The standardized testing industry ignores the rules and regulations of the IRS and offers compensation to governing board members.

Governing Board Member Compensation (Average Annual Compensation)

Governing Board Member Compensation of the Big 3  Formal IRS Recommendation: $0

Paid Governing Boards

Responding to the growing calls that certain American nonprofits were abusing their priviledges, in 2007 the IRS released a short 4-page article titled "Good Governance Practices for 501(c)(3) Organizations". In this document the IRS unequivocally stated, "Charities should generally not compensate persons for service on the board of directors." If that is true, why are the Big 3 testing companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to their directors in flagrant violation of the Unpaid Directors rule?

This report covers tax filings for the 2009 fiscal year, the most recent available as of October 3, 2011.

Download the IRS report here.

Financial Details

  Number of Directors Number Compensated Average Annual Compensation Average Hours per Week Equivalent Hourly Rate
ETS 17 17 $27,971 1.5 $373/hr
Collegeboard 31 4 $597 2 $6/hr
ACT, Inc 13 12 $40,577 5 $162/hr
Average: 20 11 $28,534 3 $188/hr

Note: Facts and figures are based on tax filings (IRS Form 990) and company statements for 2009, the most recent records available as of Oct 2, 2011.


ETS is paying its Trustees nearly half a million dollars a year - there are trustees being paid the equivalent of as much as $720 per hour.

College Board has started paying its Directors in contravention of IRS recommendations. In past years CollegeBoard did not compensate Directors for their service.

ACT Inc pays its Board of Directors more than half a million dollars per year, with an average of $40,577 per Director. (Diana G Oblinger is the only board member that did not appear to receive compensation in the 2009 fiscal year.)