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Old Jan 17, 2012, 01:30 PM   #26
chrono1081
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If you are using your mac for school, and will be using it for a long time (not upgrading when each new model comes out) then I can see financing it. Its an essential tool for college. I always recommend against the cheap route for computers unless you are doing something basic like word processing.

That being said do not make it a habit. I remember in my teens I said I'd never be one of those people that dig themselves into debt, and just like almost everyone else who says that, college dug me in to debt. Although I made all my payments on time I was in over my head and could only make minimum payments on things. Luckily I was blessed to land a job working overseas (in a war zone for three years) and was able to dig my way out quickly, and finish school.

You don't want to have to do that. Finance only what you absolutely need for school, put the refunds back in the bank and use them to pay off the debt you will come out of school with.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 12:43 PM   #27
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What kind of job in a war zone? Somewhere in the army?

It is wrong to use financial aid to pay for a lifestyle. Many MD students act like crazy when getting their first line of credit, when they see "$150 000 available". Brand new luxury cars, large apartments (However, in Montreal, that also means "clean" and "secure", which most are not)
Banks are only so generous because they know your job is guaranteed.

Unless you happen to go to a really small, countryside-based university, there's no need for a car. Any rent you'll save living further form university will be offset by the overall cost of the car.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 01:08 PM   #28
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Financial Aid is for things you need for school.

So whether its a computer, car repairs, rent, food, whatever, as long as it's being used in the process of your education it's fine.

You gotta pay the money back later anyways (for loans anyways)
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:42 PM   #29
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Heh, I once bought a car with my financial aid, so I would say buying a Mac isn't that big a deal. It's better than blowing it on partying.
Hah I did this during graduate school. I used student loan money plus a trade in for it. I got a better interest rate on a student loan than any car dealership or bank would've given me.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 09:45 PM   #30
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My son is a college student and a computer is a must have these days. I see no problem spending financial aid on them.
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 10:35 PM   #31
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Hah I did this during graduate school. I used student loan money plus a trade in for it. I got a better interest rate on a student loan than any car dealership or bank would've given me.
That's very true. I bought an old beater, so I didn't have to finance it. I totaled out my 10 year old truck when it was attacked by a suicidal deer. Since I lived off campus, this became a big problem. I got a big refund, so I used it plus a bit of money I had saved from my part time job and bought the car. Given how long it took to pay back that loan, it ended up being an expensive car, but I didn't have much of a choice at the time.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 03:33 PM   #32
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Yeah my views are that it doesn't really matter. I mean they give the money back to you with no strings attached, except for the whole paying off loans thing.
Back in the 80s, I borrowed some money from my GrandPa, telling him it was for education.

Instead of going to class, I raided the computer shows popular at the time.

Researched/bought parts and carefully built a computer, which really lit a fire in me for useable technology. I've been in IT in one capacity or the other ever since.

I confessed to him years later, he laughed, saying "I never said what kind of education you had to use it for. It worked anyway."

So yes, if a mac is getting you where you are trying to go, no worries.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 06:18 PM   #33
00000
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If anyone reads this again:

Is this a discussion on scholarship money or other funds given by the school, federal student loans, or private loans applied for through the FAFSA process and funded by third parties? I assume it is the latter two.

If you apply for federal student aid, you borrow from the federal government which you repay with interest. If you apply for a PLUS loan, you borrow from a private corporation which you repay with interest as well.

You are not given this money. You must return it and then some. It is yours. There is no moral quandry here. There are limits on how much one can borrow based on a variety of factors that have been determined by the legislature. If you meet the criteria, you can use, temporarily, and for a price, another party's money - and you can use it for whatever you please.


Also, the notion that this (nonexistant) moral quandry would be resolved if someone "needed" it - for art school or graphic design no less - is ridiculous. Nobody needs a Mac. It's a brand. If you are enrolled in a university that requires one... wow.

You should rethink things if you believe there are "strings attached" to financial aid money. I am no accountant, but I can tell you that loan money is yours. It's not a car loan from a bank applied for in an exact amount calculated off of the specific value of the vehicle in question, drafted to be used for that purpose. It is a loan, period.

Being a student is a precursor to receiving the loan. You are not restricted to using the loan for school purposes. Obviously, you will use most of it for that. You may need to pay rent, too. As for the "get a job" argument: sure, you can work in undergrad, grad school in the liberal arts. What about JD or MD programs, some of which have first-year employment restrictions and all of which are incredibly time consuming, often necessitating unpaid internships for long periods as prerequisites to gainful employment? Personally I would rather my doctor have been funded my loan money and focused on learning medicine than have had to work five days a week while engaging in what I imagine to be a difficult, time-consuming endeavor which, by the way, relates to people's health and safety.

