The college-for all push is enriching College Board, according to the Hechinger Report. A nonprofit, College Board runs the SAT, PSAT and other exams.
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have each agreed to pay the College Board anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million a year to test students in hopes of boosting their college-enrollment numbers, and the College Board is actively promoting its products in other states.
These deals are likely to further increase the College Board’s net revenues, which hit $65.6 million in 2010—the last year for which the figure was available from tax filings—up from $53 million the year before. The test supplier pays a quarter of its employees at least $230,000 a year, while its president, Gaston Caperton, earns more than $1 million annually—almost double what he made in 2005—and has a $125,000 expense account.
“They’re a very profitable nonprofit organization,” said Brad MacGowan, college counselor at Newton North High School in Newton, Mass., a Boston suburb. “They always seem to be coming up with a new product or service to push testing into younger grades or make states give the SAT to every student.”
Ten states and the District of Columbia pay for all students to take the PSAT at no cost. Delaware , Idaho and Maine require all high-school students to take the SAT and pay for the cost.
The number of high school students taking the SAT has risen by 30 percent in a decade. The test costs $49.