Total Registration, at the request of schools, administered two surveys this summer and fall to gage AP Stakeholders' (Administrators, Coordinators, Teachers, Students, Parents) thoughts on the College Board's planned, mandated Fall AP Exam Order Deadlines, Late Fees and Cancellation Fees. Across the board, AP Stakeholders agree the changes will not be beneficial to students, parents or schools. Furthermore, a large percentage remarked that the changes only seem to benefit the College Board. When asked "Why is the College Board making this change" more than 41% responded that the reason was for the College Board to make more money (see the survey results here). That begs the question: How much money does the College Board have, make, and spend? Do they need more money in order to implement the new changes. Below are the results of our research. All information was acquired through publicly accessible documents.
In 2018, the most recent audit available, the College Board had $1,152,226,448.00 in Cash and Investments. They hold over 1.15 BILLION dollars that can be used to finance any College Board related activity.
In fact, the past 10 years of IRS filings indicate that the College Board's profit as ranged from 4% to 14%. Which means, that after all expenses (salaries, exam materials, grading, etc.) the College Board keeps between 4 to 14 of every 100 dollars it takes in. How does it use the extra cash? Investments. In 2018 the College Board made $38,708,672.00 in investment income alone. Remember, as you review the information in the table below, the College Board is designated as a 'Not-For-Profit' by the IRS but has made a "profit" for all years listed.
|# of AP
* Change in Accounting Year from Jul-June to Jan-Dec
Notice a trend? The College Board has increased revenue and cash & investments for 10 out 11 years as reported above (2008 is an exception, but if you invest you understand why). But don't just take our word for it, check out the College Board's 990s (an annual information return that most 501(c)(3) organizations claiming federal tax-exempt status must file yearly) on Pro Publica.
It is understandable that the positive changes the College Board is implementing for the 2019-2020 AP Exams, providing study resources and pre-printed materials for example, could be costly. However, it is clear they could dip into the more than $1,100,000,000 in cash and investments to cover the related expenses. So the question remains, why does the 'not-for-profit' College Board feel the need to take more money from AP families? Especially if one considers past actions as any indication of future behavior, the College Board would likely use the additional money they take from families to purchase investments and make even more money for the College Board.
Based upon the findings from the surveys and the examination of the College Board finances, some schools have determined that the College Board simply does not need any more money from their schools or families. Thus, they are resisting the implementations proposed for the 2019-2020 AP exams designed to increase the money collected by the College Board. A petition has been started to demand that the College Board change their plans for the 2019-2020 exams. If you feel the need to voice your plea for change on behalf of your AP stakeholders we recommend you do the following:
I am in my third year with TR, and I am still discovering new ways to make my job easier through the system. The support staff is constantly helpful and patient. I cannot believe the ease with which I am able to organize this AP project. You never asked about registration before TR and the hours we spent having students register with paper registrations and collecting money and recording the registrations, counting and recounting before ordering. Cancellations involved writing up a refund from the business office, and alternate tests involved collecting more money. It is almost painful to remember those awful days 4 years ago.
As the AP Coordinator of a large suburban high school, I was saved this year by Total Registration. With budget cuts to our district (as many of yours), the sole responsibility for registering, administering, and paying for AP exams falls to me. In past years, I had to create and receive the registrations, write receipts by hand, create an Excel spreadsheet, and triple check that the exam order was correct. Completing all of the above and more, Total Registration gave me time to devote to other duties and made my life less stressful at the busiest time of year in school buildings. Thank you, TR!
I really appreciate all of your support. This new change to College Board registration has been a nightmare for me, but I always know you are there to help and your help is greatly appreciated!
THANK YOU. We would NOT have made it through the new fall AP Exam Ordering without you. Period. We knew we could rely on you and you came through. You are reliable, responsive, helpful, and fabulous. We tell everyone we know you use your services.
As a first year high school testing coordinator, at a fairly large school, I knew nothing about AP. A fellow coordinator had used Total Registration and encouraged me to do the same. I loved the ease of it and the reports I could run to help me with ordering, with free/reduced lunch waivers, counts, and communication with those registered. The kids could register at their convenience and parents could pay online. I hate to think of the record keeping I would have to do had I not used TR. It was a life saver.