SAT and ACT Costs Create Imbalance

SAT and ACT Costs Create Imbalance

Julian Stauffer

Charging students to take necessary college-admission tests is an abuse of power. The College Board and ACT, non-profit organizations, have exploited their power as standardized test providers and have turned into monopolies. 

The price to take the SAT and ACT in their most standard form is around $50. This price is not a huge expense for most Marin County families, but for lower income demographics this can become a problem. 

This becomes an even more of a challenge when most students attempting to get the highest score often do prep courses and take the test multiple times. Not only is the test itself pricey, but all the prep courses add up as well. 

Not all of the preparation surrounding the SAT comes at a high price. Krista Peach, the college and career specialist at NHS, discussed this topic.

“I think there are great free resources, but I’m not sure they compare to some of the resources that are expensive to pay for,” Peach said. 

The standardized testing companies are still businesses, which means they will always place an emphasis on those who pay.

This creates an interesting conflict where students who might have the potential to thrive at a competitive university aren’t able to get into these schools because of the sad truth that if you pay more, you will receive more chances, and have many more opportunities to get a higher score.

Although more and more colleges don’t require SAT or ACT scores, the problem still remains. 

An article from Vox shows the difficulty of this business, claiming “it still stands that this is a business. The SAT and ACT have a stake in remaining a necessary part of any college application.” 

This could mean that as long as the SAT and ACT remain important parts of the application process, students will continue to be faced with high-priced tests, creating an imbalance in the admission game based on family incomes.