Most students are familiar with the College Board’s steep pricing for tests. With each test costing upward of $50-$100, these tests can cost quite a bit of money for students and their families. However, the College Board, as a corporation, is officially designated as a non-profit organization. The amount of profit that the College Board pulls in should cause us to reconsider the College Board’s status as a non-profit organization.
According to Investopedia, a financial investing website, non-profit organizations are companies granted tax-exempt status by the IRS on the basis that they provide an important public service—education in the College Board’s case. Furthermore, these businesses must be apolitical.
However much one dislikes the College Board’s high pricing for tests, they must admit that administering nationwide standardized tests costs money. In fact, the expenses for the College Board’s operation was $927,784,350 in 2017, according to ProPublica. Where the College Board’s non-profit status is questioned, however, is how much profit the College Board gains and what they do with this profit. The College Board pulls in a staggering 8.6% profit margin. This amount is almost as large as Burger King’s 11.64% profit margin; for a supposedly non-profit company, this profit margin is concerning. Additionally, the way in which the College Board spends its profits is questionable.
The College Board spends a sizable amount on its executives’ salaries. Their CEO, David Coleman, earns a massive $750,000 a year salary. With other executives earning immense salaries for a supposedly non-profit organization, this is an abuse of the tax-exempt status granted to the company. The College Board also spends $766,000 on political lobbying annually; this money is used to influence legislators into creating what is essentially a monopoly for the College Board. This extensive political lobbying is a clear attempt to influence politics.
The College Board’s large profit margin, as well as itsquestionable use of this profit, should lead to its non-profit status being revoked.
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