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The College Board “Nonprofit”: Oh, the Money One Can Make!

February 26, 2019

The College Board is actually a nonprofit entity (EIN 13-1623965), but don’t let that fool you. The money is a-flowing, and for College Board’s top admin, testing is turning out to be quite the lucrative racket.


David Coleman, College Board

Let’s just consider some info from the College Board’s 2016 tax form.

Total revenue in 2016 was $916M, just shy of one billion dollars, $3.3M of which derived from government grants. The greatest revenue generator was “AP and instruction,” at $446M, followed by “assessments,” at $338M.

piggy bank cash

As for 2016 lobbying expenses: The College Board spent $2.3M (a drop in the billion-dollar bucket of its total revenue), with the following explanation:

The College Board contacts legislators and their staff to provide data and statistics on K-12 education and college admissions and to encourage them to support appropriations for education.

If your nonprofit breaks a billion in revenue, then $2M spent on lobbying becomes relatively nothing. In addition, “providing data and statistics” is probably far enough removed to be considered as not actively lobbying.

But let’s move on to the few who profit the most from nonprofit College Board.

The highest paid independent contractor by far was another testing entity, Educational Testing Services (ETS), at $359M.

Former Common Core “architect” and College Board president, David Coleman, drew $1.7M in total compensation in 2016, $512K of which is “bonus and incentive compensation.” Note that as of 2019, Coleman is no longer president and is “just CEO.” The person replacing Coleman in 2019 as president, Jeremy Singer, made $871K in total compensation in 2016 as chief operating officer.


Former Gates Foundation policy director, Stefanie Sanford, who left Gates in December 2012 for chief of policy at College Board, pulled $597K in total compensation in 2016.

Below is the 2016 total compensation for some more well-paid College Board officers and employees (current and former) each of whom lists 40 hrs/wk:

  • James Montoya, Chief of Membership, Higher Ed: $436K (6 mos.)
  • Theresa Shaw, SVP, Chief Info Officer: $477K
  • Cyndie Schmeiser, Chief of Assessment: $491K
  • Steven Titan, VP, Treasurer: $512K (3 mos.) ($277 of which was severance pay)
  • Peter Schwartz, General Counsel and Chief Admin Officer: $442K
  • Robert Gordon, SVP, Finance and Global Strategy: $433K
  • Martha Stratis, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer: $312K (9 mos.)
  • Ericka Miller, Secretary and Chief of Membership $200K (6 mos.)
  • Dorothy Sexton, VP, Secretary: $284K (one week: 1/1/16 to 1/7/16)
  • Trevor Packer, SVP, AP Programs: $479K
  • Steve Bumbaugh, SVP, College and Career Access: $375K
  • John McGrath, SVP, Communications, $537K
  • Connie Betterton, VP, Higher Ed Access: $369K
  • Matthew Costello, VP, Assessment Operations: $373K
  • Gregory Walker, VP, Midwest Regional Office: $376K
  • Sean Buckley, SVP, Research: $412K
  • Todd Huston, SVP, State and District Partners: $455K (“former,” still paid)
  • Neil Lane, General Counsel: $476K (“former,” still paid)

One more, for 2 hrs/wk:

  • Paul Sechrist, former trustee: $52K

Including Coleman, Singer, and Sanford: 21 individuals garnering $10.7M in total compensation.

Ahh, the benefits of working for an assessment nonprofit!

flying cash


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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

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  1. Further reading: Does College Board deserve public subsidies?

  2. Lance Hill permalink

    Great research, Mercedes. “Nonprofit” is a scam. In the The Gilded Silicon Age, Billionaires can corrupt virtually any nonprofit. These College Board staff salaries are not compensation; they are hush money.

  3. Well, well, well. Just what one would expect. The College Board is as [non]profitable as was the Trump Family Charity.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: The College Board and the Big Salaries It Pays | Diane Ravitch's blog
  3. The non-profit organization changing for profit – The BHS Beat

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