You can borrow as much as you can and feel, morally, just fine about it. Financially speaking, however, you may not feel as good. You benefit in the present - more money; US citizens, present and future, benefit - more government money (interest) when you repay; the nation benefits - more educated people. You pay the price in the future no matter what. If you borrow too much, you pay for it eventually. The real moral quandry should be the way everyone else feels, benefiting off the government resources procured from excessive loans taken out by potentially ignorant students, right? Nah...
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:29 PM   #34
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This was an old topic to bring back, but that was a great reply. If the government gives me a loan at 6.8% (!) I will use it for whatever I need in order to fund my education. If tuition and books are paid for then sure, why not a Mac? Or even buy food with it? It's still money I need to get through college. Most college students do work already. How much time can someone really spend at work though while getting a degree? The whole point of college is to spend 4 years learning, specifically so you don't have to spend 12 hours a day for the rest of your life working.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:12 PM   #35
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Also, the notion that this (nonexistant) moral quandry would be resolved if someone "needed" it - for art school or graphic design no less - is ridiculous. Nobody needs a Mac. It's a brand. If you are enrolled in a university that requires one... wow.
You may scoff, but these do exist. As I said, my sister went through one such program. Students were required to purchase a MacBook and a license for the particular software used in their courses. I'm sure that wasn't/isn't the only such program in the world.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:26 PM   #36
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You may scoff, but these do exist. As I said, my sister went through one such program. Students were required to purchase a MacBook and a license for the particular software used in their courses. I'm sure that wasn't/isn't the only such program in the world.
I've heard a lot of people claim that their school requires this or that computer. When I started at NCSU my Dad was convinced that I had to buy a Thinkpad from the university bookstore in order to enroll. Of course it wasn't true, just "highly recommended" A lot of people got Macs instead and they made arrangements to support those just the same.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:39 PM   #37
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No, you probably don't need it. I took a loan for the Mac I "had-to-have" back in my senior year. After graduation, I worked 2 jobs to make ends meet and it gathered dust until I sold it for a song to help pay off the loan.

Although it behooves you to know all the tools of your trade, it will be greatly to your advantage to begin your post-college career with as little debt as humanly possible.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:17 AM   #38
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I've heard a lot of people claim that their school requires this or that computer. When I started at NCSU my Dad was convinced that I had to buy a Thinkpad from the university bookstore in order to enroll. Of course it wasn't true, just "highly recommended" A lot of people got Macs instead and they made arrangements to support those just the same.
On the other hand, "highly recommended" means that it does make sense to have a 1-spot same-day computer support when you're in college. Computer is our lifeline, college students. So instead of buying two cheap computer always kept in sync, why not buy just one good-quality? There's a reason why "highly recommended" computers come at a premium in college's stores. HEC "highly recommends" one or two models of ThinkPad, but as you state, many choose to buy a Mac and install the same software, and even run Windows if they can't match it on the Mac OS. They just don't get "official" support.

Pharmacy department exclusively run on Macs. It's yet a mystery for me what application they use requires a Mac, but I have yet to see a PC user there that was not borrowing its friend's Mac at the same time.

Quote:
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No, you probably don't need it. I took a loan for the Mac I "had-to-have" back in my senior year. After graduation, I worked 2 jobs to make ends meet and it gathered dust until I sold it for a song to help pay off the loan.

Although it behooves you to know all the tools of your trade, it will be greatly to your advantage to begin your post-college career with as little debt as humanly possible.
It's just not the trend in North America. Remember about Québec's student's strike? This was not so much about the proposed 85% tuition hike, but getting fed up with debt when graduating. Here is a rather poor province with high taxes, and we felt it is just plain wrong how large the budget is and how few services we're getting, including chronic state and individual debt. We believe that people should have an equal chance to enter college if so they wish, without having to consider how much money their parents have (it's not commonplace for a parent here to provide support to their studying child).
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:43 AM   #39
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If you need it, yes.

If it improves your academic experience and makes you a more successful student, then get the Mac and put it to good use.

That's what the money is there for.

Do well, graduate, get a good job, and pay it all back.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:35 AM   #40
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If you were trying to live it out really cheap but still get a quality machine, there are often thinkpads on the cheap at outlet.lenovo.com

Not to mention, a mac mini is really cheap for a computer. A $600 build would produce a similarly good machine that doesn't run OS X anyway.

