Sarah Dykman opens her new iPad, one of the 160 given to transfer students from Pima Community College at an event in August 2010.

This is the third year for the Mac Scholar program at the University of Arizona.

More than 1,300 UA students received an Apple iPod, iPad or MacBook laptop as part of their financial aid package last school year.

The school buys around $1 million worth of Apple products at a discount and gives them to students as a recruiting lure.

The UA spends less on these gadget giveaways than it used to spend on cash scholarships to lure the same types of students.

But some students would plainly prefer the cash.

Since the students can do whatever they want with the gadgets, some are dumping them. Here's a couple of the Craigslist ads:

  • "I have a brand new, unopened 16G Ipad 2 with wifi and 3G. I am a student with the University of Arizona and received the Ipad on scholarship, but am in more need of money than an Ipad. Brand new one of these is 629.00, but I am selling mine for 580.00. once again, brand new, never opened, has package seal on it and everything. If interested call or text."
  • "I got this ipad as part of a scholarship at the University, but I don't really need it. I have had it for less than a week and have barely touched it. ... For more information contact me."

Of course, plenty of the students who get these gadgets love them and use them.

What's your opinion on the Mac Scholar program? Given the choice, would you choose an iPad or $500 cash? Should students get a choice?

Campus Correspondent is a higher education news blog at the Arizona Daily Star. Follow reporter and blogger Becky Pallack on Twitter.