New student computer policy beginning in fall

July 7, 2020

Starting this fall, all students at Iowa State University are required to have a laptop computer that can connect to the Internet and are expected to abide by the ISU Acceptable Use Policy.

Financial aid
Students who qualify for financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss funding options for technology. See ISU’s Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Laptop computer and software purchasing
The ISU Book Store offers educationally discounted prices on laptop computer hardware and software for ISU students, faculty, and staff:
• Students should use the Major Success web app to find the recommendations for their intended program of study.
• Microsoft Office Pro Plus downloads are available to all active ISU students through the ISU TechCyte. Office Pro Plus includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Laptop Loaner Program
Iowa State University has developed a Laptop Loaner Program to support students who may not have access to required laptop technology. Loaner laptops will be provided to current Iowa State University students through the University Library while inventory lasts. Students with the greatest financial need and those who have exhausted other options for financial aid will receive priority. Requests for participation in the Laptop Loaner Program will be accepted now through 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, July 31.

Please have the following information available to complete the Laptop Loaner Program request form:

  • University ID – nine-digit identification number provided to you upon acceptance to Iowa State University
  • College – Example: Design, Ag & Life Sciences, Veterinary Medicine etc.
  • System Preference – Mac or PC

If you are unable to locate your University ID, contact the IT Solution Center at 515-294-4000.

Limitations of other devices
ISU does not recommend students use tablets, mobile phones or netbooks as their primary computing device, though these devices may help supplement their computing needs.
The reasons for this are:
• Many courses rely on video and interactive content to deliver essential course materials. Not all video and interactive content formats are supported by these devices.
• The primary learning management system at ISU is Canvas which can be used with iPad or Android devices. However, some critical features may require additional applications to function that are not available on all devices.
• Some majors require software that will not run on iOS or Android devices.
• Netbook computers are likely insufficient for students’ use throughout the duration of their college experience and may not be able to run specific software needed for certain courses.

Computer security
ISU considers computer security to be extremely important. Protect your computer by:
1. Obtaining insurance coverage for your equipment, especially laptops.
2. Purchasing and using a security cable for your laptop computer.
3. Locking the door to your room and not leaving your laptop unattended in libraries or other public areas.

For additional information, read “Safeguard Your Devices” from IT Services.
(Last updated June 19, 2020)

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