Student Computer Ownership - FAQ

Last Updated: 07/09/2014

Overview

CU-Boulder strongly recommends that all students have a personal computer if it is financially feasible. Because computer ownership may present a financial burden for some, computer laboratories on campus are available to all students. Students who intend to purchase a computer and wish to have its cost included in their financial aid calculations are encouraged to consult the Office of Financial Aid before purchasing a computer (303-492-5091).

General FAQ

Are there computing labs on campus that I can use?

Yes. For a complete listing of all public ITS computing labs, including hours of operation go to the IT computing labs page.

Do I need to bring a computer?

The University of Colorado at Boulder strongly recommends that every student have a personal computer if it is financially feasible. Many students bring a laptop computer and take advantage of the wireless service that is available across most of the campus. Students who intend to purchase a computer and wish to have its cost included in their financial aid calculations are strongly encouraged to consult the Office of Financial Aid before purchase.

Do I need to bring a printer?

Black and white and color printing is available in various computer labs around campus. After your set quota of free prints has been exceeded, there is a fee assessed, paid through the Buff OneCard. Click here for more information.

If you are bringing a printer to the residence halls and university apartments, OIT recommends USB wired printers. Wireless printers are not recommended.

Do I need to purchase a new computer?

No. If you are planning on bringing an older computer, refer to the IT Service Center Supported Hardware and Software list to make sure that you computer can be supported. Click here to see this list.

Is it better to have a Mac or a PC?

Check with your school or college to find out if it has a platform recommendation; the campus, in general, does not. The campus does, however, strongly encourage students on either platform to adopt the Microsoft Office suite. Students can purchase an academically-priced subscription to the  Microsoft Office University Suite through the CU Book Store Tech Department's Software / Microsoft connection at http://www.cubookstore.com/technology.

Is my computer insured in my residence hall?

CU-Boulder does not insure student computers in the residence halls. Check your or your parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy as it may provide coverage for your computer.

Should I bring a laptop or a desktop computer?

Some students enjoy the portability of laptops, but at this time, they are not required. Wireless network access is widely available across campus, including most classrooms and residence halls. All of the residence halls on main campus (except College Inn) have wired networking available in each room and many have wireless.

University Computer Recommendation

CU-Boulder strongly recommends that all students have a personal computer if it is financially feasible. Because computer ownership may present a financial burden for some, computer laboratories on campus are available to all students. Students who intend to purchase a computer and wish to have its cost included in their financial aid calculations are encouraged to consult the Office of Financial Aid before purchasing a computer (303-492-5091).

Will my computer be adequate for all four years that I’m at CU-Boulder?

CU-Boulder strives for a four-year replacement cycle for most faculty, staff, and public lab computers; therefore, most students can get by with using the same computer for four years, with the possibility of an inexpensive hardware upgrade after two years, and software updates whenever they are needed.