College Board: Questionable

Rhiannon Mulligan


We need to talk about something. That something is the College Board, probably the most hated “non-profit” in the United States.

First off, the College Board is not actually a non-profit. If your CEO is earning $1.3 million a year, you are making a profit. How did they make that money? Tests, tests, tests, tests, tests, and even more tests. While the underclassmen may not have been fully introduced to the frustration associated with the SAT and AP tests, the seniors are done. Not only is it emotionally draining to deal with the College Board, but it is also ludicrously expensive.

As senior Leah Wolff says, “The College Board is dumb and evil. And it sucks happiness out of this world.”

Ivy Munnerlyn adds: “The College Board does not care about me as a person and I do not care about it as an institution.” Colton Grady chimes in: “Oh, I hate them.”

Over the course of my high school career, I have taken 7 AP tests, 3 SAT Subject Tests, and 2 SATs. Additionally, I have had to send my scores to 3 colleges and filled out the College Board’s CSS Profile for financial aid. Now how much have I spent on testing and sending my scores?

AP Test = $91 x 7 = $637

SAT Subject Tests = $26 [baseline] + $18 x 3 = $80

SAT Test With Writing = $54.50 x 2 = $109

Total Testing Cost = $826

Not only did I spend $826 on the actual testing, but I then had to send those scores to the colleges. For each score report, it’s another $11.25 ($31 extra if you swant two-day processing). And after they’ve charged you that, there is no guarantee that they will actually submit your scores in a timely fashion, as evidenced by the email I received, after I spent $45 to send my scores to 4 colleges before their deadlines.

This brings my current total up to $871.

Now, in addition to this, I had to submit the College Board’s CSS Profile, or  College Scholarship Service Profile for financial aid. To fill out this form, I had to pay $9. To send the information to colleges, I had to pay $16 for each college. This bring my total to $896. To be completely honest, I can think of many things I would have rather spent $896 dollars on.


With that money, I could have bought:

  • 448 scones from Iveta’s
  • 299 gallons of gas
  • 257 jars of Nutella
  • 105 Lox and Cream Bagels from the Bagelry
  • 12 season passes for the Beach Boardwalk


In addition to the exorbitant amount of money I’ve spent on testing, we also need to take into account the hours of my life that have been consumed by the College Board. AP tests are usually about 3 hours long, but they usually extend to about 3 ½ due to inefficiency. When I took the SAT, I was there from before 8 a.m. until about 1 p.m. Each SAT Subject Test was an hour long, with a 10-minute break in between each one. Here’s the time breakout:

AP Tests = 3.5 hours x 7 = 24.5 hours

SAT Subject Tests = 1 hour x 3 = 3 hours

SAT Test with Writing = 5 hours x 2 = 10 hours

Total Hours Spent Testing = 37.5 hours


And that number, 37.5 hours, does not include all the time I spent preparing for those test and dealing with the College Board website. Working at California’s minimum wage of $9 an hour, I would have made $337.50.