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Apple iPhone: NOT a College Requirement

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Word has it that for incoming freshmen journalism and pre-journalism students at the University of Missouri School of Journalism this Fall semester, each will have in their hand an Apple iPhone, whether they want one or not.

Several internet news sites have reported in their heading that the University of Missouri has made the purchase of an Apple iPhone a requirement for students this next year, which is, in fact, misleading.

Headings such as “New College Requirement: iPhone” of the HeraldNet, Washington and “University of Missouri Requires Students to Buy iPhone” published by College News.com are not accurate assessments.

A website entitled, “FindMySoft.com” also stated in a May 2009 article, “It has now come to light that the iPhone is such a useful piece of technology that it is a requirement for college students – not all of them, just the ones attending the University of Missouri School of Journalism.”

Despite the confusion, according to the school’s website, the iPhone is NOT actually a requirement. The Missouri Journalism Undergraduate Program is now requiring that students have a Web-enabled audio-video player, specifying the Apple iPod Touch, a significantly cheaper product compared to the iPhone, as the more capable piece of technology to fulfill classroom needs.

“Effective with the Fall 2009 semester, incoming freshmen journalism and pre-journalism students are required to have a Web-enabled audio-video player. This requirement is best met by purchasing the Apple iPod Touch, which has all the features the Missouri School of Journalism intends to implement to achieve its academic objectives and those of its students.”

“The iPhone, although more expensive, fulfills the requirement as it will do anything the iPod Touch can do. TigerTech, MU’s computer store, is making the iPhone available as an option to fulfill the requirement. However, an iPhone is not required.” University of Missouri School of Journalism

The significant difference between the two is cost. The Apple iPhone itself runs approximately $450.00 at retail value, almost double the iPod Touch, which costs around $229.00. (Apple.com) The iPhone also comes affixed with a monthly fee for AT&T wireless service that you have to get in order for the phone to be operational. This can be much more of a burden for a student that is already locked into a competing wireless plan, and thanks to an exaggerated media spin, potentially generating a bit of agitation among already financially tapped students.

If you are a student planning to enter into the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the requirement of an Apple iPod Touch or comparable Web-enabled A/V player effects you, fear not. Making it a requirement effectuates financial aid to cover the costs! Who doesn’t want an Apple iPod Touch?

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