Take One, You Paid For It!

Imagine showing up two minutes before class, after studying all night for a midterm, only to realize you don’t have a scantron—a necessary tool for test-taking in most Texas Tech courses.

Breann Robinson/ The Hub@TTU

Breann Robinson/The Hub@TTU

Dylan Smyth, a senior electronic media and communication major, said he has dealt with this problem in one of the four classes he is currently taking in the College of Media & Communication.

Smyth was upset to learn students in the college have already paid for orange scantrons in their tuition fees.

“It’s a lack of consistency,” Smyth said. “We shouldn’t have to pay for scantrons twice. If we’re paying for them in our eBill, they should be provided for us.”

Fees charged to students for academic department instructional assessment, or ADIA, cover the printing costs of scantrons, according to Student Business Services. So, professors in the college have the ability to pass out scantrons to students for free.

ADIA fees are used to “enhance academic excellence at Texas Tech” and cover any “academic instructional activities” in on-campus classrooms, according to the 2015-2016 Global Fees Document. This includes the printing of tests and syllabi as well as the expenses for guest speakers visiting the college.

Kevin Stoker, the college’s senior associate dean, said announcements have been made about the availability of scantrons in the college, but more could be done to help inform new faculty members of the operational procedures regarding testing materials.

For more information on where to find scantrons on campus, check out The Hub@TTU’s storymap.

“When we have our college meetings and retreats, a lot of times we announce that there are scantrons available,” Stoker said. “But, have we done it as well as we should? No, we could do better.”

A phone call to each college on campus proved only two out of ten frequently offer scantrons without charge—the College of Media & Communication and the School of Law. In fact, the School of Law offers scantrons, blue books and earplugs to students during tests.

ADIA fees are attached to some courses offered by the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration, but the college does not give students scantrons before every test.

Other colleges on the Texas Tech campus, which may not charge ADIA fees in their tuition—including the College of Education, the College of Human Sciences and the College of Architecture—have scantrons available for 25 cents apiece.

An email from Technology Operations & Systems Management at Texas Tech confirmed the distribution of scantrons to these places.

Nathian Rodriguez, a graduate part-time instructor in the College of Media & Communication, said he thinks the whole idea of providing scantrons for students is great.

“When they come to college, they have a lot to worry about,” Rodriguez said. “I think that’s just one thing we can do on our part to kind of help them along. It’s just one less thing the students have to worry about, and they can concentrate on actually learning the material.”

Update: College of Media & Communication Dean David Perlmutter sent an email to faculty and staff on Saturday, reminding them that scantrons should be given to students taking tests. In a Facebook post to The Hub@TTU, Perlmutter wrote that some of the faculty were not aware of the policy, and that they will be reminded every semester from now on.

About Breann Robinson

Senior journalism major and Investigative Reporter for the Hub@TTU. Really good at making friends, really bad at math.


  1. David Perlmutter says:

    Apparently not all faculty and TAs knew that we hand out scantron without charge–already paid via student fees. I sent this note out to faculty yesterday after being informed Wednesday night by the Deans Student Council and SGA about the issue.

    Dear College of Media & Communication Faculty, GPTIS and GAs:

    As the fall semester winds down, we’d like to remind you that the College of Media & Communication provides scantrons for students taking tests in any of our classes. Our students shouldn’t have to pay for a scantron. Whenever you schedule a test requiring a scantron, please ask Kenneth Caffey to provide scantrons (you will need to provide the number needed) and he will have them packaged with your exam copies.

    We’ve created some confusion for students who are given a scantron in one class and then asked to pay for one in the next. We just wanted to make sure you knew that the College buys scantrons in bulk every semester and has them available.


    David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D
    Professor & Dean
    College of Media & Communication
    Texas Tech University

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