The College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), a nonprofit American organization, was established in December 1899 in order to broaden access to higher education. Despite not being an association of colleges, the College Board manages a membership association with about 6,000 educational institutions, including schools, colleges, universities, and various educational organizations.
The College Board‘s main areas of interest are the creation and delivery of curriculum and standardized exams. These tests are used by K–12 and post–secondary institutions of higher learning to enhance college preparedness and play a significant part in the college admissions procedure. The College Board‘s headquarters are in New York City, and David Coleman has been the organization’s CEO since October 2012, taking over for Gaston Caperton, a former West Virginia governor who had held the job since 1999. Jeremy Singer serves as the College Board‘s president at the moment.
The College Board manages tests for which it collects fees in addition to providing a wide range of services, tools, and resources geared toward helping students, parents, colleges, and universities in areas including college planning, recruiting, admissions, financial assistance, and retention.
History of College Board
The College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) was established on December 22, 1899, at Columbia University. It was brought into existence through the collaboration of 12 universities and three high school preparatory academies. These founding institutions included:
- Columbia University
- Colgate University
- University of Pennsylvania
- New York University
- Barnard College
- Union College
- Rutgers University
- Vassar College
- Bryn Mawr College
- Women’s College of Baltimore (now Goucher College)
- Princeton University
- Cornell University
- Newark Academy
- Mixed High School, New York
- Collegiate Institute, New York
The primary objective of this organization was to “develop and publish a comprehensive curriculum outline for secondary school education, delineating the subject matter and educational goals for the following disciplines (and any others deemed appropriate), along with a standardized examination format suitable for college admission: Botany, Chemistry, English, French, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics, Physics, Zoology.”
According to the board’s original organizational blueprint, the examination fee was set at $5, which would be equivalent to approximately $155 in 2020.
CEEB Code Registry
The College Board administers a comprehensive registry comprising numerical codes for various entities including countries, college majors, colleges, scholarship programs, test centers, and high schools. In the United States, various institutions rely on this registry to facilitate precise identification. For instance, a student can provide their school’s guidance department with the name and address of a college along with its corresponding CEEB code to guarantee the accurate transmission of their transcript. A similar set of ACT codes exists for colleges, scholarships, test centers, and high schools; however, these codes are predominantly employed within ACT, Inc. and are less commonly utilized elsewhere.
Testing and Programs Overview:
SAT and SAT Subject Tests
Since its debut in 1926, the college board SAT practice test has functioned as the US’s national benchmark for college admissions. The College Board controls its usage globally, while the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is in charge of its creation, administration, publication, and scoring. The college board SAT practice test measures a student’s aptitude in writing, reading, and math with scores ranging from 400 to 1600. These results are divided into two areas, each of which is worth up to 800 points: evidence-based reading, writing, and mathematics. The college board SAT practice test competes for high school juniors and seniors’ attention with the ACT, another nationally standardized college entrance exam.
The regular college board SAT exam costs $49.50, and the optional essay component costs an extra $15. There may be additional charges, such as a $30 late registration cost, a $15 registration fee for phone registration, and a $30 test date, location, or type change fee. Students on the waitlist pay $53, and each score report costs $12. International students taking the test outside the U.S. incur a ‘Non-U.S. Regional Fee’ ranging from $43 to $53. Consequently, total testing fees for a single student may exceed $200. Fee waivers and reductions are available for eligible low-income students.
In March 2014, the College Board announced a redesigned college board SAT practice test to be introduced in 2016. The test reverted to a 1600-point scale, and the essay became optional. The testing time was extended to three hours, with an additional 50 minutes for the essay. Additionally, the College Board partnered with Khan Academy to provide free test preparation materials for the redesigned SAT, including a preparation app and practice problems with step-by-step solution videos.
SAT Subject Tests
College board SAT dates Subject Tests are designed to assess student performance in specific subjects such as mathematics, science, and history. Students can take up to three College board SAT dates Subject Tests on a single test date at a flat rate. There is a $26 per-administration registration fee, along with a flat fee of $22 (or $26 for language tests with listening) for each subject test.
Initiatives and Changes
- In May 2015, the College Board introduced a credential initiative in collaboration with Project Lead the Way to encourage student interest in STEM-focused careers.
- In March 2020, several College board SAT dates test dates were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- On January 19, 2021, the College Board discontinued College board SAT dates Subject Tests in the United States, with a phased discontinuation for international students. The optional essay section was also discontinued after June 2021.
- On January 25, 2022, the College Board announced plans to deliver the SAT digitally, aiming to make the test-taking experience easier and more relevant. The digital college board SAT includes a reduced testing period of 2 hours, coverage of material relevant to college courses, and the allowance of calculators throughout the Math portion. This shift aims to address technology accessibility disparities among students and was prompted by disruptions caused by COVID-19. In 2021, the SAT Suite of Assessment Program recorded 1.5 million high school students taking the test, compared to 2.2 million in 2020.
