Beginning this fall, journalism students at the University of Missouri, Columbia will need to add an iPhone or an iPod touch to their already expensive shopping carts. It seems ridiculous, but there is a method to this madness.
Brian Brooks, associate dean of the journalism school, told the Columbia Missourian that the requirement “will not be enforced, however, and there will not be a penalty for students who chose not to buy an iPod touch or iPhone.”
So why the requirement? Brooks says that it’ll helps students review recorded lectures, but the real reason for “requiring” the purchase is for the benefit of students on financial aid.
The reason we put required on it is to help the students on financial need. If it’s required, it can be included in your financial need estimate. If we had not required it, they wouldn’t be able to do that.
One student put up a Facebook group to protest the requirement as he doesn’t think that people “should be forced to buy one brand of computer or one brand of anything.”
While Valleywag’s Owen Thomas says, “So basically, this is a scam to let students take out federally subsidized loans to buy iPhones,” Thomas writes. “Presumably they can put AT&T’s minimum $69/mo. subscription on credit, too, and pay it off after graduation.”