Understanding the Cost of Placement Exam Systems

March 2012–August 2016

This study examined the costs of placement exams in two community college systems: a large urban system with centralized assessment and placement policies and a statewide system with institutional variation in placement tools. CCRC is particularly interested in the cost of diagnostic assessments. CCRC researchers developed protocols for evaluating costs, interviewed college administrators, and reviewed college documents to estimate the costs of facilities, salaries, and materials related to test administration and interpretation at the college, as well as the time-costs borne by students.

This project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.