Ok, my brain is fried!! Took DS’s early day to start looking at new computers and I’m pretty sure my eyeballs are now backlit w/ gigabyte specs.
What do they really need? Obviously, some kids need more than others but your average humanities kid at a small LAC isn’t going to be launching spaceships.

Some schools have this information on their website. I recall reading that D18’s school mentioned most of their students use Macs. Perhaps the school has information that might be helpful on their website or will come in enrollment info.

I’ve looked. All I can find is that the school has Mac Airs that can be used by students.

What school? Maybe some people with connections to that school can help better.

Kenyon College in Ohio

Look to see what computer companies are giving big student deals.
Microsoft usually has student deals for fully loaded lap tops (or super software deals) for students only. Some deals are through the college and they also have student deals through their stores.

Both my kids love the Microsoft Pro. D did great going to Microsoft store and getting the student discount.

I’m sure Apple has some similar program.

Call the college bookstore and ask–they’ll know.

I didn’t even think to call the bookstore. Great idea!

Wait until the summer. That’s when my kids’ schools posted the specs for the type of laptop they would need. And each school posted both Microsoft and Mac specs, so you didn’t have to buy something you weren’t used to.

I would wait until summer as well. There are a lot of deals/sales that happen too and sometimes schools themselves will offer educational discounts.

For a humanities student you’ll have lots more flexibility in terms of what you’ll need.

Another thing to consider is the type of tech support on/near campus. The nearest Apple store to my DD’s school is an hour away and students need to mail out their computers to be fixed but there are a bunch of PC repair places in town.

Didn’t call the bookstore, but I found an email for IT Helpline. Just got this response. I found it very helpful, so I thought I’d share.

Most newer models of Windows and Apple laptop or desktop computers work equally well out of the box at Kenyon. Choose a computer that runs the operating system you prefer, as you want to be comfortable using and supporting it for the next four years.

For any Windows or Apple computer, I recommend a configuration that includes at least 8GB RAM (16 GB is preferable if your budget—and the computer you select—support that) and at least 256 GB hard drive space.

If you decide to purchase a laptop, here are a few must-have items:

A padded case
A three-year warranty from the manufacturer (extended to four years, if possible) 
A means of backing up school files, whether that be a portable hard drive or an account with an online backup service such as Google Drive (your Kenyon Google account provides free unlimited Google Drive storage)
Should any install DVDs ship with the computer—and this is increasingly rare—we strongly suggest bringing those to Kenyon in case you need them to perform any troubleshooting or reinstallation steps

Regarding software, your Kenyon Google Apps account includes the Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations tools built into Google Drive. Documents created with these tools are stored online and accessible from most any computer or mobile device. That said, many students are comfortable using Microsoft Office because of prior experience, so a license of Microsoft Office can be a helpful addition.

I have been told that Chromebooks are being used more and more, especially by humanities kids. You get higher quality for less money. The Chromebook is all Google. Google Docs, Sheets etc. can handle all the work. You turn it on and press a button for gmail, and another to go on the Internet, super simple, no bloatware, no virus problems.

I am considering getting one for myself once my PC dies. I tried one out last summer, on sale for $150, seriously. That was 15" and the smaller ones are better quality, 14 or 11". But I loved it.

ps you can use Word on Chromebooks but you pay…as you do with all computers at this point

@compmom My youngest has a chromebook and he adores it! At 14’’, it’s bigger than what my older son wants. But yeah, they’re great tools! When I couldn’t find an answer on S19’s school about laptops, I decided to try other schools that he was applying to. A couple specifically said that chromebooks had too “light” of an operating system & weren’t good options. I don’t know what that means. I can’t see why students couldn’t save themselves some serious cash!!

Anyway, my youngest just uses google drive for his word processing. That way he can add his dad or I, or even his teacher, to a document for editing. He loves it!

I ordered my son’s laptop thru his colleges bookstore. It came with so much software, etc., and extended warrantee, that I thought it was worthwhile. That was many years ago, so I don’t know if current deals are relevant.

@bookworm I remember doing the same for myself many moons ago. His college bookstore doesn’t do that, which is a bummer.

Best Buy had a lot of huge discounts the summer before my daughter started freshman year. She needed her college email address to sign up for the program. Graduating in May, still using the same laptop.

Ditto on waiting for summer- that’s when the deals are. You know your budget and that will determine specs. Do check with her school’s tech place for deals. MAC vs PC may depend on major, plus what she is used to/likes. Some schools offer free Word et al to students.

Do Macs usually go on sale during the summer as well?

^^Yes, Apple usually has a promo for students in the summer. It often is a (modest!) dollar savings and/or something like a free pair of Beats headphones.

The Chromebooks are best sellers for college students, I have been told at 3 different Best Buys.

If you are doing graphic art, photography, composing, mixed media etc. then a Chromebook would not be enough.