College Board

H i s t o r y

The development of a common entrance examination was only the beginning.

In 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Formed by a handful of colleges, our purpose was to simplify the application process for students and college admission offices.

More than a century after evaluating those first few test-takers, we’re helping more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college each year, and we continue to serve the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

The College Board is driven by a single goal — to ensure that every student has the opportunity to prepare for, enroll in and graduate from college.

The College Board believes that an investment in education is an investment in the future. From our earliest days, we have devoted ourselves to educational opportunity and achievement. We have championed innovation, equity and excellence for generations of students. We are advocates for children and parents; we empower teachers and educators; and we are a strong presence in thousands of schools and communities across the country.

Teacher at chalkboard

Our work falls broadly into three categories: College Readiness, College Connection and Success, and Advocacy.

College Readiness

The College Board seeks to ensure that every student in the United States has access to a high-quality education and is prepared to succeed in college. Our College Readiness initiatives promote curricula, assessment tools, district and guidance resources that help K-12 students prepare for the academic rigors of higher education. Through Advanced Placement® college-level courses and exams, high-school students can earn college credit and advanced placement, and learn from some of the most skilled, dedicated and inspiring teachers in the world.

Our College Readiness programs include:

College Connection and Success

The College Board helps students connect with and successfully complete a high-quality college education. We provide resources, tools and services to students, parents, colleges and universities in the areas of college planning, recruitment and admissions, financial aid, and retention. The SAT® and Student Search Service® programs alone have helped millions of students of diverse backgrounds learn about colleges, apply and enroll.

The College Connection and Success programs and resources comprise:


The College Board is a leading advocate and resource for excellence and equity in education. We invest in the future of America’s students by promoting high academic standards; supporting educators; and building critical connections between policy, research and real-world experience to drive systemic reform in education.

Our College Board Advocacy & Policy Center work focuses on three critical areas:

Why do we fight so hard for education? Because of one simple belief: when more people achieve higher levels of education, the whole world benefits.

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