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Education Microsoft Apple

Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus 764

Posted by kdawson
from the apple-for-the-student dept.
destinyland writes "Apple is closing in on Microsoft's share of operating systems among the computers of incoming freshmen at the University of Virginia, confirming earlier reports of an ongoing trend. A yearly survey shows that among 3,156 freshman who own computers, Microsoft's share is just 56% (down 6%), with Apple's share rising to 43% (up 6%), continuing a six-year pattern. In 2004, it was Microsoft 89% vs. 8% for Apple. 'It seems likely that the Mac-using students will outnumber their Windows cousins this school year,' notes one technology blog, citing a new study showing that 70 percent of college freshman are choosing the Mac. Other interesting data from the Virginia study: In 1997, 26% of incoming freshmen said they didn't own a computer, a number which has now dropped to 0. Laptops now comprise 99% of the computer population. And Linux use has dropped from a high of 2.5% in 2004 to a rounding error this year."
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Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus

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  • Re:Office (Score:2, Informative)

    by JamesA (164074) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:24PM (#33175864)
    I thought serious students used http://www.lyx.org/ [lyx.org]?
  • by IQgryn (1081397) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:25PM (#33175870)
    At IIT (the Illinois one, not the one in India), the tech department didn't collect this sort of data. But if they had, they would've thought I ran one Windows machine instead of two Linux boxes, because they didn't know Linux and would not help me get the network going unless I told them I was running a single Windows or Mac computer. I ended up getting all the network settings for Windows and putting them in the right place myself, and hiding both systems behind a router. Several of my friends had similar experiences.

    I will note that many of my professors, especially in the CS department, used Linux almost exclusively, and some actually would not accept Microsoft Office documents (they allowed pdfs and sometimes OpenOffice documents). There was just a huge disconnect between the people in charge of the student portion of the network and the rest of the campus.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:38PM (#33175952)

    Well you're either lying or simply mistaken.

    http://apple.com/store [apple.com]

    Choose the macbook. Add all the internal upgrades (RAM, HDD)

    And it's not even close to $1,500. Not to mention as a teacher (and with her daughter being a student) they'd be entitled to a fairly big discount, at least 15% when I bought mine.

  • Not really (Score:4, Informative)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp&Gmail,com> on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:42PM (#33175978) Homepage Journal

    Interesting result. Certainly isn't the case at my local University. I do wonder about the demographic of the surveyed college? For example are they fairly wealthy? ...

    As I said, I am deeply curious how rich these kids are.

    UVa is a so-called "public Ivy". It's consistently rated in national Top 25 rankings every single year. Its competitors are schools like the Ivy's, U. of Chicago, the big 3 in California, Northwestern, etc. They're as selective as any Ivy, and so they're attracting the same kind of affluent students. There have been some complaints in the state of Virginia that UVa prefers out of state "stars" to some of its own better students (whether or not that's actually true, I don't know). But most UVa students, academic-wise and income-wise, wouldn't be out of place in any Ivy school. UVa has more in common with Brown or Dartmouth than they do with, say, Penn State.

  • Re:Now we wait (Score:3, Informative)

    by vcgodinich (1172985) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:48PM (#33176024)
    OS X Loses Market Share for Fourth Straight Month http://www.maclife.com/article/news/os_x_loses_market_share_fourth_straight_month [maclife.com]
  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:54PM (#33176058) Homepage
    I don't know if you're trolling or just inept. There's at least three different ways to do what you describe. In three column view (selected with the [ | | ] button at the top of the Finder window) the picture thumbnail will show in the right-hand column. The second option is to use Coverflow (the button to the right of the three column button) and preview your pictures that way. The third is to select all the files (cmd+a) then open in preview, and use the next/previous buttons in there. Not identical to Windows, but three very good options, all of which seem pretty intuitive to me.
  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:01PM (#33176104)
    I'm not that surprised. I graduated a couple years ago and I'm going back for my masters this fall - there are a LOT of programs at most universities that require you to buy a Mac. So while some degree of the increase in Mac sales are the trendy rich kids who just want to seem cool, most of that change is probably due to the slew of programs that have recently started forcing students to buy a Mac.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:03PM (#33176120)

