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Frequently Asked Questions About the Computer Ownership Requirement

Following are some frequently asked questions regarding the computer ownership requirement

Do I Have to Buy a Personal Computer?

Dartmouth requires all students to own a computer that meets minimum hardware requirements and works on the Dartmouth network.  While you may certainly choose to purchase your computer anywhere, there are some advantages to buying through the Dartmouth Computer Store.  All computers sold through the campus store meet our hardware standards. In addition, you'll receive an educational discount when buying through the store, and can have warranty service performed on premises. If you already own a computer, or plan to buy one elsewhere please be aware that you WILL NOT be entitled to a free loaner and will be charged a service fee if service is needed, please check to be sure it meets our minimum supported hardware requirements.

What Computers Are Being Recommended to Incoming Students?

Dartmouth offers a number of laptop computer packages to incoming students — both from Dell and Apple. To keep up to date on the most current information about packages we recommend, we suggest you monitor the Class of 2018 website. We will post updated information as it becomes available over the summer.

We will also have netbooks for sale, like the Dell Latitude E6430 and the MacBook Pro, as well as Apple iPads. New products may be introduced over the summer and we will update our offerings as they become available.

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What about a Netbook, Tablet or an iPad. Will That Work for Me?

iPads, Tablets and Netbooks are not intended to be replacements for computers; they are something that people purchase in addition to a computer. They are useful for surfing the Web or checking e-mail while you’re away from your computer. Some courses require students to install applications which may not work on Netbooks, Tablets or iPads.

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What Kind of Warranties Does Dartmouth Offer?

Students can purchase the warranty that best meets their situation. Dell and Apple computers can be purchased through The Computer Store with up to a 4-year warranty.

We strongly encourage students to purchase a 4 year warranty for their computer. This allows you to spend your entire college career without worrying about getting the service you need. The Computer Store on campus is an authorized repair shop for both Dell and Apple repairs.

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When Can I Buy My Computer from Dartmouth?

In late May you will receive notice of a Web site from which you can order your computer. The site will contain information on our recommended Apple and Dell computers, optional products and ordering instructions. All computers offered by Dartmouth are available at special educational prices. We strongly encourage you to wait until you hear from us before buying your computer so that you can take advantage of educational discounts on the latest models. Computers ordered through Dartmouth are available for delivery to you at your home, or may be picked up on campus.

Note: computer models are updated regularly and you will receive the model that has the latest technology at the time of your purchase.

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Are There Any Downsides to Bringing a Computer from Home?

If you already own a computer, or plan to buy one elsewhere please be aware that if you take your computer to the on-camps Computer Store for repair, you WILL NOT be entitled to a free loaner and will be charged a service fee if service is needed.

Computers that are brought from home often have network compatibility problems. In some cases, these problems cannot be resolved, and as a result, these systems do not meet the computer ownership requirement. You should not assume that because you are bringing a relatively new brand name computer that it will work properly on our network.

If you experience a problem with a computer that is not from one of our supported vendors, you may need to be referred off campus for support. Resolving the problem may require time and money.

If you bring a computer from home, it must have antivirus software installed and active. Computers that contract viruses will be denied access to the network until all viruses have been removed.

If you plan to bring a computer from home, or if you purchase a used computer, e-mail or talk to us (866-720-7567) to make sure you can use it here.

You can purchase software, cables, and accessories from The Computer Store. On many items, The Computer Store is able to obtain educational discounts that can save you money.

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Why Can't I Just Buy a Less Expensive Computer from a Big Box Store?

Before buying a less expensive computer, you want to make sure that it will meet your needs here on campus. Be sure that the memory and processing speeds are comparable with the one recommended by Dartmouth, and look carefully at the warranty being offered. Four years of college can be hard on a computer so you want to make sure that as many potential problems are covered by the warranty, for as long a period as possible.

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What Operating Systems Does Dartmouth Support?

Dartmouth supports Mac OS X, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8. If you purchase a Windows computer through Dartmouth it will come with Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8. If you purchase a Macintosh computer through Dartmouth it will come with Mac OS X 10.9.

If you have an unsupported operating system, software is available to Dartmouth students from The Computer Store to upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8 or Mac OS 10.9 for a discounted price.

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Is Financial Aid Available to Help with the Purchase of A Computer?

Yes, financial aid is available to eligible students in the form of a loan to cover the cost of one of the basic computer packages. (More information on this option will be available in June.)

  • If you choose to have your computer shipped to you during the summer, you will be required to pay in advance by credit card, but you can receive the loan as a credit to your student account in the fall.
  • If you pick up your computer when you arrive on campus, the purchase will be charged to your student account and can be offset by the loan amount.
  • If you elect to purchase a computer elsewhere, you would still be eligible for a loan up to the amount of the basic package offered by Dartmouth.
  • If you are ineligible for financial aid, financing arrangements are sometimes available through the manufacturers. There are also educational loans through private lenders that families can apply for. You should contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about these loans.

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When Can I Get My Computer?

Starting June 1, when you order your computer, you can arrange to pick it up early or have it sent to your home. Alternatively, you can defer delivery until you arrive on campus. If you want to charge your computer to your student account, this is the option you should choose. The on-campus delivery dates will be included on the Web site in late May or early June. If you elect to pick up your computer on campus before Orientation, you will be asked for contact information so that we can notify you when it will be available.

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Should I Buy a Printer?

Dartmouth provides print services to all students through our "GreenPrint" system, but some prefer to have their own printer. Printers may be ordered with your computer or purchased when you arrive on campus. Financial aid is not available for the purchase of printers.

GreenPrint printers are located in several locations around campus and are available for student use. Each student is provided with an allocation of approximately 300 pages free black-and-white printing each term. If your quota is exceeded or if you need color printing, the charges will be transferred to your DA$H discretionary account.

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Are There Basic Training Sessions on How to Use the Computer I Purchase?

Whether you buy a computer from Dartmouth or bring one from home, we provide a session during Orientation that gets your computer set up for use at Dartmouth and introduces important aspects of the Dartmouth computing environment, such as the network and public computing resources. Materials will be given out that describe how to use our computer resources and services. You will be informed of the locations of these sessions in the Orientation information you receive when you arrive on campus.

In addition, Dartmouth Information Technology Services provides help year-round through our IT Help Desk, The Computer Store, and our Apple and Dell-certified technicians.

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Where Should I Go for More Information?

The ordering Web site will be up in late May and will have additional information on compatible systems on it. We also have a telephone hotline (866-720-7567) for questions where you can call for more information about computer purchases and compatibility requirements. We advise you to read the information carefully, and if you still have questions, call the hotline number provided or e-mail us. Remember, before you buy a computer, consider our academically discounted prices and the value-added services we provide.

Congratulations and welcome to Dartmouth!

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Last Updated: 3/24/14