We all pay as we go

We’ve all been there: a busy week, lots of homework, you’ve hit all your classes and still worked enough shifts to survive until the next pay period. But then one of your professors decides to throw down; it’s time to prove what you’ve learned.

Now you’ve got three days to head over to the testing center and take the exam. You’ve got class in the morning and then it’s off to work for the night; so, by default you’ll take the test on the last possible day, which unfortunately means you’re going to have to fork out a little cash for it. They don’t ask much. But, one is inclined to ask aren’t we already paying enough for this?

The late fee can be seen as a way to fight procrastination. You’re given two-thirds of the allotted run of the test to take it before being charged.

But once we are given the responsibility to get an education, we no longer need regulations to dictate our wise use of time. There will always be those busy weeks when we can’t find the occasion to make it to the testing center, and we shouldn’t be monetarily punished for having too many responsibilities.

It’s complicated. Late fees are the one source of revenue the testing center has. It’s split into two divisions: assessment testing and (the unavoidable) classroom testing. The assessment testing is self-sustained. Any cost for the assessment test is covered in the application.

The only source of revenue (including the money that pays students who work there) for the testing center comes from the fees we will inescapably pay. Essentially, by being late (or justifiably busy) we’re helping our peers make ends meet.

But, if the testing center is a service it should be a service provided from the university, and funded through the institution itself. Education and testing should be a package deal.

We’re adults, we have things to do and places to be. Our schedule isn’t always going to mesh, and sometimes we just need more time, perhaps to work, maybe we have three other tests, maybe we’d feel better if we had that one more day to study.

Instead we’re pressured into taking the exam as quickly as possible. That $3 could go for something else, and as college students we need every penny. That $3 could be a meal or a gallon of gas. It looks like we’ve got the short end of the academic stick.

We’re paying for this education, sometimes on our own dime, sometimes through debt. Throw us a bone; let us take a test according to our schedule without the threat of charges for what should already be covered.

Alex Sousa is studying journalism in UVU’s communication department. He’s serving as the managing editor at the UVU Review as well as the editor of the music blog on uvureview.com. He’s had experience working as a freelance writer and also as a copy writer at a marketing agency. Currently he’s working as the Editor-in-chief of the Utah Tech Magazine, an interactive, digital publication. He’s a Utah native who’s traveled around the world; having lived in Mexico, backpacked through Europe, studied in the Middle East and—for a time—been stranded in the Ukraine. He can be found on Facebook and he’s available on Twitter @TwoFistedSousa or by email at aljosousa@gmail.com.

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