College Board monopolizes the college application process


Students spend hours preparing for the AP and SAT testing. Photo credit: Ava Weinreb

Ava Weinreb, Director of Business

As our high school careers come to a close, for many of us the idea of college begins to loom overhead, creeping into our lives whether we want it to or not. The excitement and newness of college and the great adventures ahead come at a cost before it even begins. SAT, ACT, applications and tour season commences and we find ourselves struggling to meet deadlines, write essays and study for a test. Then, shortly after, we realize that we’ve spent more money on getting into college than we’ve realized. 

The SAT for the on-time deadline costs money, not to mention the test prep, which is optional, but highly recommended and needed to achieve competitive scores, in which classes can cost up to $150.00, then sending in applications which can cost anywhere from $50-75 and then even more to send in any type of standardized testing scores. Who is the hand grabbing your money left and right before you’re even accepted into a school? College Board. Because these steps are necessary if college is the path for you, their fees, deadlines, and increased pricing is unavoidable. 

We consistently choose to brush off the overarching presence of College Board, although if you look closely, the over-involvement of College Board in the school process closely aligns with the definition of a monopoly.

Not only does College Board profit off of the application and standardized testing process, they also charge schools to hold AP exams, even after the $9 rebate for students. According to the College Board website, the cost of one AP exam cost $32 and after the $9 rebate earned by schools, each exam can cost up to $23. The cost may seem small, but in schools with hundreds of students, many of them taking multiple APs, such as Roswell High School, the cost can add up.

Although, the most disturbing part isn’t that a company that has a net worth of over $1 billion dollars is earning it from students and schools, it is that in most cases colleges wish to see a competitive student who takes multiple AP’s requiring students to not only take the classes but participate and do well on a test they created. Many colleges require academic rigor and stellar scores, all of which can only be achieved through College Board, while the ACT is another popular option of standardized testing, according to the Washington Post. Over 2 million students chose the SAT over the ACT in October of 2018, making it the most widely used college admissions test.

College Board continues to abuse their power over the education system by requiring students to take specific and standardized tests owned by them in order to be considered a viable candidate for a majority of colleges around the United States.