Earning a degree is not easy these days. The time requirements can be very difficult to overcome when you factor in your daily schedule as well as responsibilities to work and your family or friends. Fortunately, online colleges have become extremely successful and a popular way for students to earn a degree. There is no difference in the degree that you earn, only in how you earn it. As you start to send out your resume, employers will only see that you have a degree in your chosen field, not that you studied online. As a side note, earning a degree online is something worth mentioning as it shows an employer that you are able to manage your time effectively and work with minimal supervision.
Why Do I Need a Laptop for School?
While you likely have a computer that you can already earn a degree behind, you may be interested in finding a school that offers a laptop. While it seems like it would be easy enough to sit where you are right now and do all of your school work, over time the portability of a laptop will become something that you could not imagine studying without. While the internet is much like a giant library with all the information you could possibly need, you may still find yourself visiting a public library to do some more in depth research. You will also find nice days that make it hard to sit inside a room and study. With a laptop you can take a trip to a quiet park, set up on a table and spend hours in the beautiful weather completing assignments and studying for upcoming tests.
If you are like most computer users you likely have more than just a word processor and internet access on your computer. Games, social networking, photos, videos, music, e-books and a number of other non-school related files can take up a huge amount of space on your personal computer. A laptop that is specifically used for your school work allows you to keep an organized area that only pertains to your studies. It may be worth occasionally backing up some of your more important files onto your home PC, in the case of one of the computers failing, but the key advantage is that you have a computer for your normal relaxation time and a laptop exclusively for school work.
What’s the Catch?
Laptops are cheaper today than they have ever been, but it still seems like there must be strings attached to getting a laptop through your educational institution. After all, nothing is free in this life, there is always something behind the curtains, or in the small print. Schools do benefit by offering laptops, but not in ways that should concern you. Online programs allow more students to attend a single classroom and teachers can take on much larger numbers of students than they could in a physical classroom. Colleges won’t need to pay for an online student under their roof. While it may seem a minor expense, the amount of money spent per student on campus can be significant and pushing an online program can reduce the number of students that attend campus based educations. There is also a bonus of offering something that few other schools offer, giving them a big advantage in earning your tuition. Again, none of these reasons are ones that will drive any student away from earning a degree from an institution that offers laptops to students, but it is good to know why you are getting such a good deal.
Some schools offer laptops for free without any cost at all to the student. These can be “loaners” or permanent gifts depending on how the school is set up. Other schools will roll the cost of the laptop into the tuition that is paid over the course of your education. In that case, you are paying for a laptop, but the payments will be so minor (and they will be considered school expenses) that you won’t need to tighten your belt to purchase a laptop.
Colleges That Provide Laptops
There won’t be a perfect school for every student, but you will find just the right school for you through a little research. To help you get started, here are a few schools that offer laptops to students studying at their schools.
Northwest Missouri State University
You will find campus based and online courses through this popular school, all of which offer laptops to students that are taking at least 9 credit hours at the graduate level and 12 credit hours at the undergraduate level. The laptops are perfectly designed to fit your needs with mobility and power as a primary focus. Windows 7 professional and Office 2010 are included with plenty of storage space and ram to ensure you have the power to build the presentations you need for courses.
With online, face to face and hybrid courses offered through College America, laptops become key to becoming a mobile student throughout your education. There is no catch to the laptop you are given, as long as you are in school it is yours to use. Upon graduation, College America lets you take the laptop as a congratulations and a gift for your hard work. If, for some reason, you need to stop attending the school before you graduate, you simply return the laptop within 30 days. No cost, no hidden fees, and no risk.
While some schools offer free, or loaned laptops, OCAD University charges a variety of small fees that help you keep up to date with your laptop without paying a large payment out of pocket. The main reason for the extra fees is because of the software that is included with your laptop. For example, Graphic Design and Advertising students will have access to specific software that is key to preparing for entering the working world. With fees ranging from $160.00 – $459.00 per year, you are still saving a bundle. With graphic design software prices often costing thousands of dollars, you will have access to the software you need at a fraction of the price.
With an understanding of how everything works, all that is left is to find the right school for your particular needs. Even if you don’t think you need a laptop for your education, consider the benefits of having a machine dedicated only to school. There is no chance that you accidently get a virus, or get distracted with Candy Crush, or download a file that was simply there to give someone else access to your personal information. With a laptop dedicated only to school, you are mobile, learning on the latest software, and getting a larger benefit from your time spent learning. Continue to research the right schools for you and you will quickly be on your way to a future where technology is second nature, instead of a hurdle.