The Big Business Profitability of the Nonprofit College Board

Policy Backgrounders | Education

No. 183
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
by Carole Hornsby Haynes

Headquartered in New York City and Reston, Virginia, with six regional and two international offices, the College Board is a nonprofit association of more than 6,000 educational institutions. Its goal is to promote excellence and equity in education. The Board was founded in 1900 by 12 prestigious universities to create a standardized test to admit students based on merit. According to its mission statement, the College Board prepares students for a “successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.” 

In recent years, the College Board became a big business, as colleges increased testing requirements, and Advanced Placement programs and Common Core curricula opened high school markets to the expanding catalogue of College Board products. Today, a growing number of parents and education experts are concerned the College Board has strayed from its original mission and exercises undue influence on education policy. Parents and taxpayers should be concerned, because they fund the operations of this billion-dollar operation.

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