With the majority of courses being taught online this fall, Wayne State University is taking action to meet the needs of the campus community, bringing back the Warrior Laptop Program for the upcoming semester. In a collaborative effort between departments within the Office of the Provost, Enrollment Management and Computing and Information Technology (C&IT), Wayne State University will be providing brand new Dell laptops to Pell-eligible freshman students at no cost.
For some students, it can come down to choosing between buying a computer or something more essential. Through the Warrior Laptop Program, the university hopes to help students eliminate those difficult decisions. The university has purchased 1,500 laptops for fall 2020 freshmen, set to arrive in November 2020. Though the COVID-19 crisis has caused lengthy delays in the manufacture and shipping of many items, WSU is committed to making sure qualifying students receive their laptops as soon as shipping times allow.
“It is a priority for us at Wayne State University to make sure our students have access to the tools they need to be successful,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Keith Whitfield. “We are excited to bring back the Warrior Laptop Program, especially in our current climate, to increase engagement and the overall success of our freshman class.”
“We are happy to offer access to this essential resource that will help students in need make a successful transition to college,” added Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management. “We want our incoming freshmen to understand our students are a priority. While not every student has the ability to own a laptop, it is a critical tool for the virtual paradigm shift we are experiencing. By enhancing the Warrior Laptop Program this year with the help of CARES funding, we are able to support five times the number of students compared to the previous year.”
During this challenging time, there is a greater need for technology resources. “We want to make sure we can help as many students as possible.” said Daren Hubbard, chief information officer and associate vice president of C&IT. “While students who qualify for the program will own their new device, the Warrior Laptop Program is intended to serve a need in the campus community. Any leftover laptops from this program will be available for rental by Wayne State students who are without a device of their own.”
In order to qualify to receive a laptop, students must meet the following criteria:
1) Be Pell-eligible.
2) Be enrolled in a minimum of 15 credit hours for the fall 2020 semester.
3) Begin Wayne State in fall 2020 as an incoming, first-year undergraduate student.
Students who meet these criteria will be contacted in September with further instructions on how to sign up for the program. No student can receive more than one laptop through the Warrior Laptop Program. Laptops will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and come with a 14-day return policy, along with support from the Help Desk. Students will be able to claim their laptop through touchless delivery, currently scheduled for November. Until then, Wayne State is able to provide students with alternative access to a laptop computer. C&IT and the Dean of Students Office plan to make laptops available for rental this fall, also on a first-come, first-served basis. As details become available, please check https://wayne.edu/coronavirus/campus-restart/computing for computing resources available on campus.
“Incoming students who do not have a laptop but use a personal device or Chromebook should consider applying for this program,” said Melissa Crabtree, senior director of desktop technology and customer service. “Unlike Chromebooks, the new Dell laptops will be able to connect to Respondus Lockdown software required for many online exams. Plus, a laptop is more ideal than a phone or tablet for writing papers and conducting research.”
Questions about the program may be directed to Student.Laptops@wayne.edu.
To learn more about student technology and internet access for the fall semester, please visit: tech.wayne.edu/coronavirus/student.