How would you reform TCB?

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: How would you reform TCB?
By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Maybe, like a credit report, allow students to take an SAT for free during high school (9-12)? The PSAT doesn't count because it plays no role in admissions.

Let's try to keep the posts tasteful!

By Feuler (Feuler) on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

It's a tough question... there are a lot of things wrong with it, but it's very difficult to determine how they might be fixed. Making the SAT free sounds great on paper, but where does the money come from?

Actually, you just got me thinking. The collegeboard's customers are NOT students- they are colleges. It doesn't seem intuitive because the students are paying for it, but the only reason they are is for colleges, and it is the colleges that USE the product (as a diagnostic tool). So students are paying for CB to provide a service to colleges.

So what about this: instead of students buying score reports to be sent to colleges, colleges buy score reports from collegeboard. One less step of bureaucracy for you, and a more logical transaction. CB would divide its costs by the expected number of score reports so that colleges pay for the whole program.

To prevent colleges from having to pay for students who do way to many test days, perhaps CB could offer two free test dates to each student (ordinarily one would be the SAT I, one would be SAT IIs), and students must pay for test dates beyond that.

Obviously the money comes from students in the end (in application fees, which would logically go up to cover the expense), but it sort of makes more sense that way.

This is a completely half-baked (or rather, raw) idea from a train of thought I just had two minutes ago, but what the hell, I'll post it.

Oh, and since there seems to be an unwritten rule against any post in the cafe that does not contain hostile political statements: Bush sucks.

By Scorp (Scorp) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

Feuler, good idea.

Although I'm afraid that once you force colleges to pay to get score reports the average price of college apps will go from $60 -> $67 (Not sure of the actual average price, made up $60.)

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 12:55 am: Edit

$60 is about right.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 01:42 pm: Edit

There are several elite colleges that already charge a $60 application fee. Bowdoin is one. I shudder to think how high applications fees would sky-rocket if colleges had to pay the CB for every score report they received.

Either way, the net cost of applying to college would in no way be decreased for students and their parents. Chances are good, in fact that they might actually increase.

By Titanz05 (Titanz05) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit

One idea is if they offered a subscriber type service which provides all the services but for a flat fee. Also, for those students who wish to pay-per-use can also do that.

A way to soothe the financial woes is hard to come by. I guess I understand that TCB has to charge high rates for administration,grading, and so on. Since TCB is a fundamental player to about 3 million students, 25,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges, it might help to use private funds or maybe even government vouchers to help students who cannot afford the costs. TCB is labeled as a 'non-profit' organization, so it would of course be a charitable contribution, and I believe it is a justified contribution.

Another aspect is, there is no competition in the industry. Although the ACT is a competitor, it is no where close to the monopoly TCB has. If universities acknowlegded more types of tests for admissions, it would spur the foundations of new organizations and maybe companies dedicated to providing alternatives.

Until then, I believe schools should set up a fund for helping ease the monetary burden of taking TCB tests.

There are no easy answers, and some of my ideas are horrible, however something must be done. Until then, economically disadvantaged students will have no option. The idea of standardized testing is great, the burdens are not.

By Nutriamorada (Nutriamorada) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 02:56 pm: Edit

lowering the cost of the AP tests would be nice, especially if a student is taking several *continues to dream*

By Monarchsfan16 (Monarchsfan16) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

How about just eliminate them all together? The CB has a total monopoly over everything, and I honestly don't see the point in any of those tests, except stressing us out.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 11:39 pm: Edit

AP tests or all CB tests? I might argue that without the SATs, students would be even MORE stressed about college apps, because colleges would have to use more arbitrary factors to decide and there would be so much more uncertainty.

What we NEED are standardized tests that actually test your merits as a student, not you test-taking ability. I'm not sure if such tests are possible, though.

By Scorp (Scorp) on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 02:24 am: Edit

I believe that if any test tests a students merit it is an AP Exam. Three hours of multiple choice and essay. If you know the subject really well, no matter how poor you are as a test-taker you will get a 5. Although on the other hand if you're a great test taker you'll get a 5 not knowing the subject too well.

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