality education and success in college. Founded in 1900, the association’s mission is to “ensure that every student has the opportunity to prepare for, enroll in and graduate from college,” according to their website.

Although the College Board may appear to help students have equal chances in education, it seems that the organization’s actions contradict their mission statement on many levels.

First, it is questionable that the organization is in fact not-for-profit. Former President and Chief Executive Officer Gaston Caperton was criticized for his extremely high annual salary of $1.3 million, according to the New York Times. David Coleman, who replaced Caperton, earns $750,000 per year, which is still relatively high for a non-profit that is exempted from paying taxes. Furthermore, the College Board has monopolized certain parts of the testing business, since most students applying to college use this organization for some form of standardized testing.

Not only do students pay a fee for exams, but they also have to pay the College Board $11.25 for each school to receive the official standardized score reports.

As a result of these high costs, this supposed non-profit gains $700 million per year, according to the Huffington Post. This considerable amount of money raises questions as to whether or not the organization is truly not-for-profit.

In addition, many American colleges require either the SAT, SAT subject or AP tests, all of which are administered by the College Board. These test scores, particularly the SAT, have a significant impact on a student’s admission to college. Many students who come from families with high incomes can afford the pricey SAT preparation classes and are able to retake the exam several times. This means that they have the potential to perform well on the exam, and therefore have a better chance of gaining college acceptance.

Granted, the College Board gives fee waivers to low-income families, but this does not prevent middle-income families from being at a severe disadvantage, which contradicts the College Board’s statement that they are “committed to excellence and equity in education.”

Furthermore, according to the Huffington Post, several studies have proven that students who perform well on the standardized tests offered by the College Board are not always the most successful in college, since the exams do not test a student’s general knowledge, but rather specific parts of certain subjects. More importantly, studies show that high test scores do not equate to good life skills.

In fact, many students believe that these scores are too highly weighted in the college admission process.

Even though the College Board may seem to help students achieve their dreams of higher education, the organization’s numerous flaws prevent students of all economic backgrounds from having an equal opportunity in the college admission process.

Universities should place less importance on tests administered by the College Board in order to promote student equity, and to snub the “nonprofit’s” unjust operations.