Next fall’s 2010 incoming freshmen will now have the option of choosing from three different kinds of laptops the University provides for them. As of this year, the freshman will be offered the choice between two different Lenovo Thinkpad models or a Macbook, at a $400 charge.
Since the inception of the University’s laptop program in 2003, incoming freshmen have been given a standard IBM Lenovo Thinkpad laptop during their respective orientations.
The plan that students now have the option of choosing which laptop they will receive and use for the entirety of their college careers – and beyond, if they do so choose – is a fantastic move for the University.
Having options is certainly better than having none at all. This move is much less limiting than the previous policy in which each incoming freshman was given the same exact Thinkpad. While most St. John’s students are gracious and appreciative of receiving their brand new Lenovo laptops during their summer orientations, this new program should fare very well amongst the incoming freshmen who now can pick the laptop of their choice based on their needs.
Provided that many St. John’s students already opt to purchase their own MacBooks and MacBook Pros instead of using their standard Thinkpad which is paid for by their tuition, this option will offset the extra expense of buying a separate laptop altogether.
By simply paying a $400 co-pay, students can choose to receive a MacBook instead of letting their paid-for University Thinkpad collect dust in the bottom of their closets while they use a MacBook they bought out of pocket for $999-$1600.
Incoming students studying the fine arts and graphic design should be especially happy about this initiative because Macs offer fantastic built-in multimedia programs that are not made for or compatible with PCs. As an aside, many students who have no background in graphic design also appreciate the many features Macs offer over PCs. For example, the Mac OSx Operating System is very easy to use, has a user-friendly interface and offers a plethora of features PCs simply do not.
Furthermore, Mac offers awesome default software such as Garage Band, iPhoto, Photo Booth, iMovie and others. Similarly, Macs are incredibly well-designed computers from the aesthetic perspective. Many owners greatly appreciate the high-end and chic feel of Apple products, especially their MacBooks.
Although many students would argue that the University should either decrease tuition and just allow students to privately buy their own laptops or give the students a monetary credit towards buying their own laptop of their choice, the University’s laptop program offers many benefits. For example, access to certain free repairs at the on-campus repair shop has proven invaluable for countless students.
The introduction of the optional Accidental Damage Protection program, available for any student who chooses one of the two Lenovo options is also a great thing. Accidents happen, even with expensive technology, and this will be a great insurance for St. John’s students to have.
In addition to the upcoming freshmen class, the initiative is an incredible incentive to prospective students as well. This incentive will have current students all across campus wishing it had been in place years ago when they first came to St. John’s.