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9.6 Policy on Student Computer Ownership

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to insure that every student who attends Illinois State University has access to a personal computer.

II. Scope

All new students who attend Illinois State University after the fall semester of 2005 must bring a personal computer that meets the University’s published minimum hardware and software standards.

III. Policy

Illinois State University has approved a requirement that each student new to the university is expected to own a computer that meets the University’s published minimum hardware and software standards. For mobility and flexibility reasons, laptops are strongly recommended. No student will be prevented from attending classes based on an inability to purchase a computer; the cost of a computer can be added to the student's total cost of attendance.  The cost of attendance is one of the factors that determine the amount of financial aid available.

Campus-wide minimum standards for a computer workstation are updated each year. Additional requirements may be differentiated by major or academic programs. This information may be found on the web at TechZone along with the applicability of various types of devices (i.e. tablets, smartphones, convertibles, etc.).  The University provides a comprehensive mobile computing support infrastructure to help students with purchasing computers, installation, trouble-shooting, and training. These services include TechZone, Residential Computer Consultants (RCCs), Technology Support Center, high-speed Internet ports in residence hall rooms, and wireless access from most areas around campus.

Financial Aid Summary

While the computer requirement imposes an additional financial obligation on students, there are several solutions to be found to make it affordable and practical for students, especially those in need. Computer ownership costs and expenses can be added as a component in the University’s Cost of Attendance for entering freshman and undergraduate transfer students.

Students may apply for financial aid to help cover the cost of a computer by completing and submitting the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year. Students and parents should check with TechZone to obtain a price quote for an appropriate computer. If financial assistance is needed in addition to the initial amount of aid offered, TechZone will refer students to the Financial Aid Office to request a budget adjustment. Information is also available at TechZone for private financing options.

Computer Acquisition Options

TechZone, a department of the University, provides information and access to special pricing for the acquisition of computers.  Special software licensing programs are also available.  After consulting with TechZone, the following options for acquiring a computer may be considered:

  1. Purchase a new computer. The University continuously works with selected vendors to help provide students with aggressively priced hardware and software. Special bundles with University configurations usually offer the best pricing.
  2. Bring an existing computer.  The specifications should be matched against the University's current requirements.

IV. Compliance

Each new student who attends Illinois State University must comply with the Student Computer Ownership Policy.

V. Approval & Review

This policy will be periodically reviewed by the Data Stewardship and IT Services Council and changes or additions to this policy will be recommended by this Council to the President of the University. Information technology resources and systems are changing rapidly both in terms of technology and application, and the University reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. 

Last Review: January 2005

Initiating Office:   Associate VP Technology & Academic Senate

Contact:  Mark Walbert, 438-7018

Revised:  9/2015

2018-12-07T11:07:32.354-06:00 2018