The College Board has failed the students of America

Nobody was prepared when the pandemic hit America, least of all the College Board, who were already struggling beforehand.

When America first went into quarantine in March, the non-profit organization attempted to hold the May Advanced Placement exams online. Three hour long in-person exams were turned into a 45 minute online test. However, students were still charged almost $100, the same price as the three hour test, in order to take a test consisting of just one to two questions. International students were charged almost $150, as well as being forced to take the test as early as 3 or 4 in the morning. Students who had unexpected wifi crashes or had their submit buttons break had to retake the test on a later date. Multiple videos on YouTube surfaced of students having mental breakdowns as they were unable to submit their exams. 

The College Board, having learnt at least a little bit from this disaster, announced that fall SAT tests would be in-person. However, since then, multiple Scholastic Assessment Test examinations have been cancelled and refunded, suggesting that they are still very unprepared, and are not trying to make an effort to serve students during these dire times. In response a College Board spokesperson simply wrote, “Local schools and test centers make individual decisions about whether to administer the SAT.”

The College Board claims to be a non-profit organization, solely there to help students. Former College Board employees have insisted that they barely break even on each test. In reality, the College Board, according to Forbes, makes nearly $1 billion each year in annual revenue, including an extra $100 million in untaxed surplus. It’s CEO, David Coleman, receives an annual compensation of nearly $2 million a year.

But that revenue is under serious strain right now. Since March, more than 500 colleges and universities have become “test-optional.” More than 1,600 colleges are not requiring scores for 2021 admissions, and even more colleges are going “test-blind”, meaning SAT/AP scores will not be considered at all. Add their complete incompetence administering testing this year, and it is not too out there to say the College Board might not make it out of the pandemic.

If the College Board has a plan, it is not sharing it with the public. Which highlights a very important fact that has to be known by every student in America and every student hoping to study in America: The College Board is not interested in helping you succeed, and the tests they provide are not designed to measure your intelligence. Their first and foremost concern is making a profit, despite being a non-profit organization. It is your choice if you want to take the SAT, but consider first how helpful it would be to your college admissions process and whether your and your parents’ hard-earned money is worth it spending on this exam.