College Board doing quite well by its AP students

Alex Tsymbalisty, Perspective Editor

For most students in an AP class, the chance to demonstrate what they have learnt and get college credit comes at the end of the year in the form of an AP test. With this test also comes a fee: 93 dollars per test.

At first glance this fee may seem unreasonable: why would you pay someone nearly $100 for the chance to get college credit at a school you may or may not be attending? When you look at it though, the test is actually a pretty good deal. As an example, at the University of Alabama 1 credit hour costs approximately $820 for residents and $1,705 for out of state residents. However, if you score a 4 or higher on the AP world history exam you can use that score to gain credit for a class worth 6 credit hours. Suddenly, that 93 dollars looks like money well spent.

However, The College Board, the company that administers AP tests as well as SAT tests and a number of other standardized tests, doesn’t just give you that credit. Instead, you have to pay 12  dollars just to send the score to any schools. Now, you do have the option of sending the score for free by marking down a college to send it to when you take the test. But this is near useless for anyone other than seniors, unless you know where you’re going to college 9th-11th grade.

But, the greed of College Board doesn’t end there. You also need to pay to send SAT scores, pay to take SAT subject tests, and, ironically, pay to send the CSS which is a financial aid application form used by some colleges.

The price you pay for AP test and even to a certain extent the SAT are reasonable. College Board needs to pay people to write the tests, pay people to grade the tests (in the case of AP tests), and make the physical test forms. But sending scores? It’s 2019; cars are in space, robots can perform surgery, and drones are delivering packages, but College Board, a company that has existed since 1899 and makes 800 million dollars a year can’t send the scores digitally?

College Board may be classified as a nonprofit but a lot of their business practices seem to try to suck as much money as they can from one of society’s most vulnerable groups: students.