    I answer help desk phone calls at a large research university that brings in about 10,000 freshmen a year. It's very common for them, or their parents to ask "Which kind of laptop should we buy, PC or Mac?". It's not that they don't like one or the other, or they don't know the difference. It's not that they care which is cheaper, or which looks prettier. It's not that there's a particular processor that's better than another, or the graphics chipset is faster, or any of the geek stuff that we argue about.

    They just want to know, for this campus, which machine will give them or their kid the least amount of hassle while doing everything they need to get through four years of classes. Will it run MS Office? Does it work with the on-campus apps (online class material, email, calendar, etc)? Is it going to break and cost me more money in two years? If it *does* break, how much of a PITA is it to get it fixed?

    When people, incoming students or parents, ask which they should buy, I tell them honestly that I have a 13" white MacBook with OpenOffice that does everything I need for all of my classes, works with all of the on-campus apps I need to deal with, and generally causes me no grief, and I like it.

    When people ask me which is better for dealing with viruses, I answer that 100% of the calls I receive for malware/virus infections are from PC users; I add that I still run antivirus software on my Mac, and the university requires all Mac users to run it, but I've never taken a Mac virus call. I am enough of a hacker to know that Mac OS X is not perfect, and that it has security holes. But I've yet to take a call that dealt with the results of one, and I've taken plenty of calls for Windows machines whose end resolution was a complete reinstall.

    After that explanation, people go next door to the store and buy a Macbook, and I never hear from them again unless they have forgotten a password.

    That, friends, is why Apple is kicking the crap out of machines running Windows.

  • by Megor1 (621918) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:17PM (#33176228) Homepage
    I went to all the links and the only one with actual information (The University of Virginia) shows the majority of students are using windows. The analyst that is cited as the source provdes zero information.

    I did a quick search and it appears I am not alone in thinking this guy is making up these numbers.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/07/big-macs-on-campus/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fortuneapple20+(FORTUNE:+Apple+2.0) [cnn.com]

    I wager he just shorted the stock and knew apple fan boys would parrot his lies.
  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:12PM (#33176562)
    Compatibility? What's that? Are you talking about how Office 2003 and 2007 don't talk with 2010 or Office XP without tearing out your hair? Or were you going to use an example of software that's been Windows-only and will always be Windows-only?

    I use what I want when I want how I want. Like right now I'm using an iPad hooked up to my home network (shared Aircard in my MBP with Airport Express) to type this. If I ever need to fool you into believing I used a PC for something, you won't be able to tell.

    But seriously, you are obviously looking for a really cheap computer and I'm glad you found it. Not everyone wants that.
  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:33PM (#33176690)
    You know, if you're going to call bullshit you might try getting your own facts straight first. The study in the summary states very clearly that it's a survey of incoming freshman only. The study in your link is of all students. In fact, if you take the link the summary and take the last four years of students (= all students like your study), you get that Mac ownership of that body is 32%, which is DAMN close to the study in your link showing 27% of the laptop owners of the total student body owned macs.

    So is it my turn to talk about how you probably shorted the apple stock and new that the apple haters would parrot your lies?
  • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:41PM (#33176716)

    On top of that, you can use Quick Look. Just select the first file, press the space bar, and you have a lightweight window that displays a preview of your file. Just press the up/down or left/right keys (depending on your view) to scroll through files. It can display previews of photos, videos, documents, you name it. The way they integrated this extremely useful feature into the OS is one of the best things about OS X, so I'm surprised that people don't know about it.

    Granted, it was a feature introduced in Leopard, so if you're using Tiger or earlier releases, you won't have Quick Look.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @08:21PM (#33176978) Journal

    >>>you are missing an important detail: quality.

