GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkMandatory MacBook Pro Purchase
11:24:34 PM

After being a Mac-less family since I switched from my PowerBook Duo 230 to the first of many Windows-based laptops back in 1995, we are about to return to the Apple fold. My older daughter will soon be the proud owner of a MacBook Pro, with 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB hard disk, and almost all the trimmings. The only feature that isn't top-of-the-line is the 15.4" screen.

There is no choice about this. She already has a perfectly good HP laptop that is less than two years, but she must have a Mac, and it must be this MacBook Pro model. So says the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, where she has been admitted to study musical theater.

All you Mac fans who came to read this post because of the subject line, I promise that it wasn't a tease just so I can bask in proud dad mode for a while. Really, it wasn't. Not at all!

Well... maybe it was. Somewhat.

My daughter is going to college! I got to watch her play the lead in The Sound of Music in a school production a few weeks ago, and she's going to go to the college that was her first choice! I'm really, really proud of all the hard work she's done on her dancing, vocal, and acting skills these past few years, not to mention balancing schoolwork with a very busy schedule of performances, rehearsals, private lessons, and workouts.

So, yes, I'm incredibly proud. I'm in financial shock, but I'm incredibly proud.

I can certainly understand that a music school would favor Macs over PCs. And requiring a very high-end machine for entering freshman students makes sense in order to make sure it's useful lifespan lasts through a four year degree program. So, I really should have anticipated this. The $2799 price tag (including a 4-year AppleCare warranty) is something of a shock to me, and I suppose I will have to prepare myself for some high-end music and video software expenses, too, but it's really just background noise compared to the cost of four years at the University of Hartford.

And hopefully, my daughter will let me play with her Mac, on occasion.

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Comments :v

1. Turtle04/18/2008 01:08:35 AM

It's not THAT much of a financial shock...

Tell you what, I'll buy you your first beer at the Gonzo Lotusphere party next Lotusphere.

2. Richard Schwartz04/18/2008 01:19:58 AM

I beg to differ. Four years at a private university is a major financial shock. Each year will cost about as much as the total of my four years of Ivy League education did.

3. Volker Weber04/18/2008 06:06:06 AM

Those were the days when life was free and sex was safe, or the other way around. What would a year of Ivy League education cost TODAY?

4. Chris Blatnick04/18/2008 09:08:21 AM

Rich...thanks for sharing. I'm very happy for your daughter! It's great to hear about people pursuing their dreams and this sounds perfect for her. Tell her congratulations!

On the other hand, I mourn your pocketbook. I'm sure it was a good friend.

5. Rob McDonagh04/18/2008 10:04:20 AM

One of my favorite people of all time (my high school music director) graduated from the Hartt School, so I get a personal kick out of knowing your daughter will be going there. Very cool.

As far as sticker shock goes, my college (Holy Cross) isn't quite at the Ivy League status level, but it absolutely blows me away to see the tuition prices. By the time my daughter is eligible for college, she'll have to be a millionaire to pay for it. heh. At that point, her mandatory computer purchase will still cost about $3k (that was the price point when I was in school, too), but it will be installed as a chip that talks directly to her brain.

6. Aurora Vanderbosch04/18/2008 12:06:39 PM

I had to laugh at this post, because it reminded me of when I was going to school to study a university known for it's musical theatre department, many, many moons ago...

As a full "need-based" financial aid student, our family was hard-pressed to come up with the money for the things the university said all students HAD to have for school:

1) 2 plain, sleeveless, baby blue leotards
2) 1 pair of Capezio character shoes
3) 5 pairs of nude dance tights
4) 1 dance skirt
5) 1 pair leg warmers (pink or blue)
6) 1 pair of jazz shoes

It didn't cost as much as your daughter's Mac...but it might as well have, given our finances.

And while I was there, how much of that list did I use, onstage or off?

The pink legwarmers...because they looked really cool when I wore 'em with a black skirt and my fuschia "I Can't...I have rehearsal." sweatshirt.

(I did get a great deal of use out of the character and jazz shoes and tights, in my later professional life...but never touched the rest of it. )

I'm sure the Mac will be a much more sensible purchase! And I wish your daughter all the best, in her studies and subsequent career. There's nothing quite like a career in the theatre--and musical theatre in particular. :)

7. Richard Schwartz04/18/2008 02:01:30 PM

@3 An Ivy League education today has a list price cost of about 10-15% more than University of Hartford. The massive endowments of Harvard, the formidable endowments of the other Ivies and of the other top non-Ivy universities have allowed them to keep their cost growth for the last ten to twenty years down below the growth rate at the next tier of universities, so the result is that the gap in costs has narrowed considerably.

@All: Thanks for the comments and good wishes!

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