I’m completing a Bachelor’s degree online at Metropolitan State University’s College of Individualized Studies in St. Paul, Minnesota. I chose Metro State because they were originally a University Without Walls when created in 1971. I’m also a student and worker at the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, California, which grew out of Berkeley’s University Without Walls after it imploded.

I had to have all my transcripts sent to Metro State, just from the accredited schools, eight in all. To have a complete education record, I also ordered my SAT scores from the College Board – from 1981.

That’s where it began. I selected the appropriate period for the search (1980-1985), paid the $31 research fee for archived scores and waited. A week later I received a snail mail letter that said ”Although we have thoroughly searched our files for the years 1970 through 1975, we have not been able to locate archived SAT Program test scores in your name.” I had to go online to find a phone number to call. I’m old enough to remember when companies included contact information below their signature.

After waiting on hold for twenty minutes, I talked with Victoria Wolk and explained the error. She said she would correct the time period of the search and send my scores.

A week later I received a snail mail letter that said ”Although we have thoroughly searched our files for the years 1970 through 1975, we have not been able to locate archived SAT Program test scores in your name.” This time I had Ms. Wolk’s phone number. I called and got her voicemail and left a message. When she called back I told her I had received the same letter and wondered if graduating from high school in 1972 was causing them to search the wrong time period. She sent me an email (!) with an Inquiry case number and said my case was resolved.

A week later I received a snail mail letter that said ”Although we have thoroughly searched our files for the years 1980 through 1985, we have not been able to locate archived SAT Program test scores in your name.”

OK, it was worth a try.

A week later I received a bill from the College Board for $55 – $31 for the search and two $12 charges for SAT scores sent. The invoice included a phone number, so I called to find out what was going on. According to the billing department, my scores had been found and sent to Metro State and me. (I’ve learned to order a copy to see if things are really sent) I explained what I had been told before and that I hadn’t received any scores. They said they would look into my situation.

After several more calls, often waiting on hold, I learned they had found my scores but were waiting for my payment. I offered to pay immediately online but the representative explained I couldn’t pay online (the same way I paid the initial $31), but would have to wait for an invoice and mail them a check. Really.

I went online and found the New York State Department of State – Division of Consumer Protection and registered a complaint against the College Board, just to create a record.

Then I got a snail mail invoice:
DELINQUENT – IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED
Score holds may not be released until the account balance is paid in full.

At least they had removed the $31 already paid.

More phone calls to billing, waiting on hold, and my scores had still not been sent. Then I got this email:

More phone calls and then back to Ms. Wolk who assured me the scores had been sent. I called Metro State to check and no, they had not received my scores. I called Ms. Wolk and reported that neither Metro State nor I had received my scores. I also asked that any charges be waived because I was spending so much time trying to get my SAT scores. She agreed and requested they be sent again. She also said I should ignore any further delinquent notices because it would take billing some time to process the fee waiver. Sigh.

This week my scores arrived! Five months, twenty (?) phone calls, a consumer complaint and two delinquent notices later, my college and I had my SAT scores. 

If my SAT scores had been required before I could enroll, I would have missed two semesters – an entire academic year!

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January 18, 2018