    Toshiba is rated #2 in long term reliability,
    Apple is rated #4.

    http://voyager8.blogspot.com/2010/04/most-reliable-laptop-brands-are.html [blogspot.com] - But of course you will now come back and tell me why thee FACTS should be ignored, in order to bolster your religious belief that Apple is better quality than Toshiba. It's like debating evolution with a Christian... you never get anywhere.
    .

    >>>Windows laptops, unless they happen to be a Mac, are good for about a year and a half. Then they get pretty annoying. After 3 years, they are nearly unusable. By year 5, lets be honest, they collect dust and prevent papers from blowing away, and nothing else.
    >>>

    My Winodws98 laptop is over ten years and works just fine.
    An OS 9 Macbook? Not so much.
    Won't run Opera, won't run Safari, won't run iTunes, won't run IE. (They all require 10.4 or higher.)

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @08:36PM (#33177072) Journal

    I definitely see the trend growing here in St. Louis, MO -- including with students just getting ready to go away to college. They're not necessary well-off financially, but many of them work over the summer to save up for a new Mac to take with them. (That's exactly what our last babysitter was doing....)

    A basic Macbook notebook just isn't all that expensive, in the grand scheme of things! I find it interesting so many PC/Windows users act like anything with the Apple logo on it is unattainably expensive. We're not talking about $3500-5000 Mac Pro workstations here. The local Micro Center store has been selling brand new Macbooks for $799 (after $200 in-store instant rebate) for the last 6 months or so now, and students get a free iPod right now if they buy one, too - with Apple's mail-in deal.

    The computer and MP3 player combo at that price-point doesn't seem like a bad value at all! I'd rather have that than the typical bargain-priced Dell or Toshiba portable out there.

  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @09:40PM (#33177380)

    The reason I used Commodores, Amigas, and Macs was because Windows 3.x was a piece of shit. I'm not exaggerating. Worst desktop I've ever used.

    Can't argue with you there. But current versions of Windows are akin to living in a log cabin to escape modern society. They're not the best in any way, and PC manufacturers have shaved corners off for so long that the hardware is just good enough to live through the warranty period... sometimes. But guess what? So many people with PC's either have virus problems or Windows problems that they never know for sure if it's a flaky card, flaky driver, flaky AV software etc.

    Is your time worth so little now? Especially coming from a Mac, don't you feel more than a little dirty having to hack the registry to get shit to work? Are you telling yourself that Windows scripting works now, that PowerShell is a good answer, when bash/csh/tcsh have been around for decades and do more with less bloat? Have you convinced yourself that MDI is the way to go, and ActiveX works well in standalone and (snicker) enterprise environments? Do you fool yourself into thinking that NTFS is a great (performance or safety-wise) filesystem? How's that point-in-time backup Microsoft designed working for you? What do you mean it doesn't exist? And restore points? Oh yeah, to prevent recurrence of viruses you have to delete checkpoints don't you?

    At least you know what you'll be doing every Patch Tuesday... forever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @09:51PM (#33177416)

    Sorry, but as a cyclist, if your laptop doesn't fit in your messenger bag, you need a bigger bag :-)

  • by DriedClexler (814907) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @09:59PM (#33177458)

    Sorry, the GP is right and a Mac user [slashdot.org] in a sibling comment confirms (as did I on my MacBook). The first two options don't do what he asked: they display a small preview. And no, people shouldn't have to open the *entire fucking directory* to be able to do that.

    In Windows, for whatever other flaws it might have (and it does have them), the way to do what he is asking (and quite reasonably) is:

    1) Open the picture.

    By default, there are buttons you can click to view next and previous, or you can use the arrow keys, and probably a dozen other ways.

    So they *still* don't let you do that on Macs ... in twenty-fuckin'-ten? This reminds me of why I reluctantly shy away from Apple products now. They'll be nice in so many respects ... and then scatter around a ton of annoying, basic don't-haves. Like how the OS calculator doesn't have scientific functions until 10.5.

