ASU must teach students to shop better
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 14:11
It appears the high cost of convenience may have found a new stomping ground on the ASU campus. The craze for a chance to take home a free iPad from the on-campus IT Store is officially over.
However, for those of you still seeking a new piece of Apple technology, do not fear, because an overpriced iPad can still be yours.
An innocuous Apple computer charger will run an ASU student $79 with tax on campus, compared to the same charger purchased for $41.50 with free shipping off Amazon.
Or that fourth generation 16 GB iPad sold for $499 with student pricing. It too can be purchased cheaper elsewhere.
The IT Store also combats savings because they lack the options, like purchasing used or refurbished products, which can potentially save students hundreds of dollars for the same quality products.
I doubt too many students take issue with having an Apple store on campus. The IT store benefits students by providing them an assortment of new technology, fashions and electronic gizmos to accommodate student’s every need and desires. They offer a loan program that allows students to try out new computers before committing to the purchase.
Prices for their Apple products follow Apple’s US Education price index giving students reduced rates on campus.
So what is the problem with the ASU IT Store? The problem comes two fold; first creating an environment that encourages consumption while simultaneously creating a monopoly for this consumption to take place.
This simply means the IT store has exclusive control over the products sold on campus.
The IT store’s prices will go entirely unchecked unless the bookstore is carrying the exact same set of headphones. Unlike retail stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and others that sell similar products, the IT store goes without competition on campus.
This becomes a sensitive issue for our ever-growing international population that has limited access to transportation off campus.
I am aware that some may say this is the price students pay for the extra convenience of buying their products so close, but the question then becomes, “can Arkansas State students afford the luxury of the convenience?”
I think the answer is an obvious no.
According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success Project, the average American student debt for graduating students is close to $27,000 nationwide.
For students going to school in Arkansas, the debt averages out at $23,000. This is a significant wad of cash for anyone to pay off, especially with a roller coaster job market.
With this financial battle looming for Red Wolves, it makes sense that our university should educate its students to become fiscally responsible.
After all, we will be the generation called upon to clean up the largest debt mess in human history; largely accumulated by unchecked spending habits.
Instead of forcing spending with a monopoly aimed to increase profits through increased student debt, let’s put education back into focus.
Let’s teach students to take advantage of local resources, to weigh out options, shop multiple venues, spend within their means and encourage them to continue to use these processes in the future.
Micah Christensen is a junior communication studies major of Jonesboro.