Of course, there's a difference between dumping $500 into a Mini or $1200 into a pro/imac/whatever, and dumping $2500 into a retina macbook pro; One is sorta justifiable, and the other is a bit fancy.

But indeed, I wouldn't pass judgement on someone that spent a lot on their computers. I know many people who blow lots of money on fancy clothing and alcohol/drugs, which is far worse.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 12:28 PM   #41
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I faced a similar siatuation two weeks ago. Someone I know with a real talent in graphics design and no clue about platforms asked me what he should use to get work done, with shoestring budget. Current computer is an AMD 3000+ with only 1GB RAM, a failing Asus motherboard that makes a hell of a noise, when it actually boots sucessfully (only when it's warm enough). Plus, it must run Windows XP, with all issues coming with it, heavy support requirements, no working 64 bit edition, unstable drivers and the like.

He wanted a top-of-the-line Mac Pro, but I steered him away from it considering its high price tag and uncertain future, and it clicked when I told him that my own MacBook Pro could run 8 virtual machines like his and still have power to spare. And because it was actually overkill for 2D graphics. An iMac, even a used one, will do the job just fine, and require far less support just to keep working.

So yes, a Mac can be a necessity.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:52 PM   #42
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If you need a computer for school, get a computer. Just get what is the right kind for education.

Apple does offer academic discounts and Macs certainly can be justified as a tool for education. Same can be said with some PCs.

As for .net work et al, one can dual boot a Mac. The inverse cannot be said for Windows PC for Mac/IOS work (without hacks).

Some people might find that because Apple charges a premium, it is a bad buy and in some cases I would agree (though I do use Macs 99 percent of the time).
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 05:27 PM   #43
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As a reminder: Apple doesn't charge a premium for nothing. The premium is to be paid for superior integration, engineering, and lets not forget, the same day support (in most cases). Agreed, they could put a 3-year warranty standard on their computers instead of charging for it. But even an extended warranty from Apple is worth it: just one replacement part needed refunds it (audio jack not working, wifi card intermittently connecting), as replacing an expensive part if often the official solution to get rid of a pesky, low cost part.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:45 PM   #44
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If you're going to use it towards your education, then there's nothing wrong with it. These days, you really need a computer to get through school, so if you have the means to use your financial aid money towards a computer, why not? But if you bought the computer with your financial aid instead of paying it towards your tuition or basic life necessities, then your priorities need reassessing.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 05:42 PM   #45
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I wonder if the the thread starter has graduated yet?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 05:59 PM   #46
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not sure if this was already said and if it was, sorry for the duplicate post

If you are given the money to help you get through school and you purchase something that helps you get through school, then why question it? But remember that there is a finite amount of money to go around, so the smarter you are with the money, the longer it will last.

$1000 computer, probably not necessary, so get a $500 and have the $500 for other stuff. You are gonna need books, emergency car repairs, sometimes even clothes, food, etc.

I know a few students that got their money and go ape **** at best buy. Then a year into school they get all pissed cause they didnt get enough financial aid money. Well tough **** cause you got a 50inch TV. Deal with it.

So bottom line, be smart with the money you get for free because it doesnt last forever.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:01 PM   #47
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not sure if this was already said and if it was, sorry for the duplicate post

If you are given the money to help you get through school and you purchase something that helps you get through school, then why question it? But remember that there is a finite amount of money to go around, so the smarter you are with the money, the longer it will last.

$1000 computer, probably not necessary, so get a $500 and have the $500 for other stuff. You are gonna need books, emergency car repairs, sometimes even clothes, food, etc.

I know a few students that got their money and go ape **** at best buy. Then a year into school they get all pissed cause they didnt get enough financial aid money. Well tough **** cause you got a 50inch TV. Deal with it.

So bottom line, be smart with the money you get for free because it doesnt last forever.
free?

most aid is in the form of loans, not grants
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:03 PM   #48
JoeFkling
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I read financial aid. That isnt loans to me.

But if its a loan, spend it on whatever you want, your gonna pay it back eventually.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:39 AM   #49
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But if its financial aid, spend it on whatever you want, you gonna pay it back eventually. This is called revenue tax.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:26 AM   #50
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So bottom line, be smart with the money you get for free because it doesnt last forever.
Free??? I wish.

If it was free I wouldn't be stuck paying nearly $200 a month through November 2021 at an interest rate more than double the interest rate on my car loan.

Financial aid loans are NOT free.
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