The ACT and SAT should be free 


Katelyn Kirby, Social Media Director

The college application process is expensive. From numerous application fees, transcript fees, and testing fees, many students are paying a pretty penny to get into their desired colleges. The ACT and SAT are standardized tests that are used to determine a student’s readiness for college and can be crucial to a student’s success; however, they come with a fee. 

The ACT and the SAT have been around far longer than most would expect. The ACT was introduced in 1959, as stated by ACT Newsroom, and the SAT dates to 1926, as stated by BestColleges. According to the ACT website, it costs $66.00 to take the full ACT with no writing and $91.00 for the full ACT with writing. The SAT costs $60 to register, as said on the College Board website. Each of these tests have additional fees if you change test centers, cancel your test, or if you register late. On top of these fees, there is also a cost to send your test score to your desired colleges, which is $18 per school for the ACT and $12 per school for the SAT. To no surprise, there are even more additional fees if you must send archived scores, need your scores quickly, and more. It might seem as though these costs aren’t too bad; however, this is all per test. Most students must retake the ACT or SAT multiple times to get the score they want; therefore, they must pay these fees numerous times. 

You might be wondering—do these companies profit from all of this? Yes, they do. According to Financial Samurai, “Due to the College Board’s monopoly in administering exams, they generated … over $1.2 billion in revenue in 2020.” According to an article posted by Vox in 2019, “According to their last tax return… ACT Inc. had a total revenue of just over $353 million, with their CEO/director making $800k.” 

Although many colleges across the nation have opted to be test-optional, there are still numerous competitive universities that require test scores along with a student’s application. If students are required to take the ACT or SAT, they should not have to pay for it—especially if they must retake it numerous times so that they can get into their desired college. If it is not possible for these standardized tests to become free for students, there is also the option for a student having to pay for their very first test, and if they must retake it once or even multiple times, the retakes are free.