Does it bother you that your only option to send SAT test scores, sign up for AP tests and basically complete college applications is through College Board which charges ridiculous prices on students? College Board is a website most juniors, all seniors and some underclassmen are acquainted with. This site owns the AP exams, the PSAT and the SAT. This means the only way to take any of these exams is through College Board, who has monopolized each test so students have no choice but to pay whatever price they decide is proper. This should bother you and if it doesn’t, it will.
According to a 2015 report from the College Board, they made an annual profit of 77 million dollars and 834 million dollars in net assets. This amount of money should not be made off of hard working students trying to better themselves by taking a test that is, in most cases, mandatory for applying to colleges. Students spend about 65 dollars, sometimes more, on the SAT with essay and about 48 dollars without the essay. Coupled with the cost of tutors and SAT prep books, students are sometimes paying hundreds of dollars to take a test that teaches them nothing.
“I took it three times, which is less than everyone else, and it was still super expensive,” senior Dane Perrone said. “It wasn’t just the tests either it was everything that came with it like tutors [and] the big SAT books.”
For students that take the test multiple times, hoping for a better score on each one, this quickly adds up. For example, if you take the SAT three times, that’s already around 200 dollars which some students are paying themselves. These numbers don’t even take into account the costs of actually sending your scores to college 一 which is also through college board.
Sure, you could choose to send your scores to four colleges for free, but this is before you have even taken the test. If you get a better score on a different test or that test was worse than one you’ve previously taken, it’s just too bad. If you are applying to more than four schools, you still have to pay to send your scores for each of those schools. I applied to 14 schools and my parents were less than happy with the costs of sending my scores to each individual school.
AP tests cost about 94 dollars, per test. So this means the harder you work and more AP classes you take, the more you pay. Since College Board owns the AP test, there is no deciding to go with the cheaper option. On top of these prices, if you register late for AP tests, there is a 55 dollar late fee, bringing your total to 149 dollars per test. Taking five AP classes and signing up late for each of them would mean you are paying 745 dollars to sit in a room and answer a few questions that might mean college credits.
College Board is part of a bigger problem with college costs in the United States. According to The Atlantic, the average American spends double the amount of any other developed country on college costs for one student each year. The costs of college has been an ongoing problem for years and as a senior in high school, it bothers me that I need to pay so much to earn a higher education. Taking out student loans means debt for years after graduating or choosing to go to the cheaper, less prestigious school. This is a choice thats near impossible for any eighteen-year-old to make, yet thousands are forced to each year.
College costs need to go down and it’s up to us to make this change. As students, it’s us being affected by this problem and every year, costs go up. So it doesn’t matter if you are a senior, junior, sophomore, or freshmanーthis should bother you. Change starts with something small and I believe that is fighting against College Board’s absurd prices.