Do students get a computer hardware discount?
If you are planning on buying a new computer, Columbia College has relationships with two vendors that offer students educational pricing on hardware and accessories. Students can take advantage of these discounts by purchasing through the vendors’ online education store links at the top of this page.
In general, when buying a computer, the college recommends that students purchase hardware that supports the latest operating systems and includes as much memory and the fastest processor speed your budget will allow. Also, we recommend purchasing the extended manufacturer warranty to protect your device. If you are looking to purchase a computer for your coursework, please note the recommended laptop specifications and additional technology supplies can be viewed under the Department-specific Requirements section above.
Does Apple or Lenovo take trade-ins?
Apple has a trade-in program that allows you to trade in your eligible Apple device for credit toward your next purchase or get an Apple Store Gift Card you can use anytime. If your Apple device is not eligible for credit, they will recycle it for free. Lenovo also has a trade-in program that offers qualifying end-user customers the opportunity to return qualifying devices for trade-in discount after the purchase of a qualifying replacement product.
When should I order my laptop and software?
Columbia College recommends purchasing a laptop before the Fall semester. We also recommend acquiring your software and having it installed a few weeks before you arrive at the college. This will ensure that you are running the latest version of the software and allow time to troubleshoot any issues that arise before the start of classes. There is a detailed Student Software Access list that is offered for academic use on the Student Help & Support page.
What if I already have a personal computer with similar capabilities? Do I still have to buy the Columbia College recommended computer equipment?
If you already have a laptop with comparable specs to the laptop recommendations, you can arrive with your machine. That said, buying the recommended laptop will ensure that your laptop is fully compatible with your department’s curriculum. Also, it will ensure that you receive the best possible laptop program support from the college. Apple and Lenovo provide Columbia College students purchasing new laptops additional discounts that they could not otherwise receive on their own.
What if I need financial assistance purchasing the Technology ToolBox ?
Some students may need to use their financial aid package to purchase their educational technology. To discuss your financial plan, please contact Columbia Central at email@example.com or at 312-369-7140.
For more information about laptop loaners see the information-technology/laptop-tiers/Laptop-Loaners page
Can I customize or change the laptop configuration or accessories?
As long as your laptop meets the minimum specifications, you are welcome to customize your machine to suit your individual needs.
Can I purchase a departmental laptop package for a department in which I am not a major?
Yes, especially if you think you are going to be changing majors.
What software is available to me as a student?
There is a detailed Student Software Access list that is offered for academic use. If a software package is needed for a class, then the professor will provide more details.
Please also note that Columbia students receive free access to all of the following resources:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
- Autodesk Licenses through the Autodeks for Students site https://www.autodesk.com/education/students
- Unity through the Unity Students Plan https://unity.com/products/unity-student
- Unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning an online library with instructional videos on the latest software, creative, and business tools and skills
- Campus-wide, high-speed wireless network
- Technology-equipped classrooms and computer labs
- Student Center Makerspace
How do I connect my computer to the Columbia College Wi-Fi network?
Anyone with a Columbia College account should connect to the “CCC” wireless network. Once you select the "Columbia Student" network from your list of available wireless networks, a browser window will pop up asking you to log into the network with your MyColumbia credentials. If a window does not automatically pop up, open a web browser, and attempt to access the portal, and you will be re-directed to the log-in page.
How do I back up my data?
We always recommend that you backup your data in more than one location. While you are enrolled as a student at Columbia College you will have storage available for your use with OneDrive. We also recommend that you use an external hard drive to back up your files.
Who should I contact if I need help with my Lenovo purchase?
Please contact Lenovo Tech Support at 800-426-7378. If you are having an issue getting the help you need please email Mena Portilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should I contact with any questions about the program?
If you require any further assistance, contact Technology Support at email@example.com or 312-369-7001 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.