    Or how to extract a still from a movie, you have to re-navigate to the directory every ... fuckin' ... time. Or how you can't use the standard upload file interface on websites, but have to hope it's compatible with iPhoto or some other hack. Or the lack of alt-shortcuts which makes it so that you can't call up a function from a menu unless it's been hot-keyed.

  • Browsers (Score:2, Informative)

    by zogger (617870) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @11:20PM (#33177810) Homepage Journal

    On my old PB 1400 I switched to the iCab browser and never looked back, loads better than what was available at the time, IE or Navigator. Have you tried that on your older powerbook? It might resurrect it and make it useful on the web again. (note: haven't checked it out in 2 or so years now I guess, but it *used* to be pretty spiffy as browsers go)

  • by zxsqkty (869685) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:10AM (#33178236)

    1) Open the picture.

    On 10.5 and later, select the image and hit the space key. Use arrow keys as required to navigate.

    Like how the OS calculator doesn't have scientific functions until 10.5.

    In 10.4, press Command+(1/2/3) to switch views. Command+2 is 'scientific', Command+3 is 'programmer'.

    Or how to extract a still from a movie, you have to re-navigate to the directory every ... fuckin' ... time.

    If your movie is full screen, hit Command+Shift+3 and it'll create a picture on your desktop. If your movie is windowed, hit Command+Shift+4 and use the cross-hairs to define the area to snapshot.

    Or how you can't use the standard upload file interface on websites, but have to hope it's compatible with iPhoto or some other hack.

    I really don't get this. Either use the 'browse' button like anyone else, or just drag and drop the file in question into the file upload control.

    Or the lack of alt-shortcuts which makes it so that you can't call up a function from a menu unless it's been hot-keyed.

    Turn on 'full keyboard access' in the System Prefs (Ctrl+F1).

    +5 informative my arse. Perhaps your time and energy would be better spend learning to use your damn machine instead of ranting about non-existent problems.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:03AM (#33178458) Journal

    The $450-range Toshibas are pieces of shit.

    It's not just the PCs in that price range. I remember when you could buy an HP computer that would wear like a Sherman tank, but since the Dell/Gateway/Acer race to the bottom, there hasn't been enough profit margin in the windows world for hardware makers to afford to make anything that wasn't flimsy as hell. I use a unibody MacBook Pro, so I'm used to having a machine feel solid. I picked up a friend's Sony VAIO laptop a couple of days ago, and I could feel it flex just because was holding it by a corner.

    at least some thought went into their industrial design

    Thought, and a lot of testing.

    The MagSafe adapter has saved me from destroying my computer on a number of occasions

    I just wish they'd make MagSafe versions of all the other cables.

    -jcr

  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:25AM (#33178726)

    It's easy to argue that Macs last 2.5 times as long when you just make up facts.

    If you have a 5-year-old Mac at this point, it's PowerPC so you can't even run many newer applications (nor can you run the latest Mac OS). If it was a laptop, the battery is now pretty much useless (and it's difficult to find replacements) too.

    My friend's T60, which he purchased in early 2006, still runs Windows 7 (and Fedora) great.

    Lots of people on my campus have Macs, but the majority of them are unibody, which means that they are at most 3 years old. I never see pre-Magsafe Macs, which means that they are at most a little over four years old.

    Claiming that "security, simplicity, and quality" all come free is at best misleading.

    In 15 years of running Windows, I have never (to my knowledge) been hacked or infected with malware. I use the built-in Windows firewall, install updates as soon as they are available, and (now) I run Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free and easy to install. Time and time again we have seen that being "UNIX-based" doesn't really mean squat from a security perspective in a world where malware and hackers increasingly target applications like browsers and PDF viewers. Safari has not done particularly well in that regard, especially when you compare it with Chrome (which I use) or even IE8, both of which sandbox essentially the entire browser. Apple has repeatedly demonstrated that they did not take security seriously (e.g. DEP which was only added in 10.6, and an ASLR implementation that is still extremely limited).

