Subsidizing Test Prep

  • Maxwell Tingle
Keywords: ​standardized test, standardized test preparation, subsidy, college-going, college success, achievement gap, college access,


Subsidizing Test Prep is a policy proposal that addresses racial and income disparities in collegegoing and college success. Standardized tests are intended to measure college preparedness but have instead become measures of income, as students who can afford higher-quality test prep tend to receive higher scores. In effect, low-income students have comparatively lower standardized test scores and subsequently face lower rates of college-going and college-success. A national subsidy of standardized test prep will try to: 1) mitigate racial and income disparities in college-going and college success, 2) equalize opportunity for lowincome students in college admissions, and 3) help make standardized tests an indicator of achievement rather than income. I argue that the policy is politically feasible and project that it will cost approximately $360 million annually. The subsidy has the potential to be more efficient, in its effect and cost, than similar policies and programs.

Author Biography

Maxwell Tingle

MAXWELL TINGLE is a second year Master of Public Administration candidate at the Trachtenberg School where he is focusing on program evaluation. He graduated from the George Washington School of Business in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business, and is back at GW serving the university as a Presidential Administrative Fellow. Max currently works for GW’s Marketing and Creative Services ofce as a multimedia coordinator where he manages GW’s online customer service eforts and helps develop social media content for GW’s main accounts. In his free time, he volunteers to help teach international students every-day English, and he writes/produces electronic pop music.