We shouldn’t be paying for scantrons

by Alex T. Arnold

I’ve been in multiple classes where scantrons were utilized whenever there was a paper test. The positives of scantrons are that they allow professors to grade and return tests quickly. The problem, however, is that students are required to go out and buy them before the day of the test. 

I am well aware that it sounds stupid to complain about this when the scantrons only cost fifty cents and are available at the school bookstore, but hear me out. The entire higher education system already has a reputation for being greedy, and it certainly doesn’t help that students are forced to pay for a little slip of paper as if it’s a required textbook for the class.

It’s not so much about the price as it is the principle; scantrons are not included on the syllabus, so they should not be included in the price a student must pay. It makes the school look cheap, even if it’s unintentional. 

It makes far more sense to just print out an answer document to go along with the test than to demand students bring their own. There is also the potential problem of students forgetting to buy a scantron or even bringing it to class on that specific day. 

It’s unfair that someone must fail a test because they accidentally left their little paper slip at home. This represents a larger problem of unnecessary fees that give colleges the reputation of being predatory, and I think we would be better off by dropping the practice. 

Students: don’t let this incite you to argue with your professor. Just buy the scantron and go along with it for now. The best thing to do is to encourage open debate on social media and with The Student Government Association. 

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