    Simplicity is in the eye of the beholder. I (and many people I know) find Windows to be simpler. Want to use a 5-button (back/forward) mouse on Mac OS? You need special software. On Windows, you just plug it in. In the case of my G5 mouse, Logitech doesn't even make Mac software for it, so you need to use a third-party program. Bind a mouse button to PTT in Ventrilo? Easy in Windows, damn near impossible in Mac OS X. Keep your computer from going to sleep when you shut the lid? Easy in Windows, hard in Mac OS X. Need to connect a Mac to a projector? Make sure you brought your dongle.

    Obviously not everyone uses Ventrilo, not everyone has a 5-button mouse, and not everyone needs their laptop to stay on when they close the lid. But these are just the problems that I had when I briefly owned a Mac. But I do dispute the idea that Macs are somehow simpler when I have seen no data to that effect.

    As for quality, well, it's been a mixed bag for Mac users. I know a lot of people who have trashed their MagSafe adapters or had their battery recalled and a lot of people who had overheating first-gen MacBooks. I seriously doubt that a plastic MacBook will hold up nearly as well as my (incidentally, cheaper) magnesium-frame ThinkPad T400 if it were dropped. I know that the Mac would do more poorly if Diet Coke were spilled on the keyboard (the T400 has keyboard drains).

    Consumer Reports says that Macs are on the low-end for failures, at 19% per year. But Sony (17%), Toshiba (16%), and Compaq (18%) all have fewer repairs yet. Acer is tied with Apple at 19%, HP and Gateway are a point behind at 20%, and Dell/Lenovo are a bit further behind at 21%.

    With your supposed "5-year" lifecylce, the chance of a failure in a Mac is 65%. For the worst PCs (Lenovo/Dell), it's 69%. That's not dramatically different.

    I think I'm going to go with Consumer Reports rather than some random guy on Slashdot who (supposedly) has a bunch of friends with PowerPC Macs.

  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:18AM (#33178886)

    you CAN run Mac OS on an IBM PC-compatible.

    He didn't actually say you can't.

    He did, however, say, "No they really don't. It's why you can't run Mac OS on an IBM PC-compatible, without some major hacking.", where "they really don't" refers to "They use the SAME INSTRUCTION SET."

    The statement "No, they really don't" is false; they really do run the same instruction set, for all sane definitions of "instruction set". The reasons why "major hacking" is required have nothing to do with the instruction set the processors used in Intel Macs and the processors used in PC-compatible machines support.

  • The reason OS X doesn't have any malware is not technical, it's economic. Back in the days of Classic viruses were mostly written for kicks by people who were essentially hobbyist programmers. These days viruses are mostly developed for profit by people in developing countries, in particular ex Soviet states.

    This shows us a few reasons for what is observed. The first is that malware writers target the OS they use themselves because that's what they're familiar with. Apples laptop lines are selling like gangbusters in the west, but Apples overall market share as measured by large internet sites remains small because they have virtually no presence in any markets where cost is the most critical factor - ie, outside west Europe and the North America. Malware writers don't target Macs because they don't have them, they don't have them because generally they can't justify the extra costs.

    The second is that Apples market share is significantly skewed towards laptops. Do Apple even sell Mac Pros any more? I never heard of anyone actually buying one. You don't really want to build a botnet made of laptops because they frequently switch on and off, change IP addresses and if your bot is doing anything CPU intensive the user will notice.

    The third reason is that the malware ecosystem is entirely Windows based. It's very common now for botnets to make some of their money by reselling installation services. You can see such a site at installsmarket.net - again, even if you're some kind of freak malware author who uses a Mac, your customers will be providing you with Windows EXEs, so you have a big incentive to stick with it.

    A fourth reason is that a lot of malware infections happen through installation of pirated software. This affects Macs less because (a) there is less software available to pirate in particular games, (b) it's not unheard of for machines to come infected out the box in some poorer countries because the OS itself is pirated and (c) again the demographics of Mac users are skewed more towards people with money.

