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FAQ - Purchasing a Computer

Am I required to bring a computer?

Most students do bring a computer although a few do not. It is extremely helpful if they bring one, but it is not required. All students can take advantage of computer labs available on campus. Computer labs in the F.W. Olin Building and the Tredway Library are open 7 days a week when school is in session.

What kind of computer is best?

Both Windows and Macs are used throughout the college. Your decision should be based on price, functionality and personal preference.

Are there any computer discounts available?

Educational discounts are usually available directly from the computer manufacturers.

Should I purchase a desktop or notebook?

Most students choose a notebook, because it is easy to transport and takes advantage of the wireless hot spots available around campus. However, notebooks are more easily damaged, while desktops can have larger screens and often cost less.

Does Augustana have any specific computer requirements?

Any modern computer will work on campus, though we do offer some recommendations. These can be found here.

What about warranties?

When purchasing a computer, you should understand what the manufacturer's warranty covers and for how long. Not all warranties are equal. For example, some cover accidental damage and some do not. Whether to purchase a warranty is a personal option, but hardware repairs can be expensive and a good warranty may pay for itself over time.

What software is needed?

Office 2016 will be provided to all students free of charge.  This is a full version of Microsoft Office.  The license will be active until they graduate. Click here for more details.

Will I need a personal printer?

No, that is definitely a personal choice. There are printers available in labs on campus which are available for printing during open hours. Color printers are also available. Printing on campus computers is tracked through our PaperCut system. While printing is not free, each student is given a yearly printing credit that should more than cover their required printing. For more information, see our printing policy.

Is there anything else that I might need?

It is always a good idea to provide students with a portable hard drive and/or USB flash drive. We always suggest that students save in two places in order to avoid the possibility of losing an important document.

Who do I contact with additional questions in regards to purchasing a computer and general technology questions?

Wendy S. Ramsdale is the Student Computing coordinator. She can be reached by calling (309) 794-8092 or by e-mail at You may also contact the ITS Helpdesk at (309) 794-7293 or by email at