The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test available for a fee, offering valuable SAT practice at a cost of $17. Additionally, it serves as an eligibility assessment for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s scholarship initiatives. Variants of the PSAT, such as the PSAT 10 and the PSAT 8/9, also exist. However, it’s crucial to understand that neither the PSAT 10 nor the PSAT 8/9 confer National Merit Scholarship eligibility
The Advanced Placement Program (AP college board):
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program is a vast initiative that allows high school students to enrol in what it regards to as college-level courses, expanding their intellectual horizons and preparing them for postsecondary study. Additionally, it makes a significant difference in college applications by highlighting kids’ intellectual prowess and real love of learning. This program allows many kids to receive college credits based on their exceptional performance on the $97 per test AP college board exams, much as the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). It’s important to remember that each school or university makes the final decision about whether to grant credit. Currently, approximately 2,900 colleges extend credit or advanced standing for AP college board achievements.
Critics of the Advanced Placement Program argue that the courses and exams emphasize breadth of content coverage over depth of knowledge.
In May 2020, technical issues prevented some students from submitting their AP college board exams, necessitating their retaking in June.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP):
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers individuals of all ages, including high school students, college enrollees, homeschoolers, adults, senior citizens, children, and even exceptionally gifted toddlers, the chance to showcase their mastery of college-level subjects through a series of undergraduate course exams. A total of 2,900 colleges recognize and grant academic credit to those who successfully pass CLEP exams.
The Accuplacer test, developed by the College Board, is a computer-based placement assessment designed to evaluate proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. It encompasses assessments in reading comprehension, sentence structure, arithmetic, elementary algebra, advanced mathematics at the college level, and a writing evaluation known as Writeplacer.
More than 1,000 high schools and colleges predominantly employ the Accuplacer test to determine the appropriate educational placement for students. Community colleges often have specific criteria for students who must complete the Accuplacer test. The Accuplacer Companion also provides paper-and-pencil versions of the test, accommodating students with disabilities, particularly those with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 Plans. These alternative formats include braille, large print, and audio-based tests.
One of the major advantages of the Accuplacer and Accuplacer Companion tests is their ability to provide immediate scoring through an online system, making them accessible even in remote locations. While there are typically no fees associated with taking the test, some institutions may charge a fee for retests. In cases where the testing institution is not local, examinees may need to arrange for a proctor. Local libraries are often willing to serve as proctors, as limited alternatives exist for individuals in this situation. It’s important to note that most schools will administer the test exclusively to their own admission candidates.
SpringBoard is an educational program developed by the College Board with the aim of preparing students for Advanced Placement (AP college board ) courses and college-level studies. Rooted in the “Understanding by Design” model by Wiggins and McTighe, SpringBoard seeks to align knowledge with scholastic skills in anticipation of AP college board exams and overall success in college. This program offers a structured curriculum encompassing various grade levels, creating a vertically articulated framework that fosters the development of essential learning skills and subject-specific knowledge for students. Within this curriculum, pre-AP college board and AP college board teaching strategies are seamlessly integrated into coursework at different grade levels, enhancing the learning experience.
This comprehensive curriculum spans grades 6 through 12, equipping educators with formative assessments, professional development opportunities, and a range of teaching resources to monitor and support students’ academic progress. The instructional framework is thoughtfully integrated into the core content and subject materials. SpringBoard also extends its resources into the realm of Web 2.0 tools, fostering a sense of community engagement within the program.
The Triunfador campaign was launched on June 23, 2020 as a result of a joint effort by The College Board and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. This campaign’s primary target audience is Spanish-speaking families who are navigating the college preparation process for their kids. It is intended to offer them essential advice. This initiative’s support for scholarships offered through the College Board Opportunity Scholarship program is one of its key features. Students have the chance to be eligible for financial assistance for their college tuition of up to $40,000 through these scholarships, regardless of their citizenship status. Only families with incomes under $60,000 are eligible for these awards.
Many educational institutions use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, a financial aid application program administered by the College Board, to determine family contributions and create financial assistance packages. The $25 application cost, as well as an extra $16 for each school to which a student chooses to submit their profile, must be paid by students.
At least in 1922, prep school instructor Morgan Barnes wrote an essay for the Harvard Alumni Bulletin that criticized the college board big future and its exams. Barnes took 10 tests in secret, asked for copies of his graded booklets, and made an effort to interact with the examiners. His complaints included issues with uneven grading, a focus on test preparation in the classroom, and an over dependence on test results for college admissions.
The College Board has been under fire from students, teachers, and consumer rights campaigners ever since the late 1970s. Owner of the SAT, which many students must take in order to get admitted to selective institutions, is the College Board. When requesting financial assistance, several universities additionally require the production of a College Board CSS/Financial assistance PROFILE. The corporation has frequently been charged with abusing its monopoly in this industry because there are few widely-accepted alternatives to college board big future goods including AP college board examinations, SAT Subject Tests, and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
FairTest, an organization advocating against excessive reliance on standardized tests in college admissions, argues that the SAT frequently underestimates the abilities of African-American students and other minority groups. FairTest maintains a list of over 1000 SAT-optional colleges on its website.