    These reasons are primarily economic. For as long as the western consumer market continues to split apart OS-wise from the developing and business worlds, I don't anticipate this changing. Windows isn't going anywhere and the most attractive targets will remain on it for a long time.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @05:30AM (#33179056)

    The term "Personal Computer" has nothing at all to do with IBM. It refers to consumer-based computers, and the term was around a full decade before IBM shipped their first PC (frankly, IBM did not believe the PC would ever take off - they thought it was just a fad).
    The first complete personal computer (not an electronics kit) was the Commodor PET.

    You're overreaching there. The PET was released in 1977, the IBM PC in 1981. That's 4 years, not a decade. And both were marketed to business primarily, not consumers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @07:05AM (#33179282)

    It's useless statistics since the survey is not of a SRS.

  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:57PM (#33181616)
    This is the second time in this thread that I've caught an Apple hater claiming that a fanboy had made up facts when the Apple hater himself had been making up facts. This study [cnn.com] from February 2010 by Rescuecom ranks Apple #1 in reliability for the last three years. As for pre-magsafe macs, I can only surmise that you don't see any because you haven't been looking. My laptop and my desktop are both 5 years old and are PPC (one's a G5 desktop and one's a G4 laptop). THEY RUN FINE. I did have a service call on the laptop once because a key on the keyboard stopped working. Also, where in the world did you get this idea that you can't get applications? I've never had a problem in my life getting a universal binary for something. As for getting batteries and replacement parts, you're nuts, have you ever heard of ifixit [ifixit.com]? Just two years ago I got a battery for a 1999 G3 lombard laptop (yes, that one runs fine too!). The idea that you can't get replacement parts for old macs is just silly. Good lord, I don't know why I even read these slashdot apple hate-fests...
  • by guacamole (24270) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @07:33PM (#33184126)

    Seriously.. the laptops available for Windows fucking suck. They're shit. They're all shit since IBM sold Thinkpad to Lenovo.

    You have a good point. I remember when I worked at university's IT department we treated Apples and Thinkpads as equals. When an affluent professor asked for a laptop recommendation, we recommended one of those, depending on OS choice. When a poor postdoc or a graduate student needed a laptop with the most computing bang for buck, we offered to setup a Dell Inspiron (price/performance was good, but design was horrible, flimsy, unprofessional, etc). Most Dells, HPs, etc, felt inferior. Things haven't changed much since then except that, as you say, Thinkpad might have gone downhill as well after it has become Lenovo.

    However, I wouldn't say that all PC laptops are shit. But finding an equal to Apple hardware is like finding a diamond in the rough. Yes, some excellent models exist, but you have to sort though 25 crap ones to find one good system. That's why their market share is going down. However, when you find such a good PC laptop, its price performance beats shit out of Apple while still offering good, stylish, solid designs. I am not bragging here. For example go check out the new Samssung Q430 in any Best Buy store. Sturdy, slick and stylish aluminum build, chiclet keyboard, 14 inch screen, i5 processor, 4GB memory, Windows 7, and discrete graphics among other things. Yours for about $820. Everyone ohs and ahs when they see mine. Another excellent system is Vaio E series. You get all of these things with 15.5 inch HD screen, BD combo drive, and slick design for about $900. You can have it for $650 if you take off the HD screen, BD combo, and the gaming graphics. I got one for $820 for myself. The cheapest Apple is a macbook for $1000 and when I was shopping for PC Macbook's specs were simply garbage (2GB memory, old CPU, smaller, lower resolution screen) compared to either of these two systems sold at the same time. If you like these same specs but in a more high end premium package then check the VAIO F series which you can have for around $1200-$1400 straight from Best Buy, and at this price it will be comparable to apple's best and most expensive laptop. Some ASUS, Samsung, and Sony laptops are pretty good. But as I said, you have to sort through lots of crap and gimmicks to find a good PC laptop. But it's worth it, because you will save about $500 compared to Apple's stuff. Maybe the $500 will not matter much when you have a real job, but that's a lot of money for a graduate student.

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