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Follow the Money

The College Board is designated as a 'Not-For-Profit' by the IRS but does generate "excess revenue" (revenue - expenses). That begs the question: How much money does the College Board have, make, and spend? Total Registration has researched the College Board's finances using publically accessible financial records. Through this research we have discovered the College Board generated excess revenue, most companies call this profit, for the past 15 years.

$1,693,847,000

In 2021, the most recent audit available, the College Board had $1,693,847,000 in Cash and Investments.  They hold over 1.69 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 24%.  Which means, that after all expenses (salaries, exam materials, scoring, etc.) the College Board keeps between 4 to 24 of every 100 dollars it takes in.  How does it use the extra cash?  Investments.   In 2021 the College Board had $242,428,000.00 in investment gains alone. 

Here is a brief summary of College Board finances:

Tax
Year
Revenue Expenses Profit Cash +
Investments
# of AP
Exams
AP Exam
Fee
2023 - - - - - $97
2022 - - - - - $96
20211 $1,165,966,000 $851,724,000 $278,033,000 $1,693,847,000 4,578,302 $95
20201 $946,156,000 $846,662,000 $99,494,000 $1,530,987,000 4,751,957 $94
2019 $1,107,897,207 $1,049,304,734 $58,592,473 $1,313,429,461 5,098,815 $94
2018 $1,073,678,672 $979,521,189 $94,157,483 $1,152226,448 5,090,324 $94
2017 $1,067,701,847 $927,784,350 $139,917,497 $1,111,851,062 4,957,931 $94
2016 $942,621,972 $905,054,378 $37,567,594 $885,062,957 4,704,980 $92
2015 $915,776,813 $838,417,778 $77,359,035 $843,049,505 4,478,936 $91
2014* - - - $833,083,475 4,176,200 $89
2013 $840,672,990 $741,778,125 $98,894,865 $832,905,923 3,938,100 $89
2012 $795,817,602 $740,561,685 $55,25,5917 $610,429,516 3,698,407 $87
2011 $758,985,414 $713,755,580 $71,675,145 $560,176,503 3,456,020 $87
2010 $720,650,408 $648,975,263 $65,634,741 $444,339,911 3,213,225 $86
2009 $659,809,288 $594,174,547 $53,345,767 $426,570,867 2,929,929 $86
2008 $623,039,302 $569,693,535 $39,127,848 $350,695,990 2,736,445 $83
2007 $621,042,351 $581,914,503 $55,108,238 $393,245,000 2,533,431 $83

1Data from a June 6, 2022, Price Waterhouse Cooper Audit (https://facdissem.census.gov/Main.aspx, Search for Single Audits, Auditee Name - College Board). This infromation will be updated when the 2020 Form 990 is available.

* Change in Accounting Year from Jul-June to Jan-Dec

Notice a trend?

The College Board has increased cash & investments for 14 out 15 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.

College Board's Revenue

College Board's Profit

College Board's Cash + Investments

History - # AP Exams & AP Exam Fee