Scantrons and Blue Books are necessary but not free at UM

Ellie Darcey

Scantrons and Blue Books are a necessary tool in test taking across the country. Though required, they are not free, something many students disagree with.

In past years, the Associated Student Body at the University of Mississippi, offered a small selection of free Scantrons. This year, free Scantrons are not available.

The Scantrons offered by the ASB were located in the ASB offices and at the front desk of the library, two locations on campus that were convenient for many students.

“I liked that ASB offered free Scantrons,” said Laura Parsons, a senior at the University of Mississippi. “It was a small selection, but it was nice to know I could just run up to the office in the union and grab a Scantron or two just minutes before my test. It was just much more convenient to not have to wait in line.”

Scantrons are still available on campus, just no longer for free. They are located in the bookstore in the student union where there is a larger selection of Scantrons in varying colors.

Although Scantrons were shortly available for free, that has not been the case for Blue Books. Blue Books are sold in the same section as Scantrons and are offered in two sizes, small and large.

Aside from the bookstore, there are vending machines located in the union that sell both Scantrons and Blue Books. The vending machines offer Scantrons in packs rather than individually. Blue Books are also available in the the vending machines, but sold individually. IMG_6326

For smaller classes, some teachers provide Scantrons for students. This is a rarity, but it is appreciated by some students.

For some students, not only at the University of Mississippi, there is an issue with having to purchase Scantrons and Blue Books.

Some believe they are not a testing necessity and they should not have to purchase so many over the course of four years.

“Coming to college, you already have to pay for things like text books and other materials that are required,” said Parsons. “Those are things that we expect to use because they are necessary to help us learn. But Scantrons and Blue Books, to me, seem like more of an add-on-price to pay. We didn’t ask to take tests with Scantrons or Blue Books.”

Other students have similar opinions. If they are required materials, there should be other ways to purchase Scantrons and Blue Books. One suggestion is allowing students to use Flex.

“Flex is money that is taken out of our tuition,” said Ellen Lambert, a senior at the University of Mississippi, “and we can buy food and use the vending machines. I think that if we can use Flex for that, then we should absolutely use it to buy Scantrons and Blue Books.”


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