Americans for Educational Testing Reform (AETR), a consumer rights organization, has criticized the college board big future for allegedly straying from its non-profit status by generating excessive profits and providing extravagant executive compensation. In 2009, nineteen of its executives earned salaries exceeding $300,000 annually, with CEO Gaston Caperton receiving $1.3 million, including deferred compensation. AETR also contends that the College Board engages in unethical practices by selling test preparation materials, actively lobbying legislators and government officials, and refusing to acknowledge the rights of test-takers.
As of 2019, the SAT Reasoning Test with an essay component is priced at $64.50 ($93.50 if registered late). In 2023, AP college board exams cost $97 ($137 if registered late) and are often a prerequisite for students enrolled in AP courses. SAT Subject Tests have a base cost of $26, with an additional $22 fee for each test. Various supplementary services, such as late registration, score verification, and different answer delivery options, can incur additional charges. College Board charges $12 per college for SAT score reports, with options for electronic delivery within 1–2 weeks or paper/disk delivery within 2–4 weeks. Fee waivers are available for some services to students from low-income families, typically those who meet the National School Lunch Act criteria. Additionally, many students opt for preparatory courses or SAT tutoring, which can raise their overall testing expenses. The College Board’s College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS), designed to assist students with college financial aid applications, also requires a fee.
The College Board reported a $140 million surplus in 2017. The company maintained budget surpluses while providing its leaders with competitive remuneration packages, such as CEO Caperton’s $1.3 million/year package in 2009, which was more than the salaries of the presidents of the American Red Cross and Harvard University. 19 College Board officials had yearly salaries of more than $300,000.
Correlation Between Essay Length and Score:
In 2005, MIT Writing Director Les Perelman conducted an analysis that juxtaposed essay length against essay scores on the newly introduced SAT. His findings revealed a strong correlation between the two variables. After examining 23 graded essays, he discerned that longer essays tended to receive higher scores. Remarkably, Perelman developed the ability to accurately predict an essay’s score without even reading its contents. In his research, he also uncovered numerous factual inaccuracies in several of these essays. Notably, the College Board does not assert that it evaluates essays for factual accuracy.
Perelman, in conjunction with the National Council of Teachers of English, criticized the 25-minute writing section of the SAT for potentially undermining the standards of writing taught in classrooms. They contended that educators preparing students for the SAT might prioritize producing lengthy, formulaic, and verbose compositions over fostering skills related to revision, depth, and accuracy. Perelman’s conclusion was succinct: “You’re essentially instructing teachers to train students to become subpar writers.”
Advanced Placement (AP college board ) Courses:
Critics have raised concerns about the structure of AP college board classes, describing them as having a rigid curriculum while acknowledging their indispensable role in college admissions. The College Board exercises significant control over AP college board classes, either directly or indirectly. Notably, the $97 fee for AP college board exams, as previously noted, only provides a score report with the test name and grade, without disclosing the scoring methodology or providing individuals access to this information from the College Board.
Furthermore, a significant change occurred in 2018 when the College Board initiated a pilot program, which was fully implemented in 2019, requiring students to register for AP college board tests in the fall, before early-round college decisions are released. While the College Board’s rationale was to ensure students engage with the material from the beginning of the academic year, this move received criticism from students. They argued that the early registration deadline forces them to pay for tests without knowing if their chosen college will grant them credit for these exams. Additionally, the College Board imposes a $40 fee if a student fails to sit for a test they registered for. Consequently, many students who registered for tests that wouldn’t earn them credit are compelled to either take these tests or pay the fee.
Traditionally, AP college board exams are administered in a school setting and last for two to four hours. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the College Board introduced an alternative format for AP college board testing. Students were required to take these exams at home, in a condensed 45-minute, open-book format. This unconventional approach led to reported disruptions, including students encountering difficulties in submitting their answers, confusion about the testing process, and more.
In March 2006, it came to light that the College Board had inaccurately scored thousands of tests administered in October 2005. Despite being aware of the error as early as December, the College Board delayed its response, resulting in schools still lacking the correct information by late March. Subsequently, the number of affected students was revised upwards within days of the initial announcement. This tardy correction frustrated numerous prestigious colleges that rely on SAT scores for admissions and scholarships. The dean of admissions at Pomona College criticized the situation, suggesting that it undermined confidence in the College Board and likening it to the scandalous accounting practices of Enron.
Sale of Student Data:
The College Board began charging $0.47 for each student name to access their data in 2019. The US Department of Defense’s JAMRS military recruitment program was one of the College Board’s clients, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union report. The College Board and the ACT have both been sued in connection with the use of this data. There are also worries that students are not properly informed about the selling of their data or that certain data sharing is optional. For these acts, the College Board has faced a lot of criticism.
Recycling SAT Exams:
On August 25, 2018, the SAT administered in the United States was found to be a reused version of the October 2017 international SAT given in China. The leaked PDF file of the exam had already circulated on the internet before the August 25, 2018 administration.
Relationship with Hanson:
In 2004, Hanson and the College Board collaborated to create the “AP Chinese Language and Culture Course and Exam” program.
However, the College Board stated in October 2020 that it will end its financial arrangement with Hanson, which had been in existence since 2006. U.S. lawmakers had criticized the nature of this connection, which led to this decision.