Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

How much is this laptop, Mohawk?

with 6 comments

In my program (Journalism Print and Broadcast) it is mandatory to lease laptops from the school. This hits the pocket hard – $2,729.24 a semester as a matter of fact. Most students in other programs find it shocking when I tell them that we, Journalism students, pay $5,458.40 a year here for tuition at Mohawk. I, like I’m sure other Journalism students had no idea we would be paying that much for college. I was aware there was a laptop lease involved with the program but I did not know that it would cost that much including tuition. The college staff likes to refer to this lease as an “Ancillary fee” but students could care less what it is classified as.
What’s even more disturbing than the cost to rent these computers (875$ a semester – a number that does not appear on any fee statement sent to any student) is the complete lack of transparency and mountains of red tape the college has sent up against students finding out how much money they’ve put into these computers and how much it would cost them to buy it out.
We, the graduating class of 08, will be the first students ever to be given the option to buy the computers that we’ve been leasing for up to four semesters. If you lease a car you’re always given the option to buy it when the lease runs out, but former journalism students were not given that right. The thousands of dollars my predecessors put towards these machines was practically flushed down the toilet. The college uses the word “lease” when referring to the enforcement of these learning tools – that is incorrect they were in fact “renting” them – because if it were a lease they would have been able to take them, for a cost, home after graduation.
At the beginning of the semester the communications department mentioned several times that we could finally purchase the MacBook Pro’s when we graduate. However, the college never gave us price until we rigorously approached them several times while voicing complaints about numerous other problems that were occurring with our “brand new computers.” College staff should be trained and civil enough not to dangle a Mac laptop in a student’s face like a farmer dangles a carrot in front of a mule.
I, for one will not be buying this laptop. For one reason, they have been nothing short of disasters and a great burden on me and my fellow pupils. They arrived several weeks late and have had countless bugs and system set ups that are complete annoyances (we were not able to set any preferences [background, bookmarks, savings to the desktop] until last week! and it took my computer about five minutes to wake up from its “sleep” before I could write this column). Secondly, the buyout cost is an earth-shattering $2,124.36 for ‘08 graduates. Future Shop has the identical computers listed at $2,199.99 brand new! Not to mention the fact that we’ve been using them for eight months and have put down an incredible $1,750 on them through leases.
All these numbers were incredibly difficult to come by. One would think that a learning institution would easily provide their students with facts and figures that concern their own education. Unfortunately, that is not the case – this is my fourth semester and this is the first time I have seen a breakdown of where my $1,650 (the amount of I’ve put into the Macs for two semesters) has gone. A petition was put together regarding compensation for the tardy arrival and inefficiency of the computers as well as to request basic information on buyout and pricing. I don’t feel all students should need to come together as one demanding voice to request a simple receipt that details what you’ve paid for.
My class spent $1,750 on Dell laptops last semester and we were not allowed to take them home at years end. The money paid out was disregarded when we were given the cost of buying the new MacBook Pros.
After several weeks the college complied to give each student a whopping $100 discount if they choose to buy the laptop and also a $100 dollars off next semester’s tuition (even though the college was apparently unaware that most students had already filed their payments for the upcoming semester).
The computer maintenance staff has been helpful when they are available and most of our instructors have been considerate regarding our troublesome computers but the college administration was a hard nut to crack. The information we requested should have been provided for us before we even enrolled – simply when we were reading about the program on the Mohawk website. The college needs to understand – we’re students – we’re poor! Respect the fact that $875 a semester is a lot of money to us and this cost should not be slipped in or hidden in the cost of “tuition,” “ancillary fees” or whatever anyone wants to call it.

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Written by shanedantimo

January 17, 2008 at 1:58 am

6 Responses

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  1. I agree that it’s a painfully high cost for what we are getting. While it’s not really Mohawk’s fault for the price the leasing company is charging, keep in mind it is their fault for the $1800 we pay for “support and swap program”

    Included in the price of the macbook alone is the Applecare support program. This is a fairly decent tech-support hotline and warranty. Then, Mohawk charges an extra $1800 for their own brand of support. Why can’t we just call Applecare ourselves when we have a problem with the computer, and not pay the $1800?

    nswyers

    January 18, 2008 at 5:12 pm

  2. Hey Shane!

    Wow. Interesting first post. 🙂

    For your next assignment, keep in mind the elements of online writing style we talked about yesterday. Short, concise sentences with a lively tone comprising a bite sized post!

    Cheers and great job,

    Roz

    mohawkonline

    January 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm

  3. That’s outright robbery! You don’t even have the option to buy your own machine with an equivalent setup? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d have immediately switched schools once I found out about that.

    And Applecare for a Macbook Pro is ~$300, so that with a base MBP should still be less than $2500. Unbelievable.

    Paul

    February 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  4. You’ve got to be joking here…..might as well go buy your own laptop, screw through the school’s “loan”. and I was really thinking about it because my friend was telling me all about how I need one *dies inside*

    this was very insightful thank you for the info dude ^__^

    Christy

    August 8, 2008 at 5:07 am

  5. I just bought one 4 months ago. Brand new. Am I still required to lease one from Mohawk for the upcoming year?

    Clinton

    July 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm

  6. as far as I know, yeah

    shanedantimo

    July 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm


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