The College Board is a supposedly nonprofit organization
, better called the College Trust
. Every student who aspires to enter college in America and often worldwide must pay their dues to the College Board and please them. It runs the most popular standardized tests in America--SAT
, the various SAT II
s, the various Advanced Placement
The College Board is known to charge exorbitant fees for "services" that cost them nothing, such as the blackmail fee for withholding test scores, the computer-automated early score release service (which undoubtably costs them less than mailing all those reports). International students have to pay something like $15 dollars extra, and people living in India have to pay something like $20 more over that, because according to the College Board all Indians are unscrupulous cheaters.
The College Board also sells countless accessories services and literature. For instance, many preparatory materials, books, CD-ROMs, and evaluation services. They shamelessly plug these at every opportunity.
Despite its nauseatingly Politically Correct appearance and affirmative action policies, the College Board has a history of discrimination and culturally biased questions. There was a movie (Stand and Deliver) made about how the College Board screwed over a poor Hispanic school's fledgling calculus class. The College Board also gives different forms of their tests inside and outside of the US, meaning that the grades will not have the same meaning although they are indistinguishable to colleges. Also, they provide demographic information to schools about their AP classes, except to small schools, which get nothing.
In addition, despite being a nonprofit organization (that built itself a lavish campus complete with the full range of sports facilities), it not only profits off of services that cost it nothing, it places absolute "copyright protection" on all of its materials and requires test-takers to sign their soul away with a non-disclosure agreement without any statute of limitations.
The College Board is closely associated with ETS, the "Educational Testing Service" with an even more Orwellian name and with all the same problems. It does such things as pay the United States Postal Service graft to provide them with a Princeton address.
Further, the College Board keeps permanent records on all its test-takers. They then resell this information to colleges, and will explicitly send reports to those chosen by the test-taker, for an additional fee (above four reports for SAT exams, or two for AP exams). The only way to expunge records is to send in a score cancellation within a certain time frame, and they expunge the score from the student's official records, though they certainly keep the student's records and probably keep a copy of the score somewhere anyway.
For the the modest fee of $76, you get the privilege of having your A.P. multiple choice exam force-fed through a computer and your four page essay scored in three minutes by a mind-numbed grader. For an additional $10, you can get a copy of your own essay back--with no notes or rationale supporting your grade, just your essay. Although graders are constantly monitored to see how their standards change through time and hopefully correct them, no essays are ever regraded. In practice, essay grades can be assumed to have an error or deviation of at least a point. It's luck of the draw.
All in all, this is one big, rich organization with no pretense of preventing conflict of interest or impartiality that decides whether or not you get to go to the school of your choice, or very well whether you go to college at all.