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Did you purchase your student's laptop through a college/university sponsored program?

sdwm70sdwm70 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
We need to purchase a new laptop for our son to take to college in a few weeks. He will be attending UNCG and they strongly recommend purchasing either a Lenovo or Apple laptop through their sponsored program. Note: these are NOT purchased through the university bookstore; rather, the school website directs you to a special portal with either Lenovo or Apple to get one of their "program" options. The school makes it clear that students with "program" laptops receive IT help on campus, loaners if their unit needs repair, backup and restoration services, and a 3-year warranty plus various required software. Students who purchase elsewhere are expected to purchase software and get technical support elsewhere, too. So far I have not been able to make a clear comparison on prices because the school's website does not list model numbers, just specifications of each model offered. My question is, are these generally a good deal? Has anyone else purchased through a similar program and what are your thoughts?

Replies to: Did you purchase your student's laptop through a college/university sponsored program?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,629 Senior Member
    We are about to and are wondering the same things. I am guessing that university undergrad students are not the kindest users of laptops (in terms of stress on the laptop), so having the on-site help might be quite useful.
  • leftrightleftleftrightleft Registered User Posts: 314 Member
    Yes-go with their recommendation. We did not do this with our oldest and had regrets when a problem came up.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,853 Senior Member
    edited July 13
    We did. I was glad because my daughter dropped hers on the floor and it needed a repair. They gave her a loaner and fixed it very quickly. No problems. I should add that we were planning to get her a new one after graduating HS.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited July 13
    Go with the school's sponsored offerings as very few notebook manufacturers...especially with consumer-grade/budget line notebooks students typically buy or Apple offer 3 year warranties at the outset.

    Most current manufacturer warranties are only 1 year and sometimes even less and they do not usually cover user inflicted damage/"accidents" unless you spring extra for the special coverage.

    And even if one has special extended coverage, few provide for loaner computers one could use while one's notebook is in for warranty repair.

  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    My kid's school offered better deals than Apple. I think I bought close to 10 Macs from them over 10 yr period. I also had them ship the Macs to my home to save on taxes.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    My kid's school offered better deals than Apple. I think I bought close to 10 Macs from them over 10 yr period. I also had them ship the Macs to my home to save on taxes.

    Interesting considering Apple has physical stores in a given state, they're supposed to be collecting sales taxes for those states.

    When I got mom's macbook pro on my grad student discount, got around that issue by arranging to pick up the notebook in NH while visiting friends in the Boston area who were also planning mac purchases. Even with the cost of the trip...came out ahead. :)
  • ARTCCARTCC Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    edited July 14
    Our D's LAC doesn't offer a sponsored computer purchase program, so it sounds like you're getting a good deal. Her college's IT Help Desk does provide hardware and software support to student computers, and recommend a 3 year warranty. I ordered our D's MacBook Pro computer from Apple's online site using the student discount with a custom configuration they didn't have in stock and added AppleCare+ for Mac to the purchase. I had the computer shipped to the closest Apple Store to our home where I picked it up. She is a junior and thankfully hasn't needed any warranty repairs to her computer so far.

    Our D's college Information Services website does have a helpful portal with their standard software for both Macs and Windows PCs with links to download free software as well as links to purchase other software with the student discount.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,796 Senior Member
    edited July 14
    We did this with our daughter. Her Mac lasted all 4 years and is still in good shape. Our son wanted an Alienware, so had to figure out his own specs to match the school requirements. It was an expensive hassle, but it worked.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    We did this with our daughter. Her Mac lasted all 4 years and is still in good shape. Our son wanted an Alienware, so had to figure out his own specs to match the school requirements. It was an expensive hassle, but it worked.

    After seeing and working on some Alienware notebooks, he'd be much better off building his own desktop and using that for gaming while getting himself a notebook for college academic work and everything else.

    One Alienware notebook abandoned by a client after finding the cost of parts alone would be such he'd be much better off getting a gaming desktop and a notebook for other tasks is sitting on a shelf.
  • LBowieLBowie Registered User Posts: 1,723 Senior Member
    I am surprised you have to buy the software on your own if you buy your own computer. Many colleges and universities have site licenses for software like a Office and other dommonly used stuff. But it does sound like a worthwhile program.

    (My son loves his Microsoft Surface for note taking and ability to draw graphs and diagrams with the stylus for his math and science courses. He is glad he went with a tablet type of device instead of traditional laptop.)
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 921 Member
    We went with the school program laptop. We live very far from the school and the warranty, repair services and loaner made it worthwhile for us.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,740 Senior Member
    For son who went 6 hours away, we did the school computer. For son who went 40 minutes away, we didn't, because I figured I could bail him out if necessary.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,489 Senior Member
    We did not use any school program to purchase the kids computers and weren't aware there was any. S bought a computer from Costco in HI and D bought one with a Wacom-like drawing capability from Office Depot.

    Both had issues with their computers after the 1year Mfgr warranty but within the 2nd free year of the CC warranty. Both had to buy new computers and got full refunds. While D's computer was broken, a friend loaned her an old MacBook. S got a netbook to tide him over and then bought a desktop with 2 monitors.

    I agree with the posters above that free loaners, software and tech support sound very valuable and worth using the program, just because that's one less hassle and computers CAN have issues which will make life tougher if they gave to search out support, loaners and solutions. Included software is also quite valuable.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,674 Senior Member
    Usually, you will find good educational discounted deals at the campus computer store. This is mainly due to the reduced cost site license for the OS and applications. Nevertheless, the options may be more limited. I actually got a refurbished laptop of a recent model for my D 3 years ago which is likely a returned merchandize. It costs 40% less than a brand new one of the same model. Portability and battery life are most important factors for students. It works great even after 3 years and it should last for another year at least. My D's school provides MS Office 360 for free to all students.
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