Online schools that offer laptops give students a chance to get the education they need without coming up with a computer all their own. This is an expense that most students simply cannot afford to cover. If you are planning to get a college degree from an online university, you may want to see if your school has a my college laptop program you could participate in. Most schools will not advertise this program much, so you may just have to ask about it in order to receive your laptop.
Here is an overview of the laptop giveaway program that most online colleges offer so you can use it in the future.
Colleges That Offer Laptops
Here is a list of some of the most popular colleges that offer laptops:
Bethel University is based in Tennessee, this school offers on-campus and online degree programs for students to choose from. Online majors include associate’s degrees in accounting, computer science, and general studies.
Centenary College is based in New Jersey, and it offers degrees at the graduate and undergraduate level. They are best known for their education degrees, but they also offer programs in business administration, communication, theater arts, and much more.
Chatham University has degree programs online and at their Pittsburgh campus. The only undergraduate degree they have online is for registered nurses looking to get a bachelor of science in nursing. However, they have six master’s degrees and two doctorates online for graduate students continuing their education.
George Fox University is in Newberg, Oregon where most students complete all of their coursework. George Fox has a highly successful study aboard program though, ranked among the top 50 study abroad programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
Northwest Missouri State University is located in Missouri, but it offers several online degree programs for students outside of the area. Some of the most popular online degrees at NMSU include a bachelor’s in business management and a master of science in education.
St. Johns University – St. John’s has several campuses to attend, including one in Rome, Italy. Most of the college is in New York, offering degrees in pharmacology, education, business, and beyond.
Stevens-Henager College is a Utah based college that has one of the most well-known laptop giveaway programs in the country. It offers degrees in business, healthcare, technology, and graphic arts.
Ursinus College is located in the conveniently-named city of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It has degrees in medicine, law, education, and research, and it is known for its hands-on approach to career training.
Wentworth Institute of Technology is in Boston, but it has a few online degree programs to choose from as well. Students can complete a master of science in construction management or a bachelor of science in project management online with the help of WIT.
If your college is not listed here, you may still have a chance of getting a free laptop to use. For instance, Wake Forest University and Villanova University have laptop lending programs that allow students to get computers to use while they are in school. Once you graduate or transfer out of the school, you simply return your computer and move on with your life. Contact an academic advisor to find out about your options, and you may soon have a computer to use at home.
How to Get a Laptop for College
If you want to get a laptop to use for school, you will need to ask your college if they have a laptop program. If so, you will need to learn about the stipulations you have to abide by to work with the program. Do you have to maintain a certain GPA or attendance record to keep your computer? Do you have to pay for it upfront and get reimbursed after you finish your degree? Do you have to be enrolled in an information technology degree to get a computer? All of these factors will influence what you can and cannot do with your laptop.
If you happen to meet all of the qualifications for your school’s laptop program, all you have to do is request one and have it sent to your door. Your school may already have it set up for you, with certain programs pre-installed for you to use. They may simply send you a brand new computer, which means you will have to set it up yourself. Download any programs you need to do your school work, and then enjoy your computer for the rest of your degree.
Alternative to Laptops from Online Colleges
If your university does not offer laptops for students, you might ask local libraries if they have a laptop rental program. This may be , or it may cost you a small amount of money. University libraries in particular will have laptops on hand that students can use for research projects or class essays. You may be required to use the laptop in the library or somewhere in the general vicinity, so it won’t help you in the long term. You will also have a time limit on your laptop use, sometimes as small as an hour or two. If you just need a computer for a quick project, this option could at least get you by for now.
The Catch with Online Schools That Offer Laptops
Before you get overly excited about getting a laptop from an online college, you need to realize that there is a catch involved. You had to see that coming. You can’t just get a laptop for going to school for a semester (no matter how nice that may be). The “catch” in this case is that you have to graduate from the school before you can become the official owner of the computer. Until that time, the laptop will remain the property of the school. You can still use it and abuse it however you want, but you will have to give the unit back if you drop out of school or transfer to another university. Keep that in mind, and use it as a motivational tool to complete your degree program successfully.
Students Eligible for Laptops from Online Colleges
Each online university sets its own stipulations about the students that can receive laptops. Some will issue them only to students in certain majors or degree programs. Others will only issue them to students who are eligible for specific scholarships. It is impossible to predict if you will be eligible for a laptop from an online college without actually speaking to your university of choice. You can contact the school you plan to enroll in and see if they have a program like this to begin with. If so, you can review the terms and conditions of the program to ascertain your eligibility.
How to Protect Your Laptop
There is no point in getting a laptop for college if you’re just going to clog it with viruses and malware. Chances are your school will install an internet security program on the computer for you, but if not, you need to get one. Kaspersky has the strongest virus detection capabilities on the market today, but it can be a little pricey to buy. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, try Avast or the versions of AVG and Norton.
You should always be careful about the sites you visit online, particularly if you are giving out personal information. Do not download something on your computer unless you know you can trust it. If your antivirus program allows you to check a file before it downloads, run it through a scan to be safe. Periodically scan your computer for viruses, in case one slipped through the cracks. You can use programs like MalwareBytes and Spybot Search and Destroy to take care of malware and spyware issues as well.
If you think you have a problem with your laptop, run it through all the scans you have access to. If that does not work, restore the computer back to a previous date. If that doesn’t work, contact the school’s IT department and see what they can do to fix your computer. Since the laptop technically belongs to the school until you graduate, they will most likely have some way of fixing it for you.
Do You Really Need a Laptop?
Some students think that laptops are a little unnecessary, especially if they already have a desktop computer at home. While you can do all of the research and writing you need to on your desktop, you can’t bring that with you to class. You limit your workspace to your desk in your apartment, which may not be ideal if you have a noisy roommate or a need for mind-clearing fresh air. Before you confine yourself to working at home, consider the alternative.
To put matters into perspective, 38% of students say they can’t go 10 minutes without checking their laptops or phones while in school. 70% of students say they’d rather type notes in class than write them out by hand, and 65% use some sort of digital device when creating presentations for class (source). Like it or not, laptops are taking over the field of education and the world in general. You need to get your hands on one.
Additional bies from Online Colleges
Some online schools that offer laptops go well beyond the computers themselves. They may offer iPads for their students, or they may load down the computers with pricey programs they can use for school. For instance, an online university may provide a student with Microsoft Office to make PowerPoint presentations, create Word documents, construct Excel sheets, and more. The same university may install Adobe Photoshop on the computer of a graphic design student so that he or she could learn how to use it with ease. Little gestures like that could go a long way in keeping your experiences positive in college.
If you are interested in online schools that offer laptops, you should contact a school of interest and see what your options are. You may be a few clicks away from a computer to call your own.