The College Board and High Schools Should Refund Money Spent on May 2020 AP Tests

Mackenzie Forkas, News Editor

The College Board claims they are a non-profit company even though they made $1,073,678,672 in 2018 according to The truth is the College Board is a government subsidized monopoly that needs to be stopped. The quality of a high school education should not be measured by the number of AP classes that are offered. High schools and American universities need to stop contributing to College Board’s profit. The College Board and high schools, including Miramonte, should refund the money spent on the AP tests of May 2020 because the testing process did not require the company to print tests because exams took place online.

The College Board isn’t alone in its exploitation of students and charging extortionate prices to take a three hour test. Many high schools are guilty of charging high prices to take AP tests, including Miramonte. “AUHSD does not profit from the test, the fees cover the cost of the administration.” Associate Superintendent Aida Glimme said last year in an interview. The College Board charged schools  $94 per exam this year, Miramonte and other Acalanes Union High School District students were charged $110 per test – not to mention “late fees.” The extra $16 is often overlooked, but when multiplied by the number of tests purchased, it comes up to tens of thousands of dollars.

According to Administrative Assistant Veronica Erickson, approximately 1,200 tests were administered at Miramonte in May of 2019. “It’s an administrative cost. We have to hire proctors to come and administer the tests, and we pay the proctors,” Erickson said in an interview with The Mirador during the 2018-2019 school year. According to the Miramonte administration, the $16 in revenue from each AP test is spent on renting tables and hiring proctors among other things for the two-week duration. “We have to pay College Board their $85 fee. AUHSD then has to pay proctors, testing coordinator fees, table rentals and any webstore charges which equals to $110 per test.” Glimme said. The College Board charged schools $85 per exam but that price went to $94 this year.

If 1,200 tests were sold to students and each exam comes with an additional $16 fee, the total revenue Miramonte receives from the sale is $19,200 dollars. Where did this profit go this year? Not only have the new online versions of AP tests made it more difficult to upload pictures or copy and paste work into the submission box, but there are many issues that accompany online testing. 

This year, the College Board is taking extra measures to prevent cheating, such as making fake “student” accounts to trap students attempting to cheat. Reddit user “dinosauce313” asked for other “fellow students’” AP IDs and form numbers. It is suspected the College Board is behind this user and wanted to catch students who provided their exam number to “collaborated” with dinosauce313. 

In addition, tests have been malfunctioning, such as the submit button not working and problems with internet connections. The College Board is offering makeup tests in June, but it is likely that these flaws won’t be ironed out in time. 

People are tired of paying money to “show colleges what they know,” when in reality students are just putting money into the College Board’s pocket. Miramonte should refund the money students spent on AP tests since the district made a profit.