Total Registration, at the request of schools, administered two surveys the summer and fall of 2018 to gauge 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 2019, the most recent audit available, the College Board had $1,313,429,461 in Cash and Investments. They hold over 1.31 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 2019 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
1Data from a May 10, 2021, 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
The College Board has increased cash & investments for 13 out 14 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.
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Our school used Total Registration for the first time this year, based upon several conversations I had as AP Coordinator with Mike Elings, General Manager. I was able to see how the registration process worked and thought that it would be worth our time trying this out. In the past, I have had students pay at our school site, and there were errors in what they were paying for. Due to the volume of tests that our students take, accuracy is important. I particularly liked that they could select what they wanted to pay for and that teachers could check the rosters of who had paid. In addition, I was able to state our school policies easily so that there were no errors. I also liked that they had to supply a working e-mail address for both student and parent (our school's e-mails that we have on file are sometimes wrong), so if I needed to contact them, I could easily.
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This was my first time administering AP and IB exams. TR was user-friendly and the instructions were very clear. The customer support was also immediate. Creating seating charts and pulling rosters for individual exams was a great feature. Collecting registration fees, managing exam changes and balances was super easy. I am looking forward to using more features for the next academic year. I would recommend TR to all coordinators.