The College Board is the “non-profit” that administers the PSAT, SAT, and AP exams. They are essentially a monopoly that makes enormous profits.
As of 2019, the SAT Reasoning Test plus the essay costs $64.50($93.50 if registering late) and the AP exams cost US $94 each. The SAT Subject Tests cost a baseline of $26 with a $22 fee for each test.
SAT score reports cost $12 per college for 1–2-week electronic delivery, or 2–4-week paper or disk delivery, depending on what method the school requires ($31 extra for two-day processing).
Even College Board’s College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS), a college financial aid application meant to help students pay for college, requires a fee. For the 2019-2020 school year, the price is $25 for the first report sent and an additional $16 for each additional college receiving the information.
Due to the College Board’s monopoly in administering exams, they generated $1.1 billion of revenue in 2017 and likely generated over $1 billion in revenue in 2019.
The College Board has grown operating profit margin to roughly 14%. Therefore, the College Board is expected to make $150 – $160 million in profits for 2019. Finally, the College Board also has over $1.1 billion in cash and investments according to public records.
Thanks to hefty profits, the President of the College Board makes over $1 million dollars a year while several of its executives make $300,000 – $500,000 a year in salary and benefits.
As a non-profit, this compensation structure seems egregious. The College Board is using monopoly profits to pay their executives excess wages.
Unfortunately for students, there are no other competitors for the SAT Subject, AP, and PSAT Tests. ACT still is far behind when competing against the main SAT test. When you have a monopoly, you can make excess profits.