Along with Seton Hill and George Fox University, The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago will be giving a "free" iPad to between 500 and 600 incoming freshman. Since I'm sure they will be giving out the base model, this will cost the school between $250,000 and $300,000.
In comments on the previous posts, it was clearly brought out that there's no such thing as a free lunch, and this may be nothing more than a clever marketing gimmick to increase enrollment in these financially strapped times. With IIT tuition coming in at a high, but in the ballpark, $31,363, I can easily understand that a school will try any number of things to keep the enrollment applications rolling in.
In this case there may more to it than marketing, since IIT already teaches courses in mobile application development and there is an expectation of faculty in computer science and engineering to build specific iPad apps for use in their courses.
With three schools on this particular bandwagon and more to come, where do you stand on this? Is this a marketing gimmick or an honest interest in implementing a new and useful educational technology?