How Eliminating College Board Could Impact Florida Students

In recent weeks, the state of Florida has been embroiled in a heated dispute with the College Board, the non-profit organization responsible for administering the SAT and AP exams. The feud began after Governor Ron DeSantis expressed concerns with the College Board’s handling of the AP African American Studies course which has since escalated into a broader debate over the role of standardized testing in college admissions.

What the experts are saying

According to Daniel Santos, CEO of college admissions counseling service Prepory, the dispute could have serious implications for Florida students. In an interview with a WSFL-TV, Santos expressed concern that students without access to the College Board’s rigorous courses and exams would struggle to compete with their peers from other states.

“I think it would be difficult for them to demonstrate their rigor,” Santos said. “What College Board primarily provides is access to course rigor, access to courses that are more difficult, that is more intellectually challenging for students, that are faster paced.”

The role of AP and SAT exams in qualifying for financial aid

The College Board’s exams also play a crucial role in helping Florida students qualify for financial aid. As Santos explained in the same interview, the AP exam allows students to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which provides financial support for college.

The intention of Bright Futures [is] to keep Florida students in Florida and to make college more accessible to them.

Daniel Santos, CEO

Implications for college admissions

Santos also pointed out that the absence of College Board exams could make it harder for Florida students to gain admission to out-of-state universities that require them.

Schools are going to have to get creative and find ways to give students the opportunity for rigor, but that's going to take a long time, and it's also going to take a really long time for admissions officers to even understand how to evaluate Florida students in the context of all other 49 states.

Daniel Santos, CEO

Our forecast: 🫣⏳

The impact of Florida’s potential departure from the College Board remains to be seen. While the move could open up opportunities for other test providers to compete, it could also create complications for Florida students in terms of demonstrating their academic rigor and qualifying for scholarships. As Santos notes, schools will need to get creative and find new ways to give students access to rigorous coursework. However, the process of evaluating Florida students in the context of other states could take some time for admissions officers. It remains to be seen what alternative solutions the state will pursue, and how students and universities will adapt to potential changes in testing and admissions requirements. Regardless of the outcome, it’s clear that this dispute has highlighted the importance of standardized testing and the College Board’s role in college admissions.

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