The Princeton Review Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was established in 1987 to address the admission test preparation needs of underserved students. Through a nationwide network of programs, the Foundation serves low-income, underrepresented minority (URM) high school and college students, and engages in vigorous advocacy for admission test fairness, diversity and affirmative action.
The Foundation does not provide grant funding; it creates, designs, implements and monitors a variety of reduced-fee, high quality test preparation programs in an attempt to diversify access to those services.
The Foundation is the only nonprofit engaged in national test preparation outreach, and its programs are distinctive in several respects:
- The Foundation has annually provided over 1,000 low-income, underrepresented minority (URM) students with intensive classroom SAT or ACT prep courses, typically funded by nonprofits like United Way;
- Paid, highly trained test-prep instructors teach these classroom courses, which are of similar quality, with similar resources and supports, to those services that affluent students are able to access;
- Most of the test-prep instructors in Foundation programs have previously taught or also teach affluent students in privately-paid courses, which is quite rare in educational programs of any kind;
- The Foundation serves an additional 1,000 URM students annually with SAT/ACT webinars, workshops and/or test-prep materials;
- GRE/LSAT/GMAT/MCAT test-prep courses, webinars, workshops and/or materials are provided by the Foundation to many hundreds of URM college students each year; and,
- Although the Foundation regularly works with groups serving African American and Latino students, the Foundation has developed a specialty in providing services to Native American students in partnership with organizations such as College Horizons and the Cherokee Nation Foundation.
The Foundation’s advocacy generally includes speaking and writing about test fairness and affirmative action. Specific activities have included conducting workshops at conferences and for university admissions staffs, testifying before legislative committees in several states, and providing expert witness testimony in Grutter, the landmark Supreme Court affirmative action case.
The Foundation serves as a consultant to our national partners, universities, high schools, and many nonprofit organizations regarding standardized testing issues and policies, and test preparation programs.
In California, the Foundation annually helped provide 8,000 low-income students with intensive SAT courses in the largest program ever of its kind, a state-subsidized program funded from 1999 to 2003. The Foundation monitored all Princeton Review courses, and offered professional development sessions attended by all course providers (including The Princeton Review's competitors) in this innovative California program. Unfortunately, funding for the program ceased in the massive California budget cuts of 2003.
The Executive Director of the Foundation is one of only two national sources of advice for students, parents, counselors, and educators who encounter unfairness in dealing with standardized admission testing companies. The Foundation provides advice to students who are threatened with the cancellation of their test scores, and has assisted in two landmark legal victories against the Educational Testing Service on behalf of students in these situations. The Foundation maintains an online guide to students who are threatened with test score cancellation, entitled "Disputes with ETS.”
Through the generosity of Random House, Inc., the publisher of Princeton Review book titles, the Foundation has been able to distribute many thousands of copies of best-selling test preparation books free of charge or below wholesale cost to community organizations and programs nationwide.
The Foundation has collaborated with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and The Princeton Review to help produce a Spanish and English version of the popular Roadmap to College, used by Spanish-speaking families of high school students. Several hundred thousand of these free Roadmaps have been distributed.
The Executive Director conducts research on test fairness, focusing on test question selection. A chapter on this topic written by the Executive Director appears in the 2012 book SAT Wars, edited by Joseph A. Soares (Teachers College Press).