Unfortunately, CalPoly did not allow any credit for military service, so he entered as a first year freshman. Forced to declare a major upon enrollment, he chose Communication Arts, and while taking all its required courses, typically took courses reflecting his wide-spread interests in music, art, theater, political geography, psychology and even an experimental class in multi-disciplinary studies charged with identifying environmental problems and solutions. He was on the Communication Arts Dean's Honors list all five quarters, and went on the President's Honors List at the end of his first year, but when he picked up his third quarter grades, he learned his G.I. Bill would expire at the end of the 1974 Summer Quarter. He was stunned. He'd never heard the G.I. Bill had a time-limit. His Dean said if he made it through the next three quarters, two of which were covered, he'd be eligible for a full scholarship from the Communications Arts department.
That same day, Travis' report card showed a "B" in Directing. Pike wondered what he'd missed, so he spoke to the Drama professor, who admitted it had nothing to do with Pike's work, which was worthy of an "A," but it was his policy to only award "A's" to deserving Drama Majors. Realizing he'd broken Travis' 4.0 grade point average, he offered to change the grade, but Travis told him not to bother. He wouldn't be graduating. He'd decided to choose his electives carefully for the next two quarters, to get as much out of the experience as possible, but he'd been teaching as much as he was learning, and needed to get back to work. The Summer Quarter would mark the conclusion of his academic sojourn. . . and apart from his independent studies among the UCLA Friends of Folklore and Mythology (1982-1985), it was.