The University of Lynchburg announced today that every new student entering in the who has filed the FAFSA will be given a laptop at no charge. The FAFSA is the free application for federal student aid. The laptops will be loaned to students while they’re at University of Lynchburg, and they’ll get to keep it when they graduate. Officials say the initiative will help improve WIFI access for all students and give the school more flexibility. The university plans to be 100% in person for fall semester but is prepared to offer online options.
Here is the full story from the University of Lynchburg:
The University of Lynchburg announced today that every new student entering in Fall 2021 who has filed the FAFSA will be given a laptop at no charge.
The laptops will be loaned to students for the duration of their time at the University. Students may choose between a Dell or Apple computer, and they may keep the computer upon successful graduation from Lynchburg. While this is a pilot project, the University plans to continue the program in the future.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Rita Detwiler said the initiative will help level the playing field for all students. “We’re really excited to be able to offer all incoming freshmen and transfer students a computer to ensure they can all be successful at Lynchburg,” Detwiler said.
In order to receive a laptop, students must file the 2021-22 FAFSA. Enrollment is offering workshops to help, Detwiler said. They also must make a deposit for Fall 2021 and enroll in at least 12 credit hours. Students may reserve their laptop by filling out a form and will be able to pick it up at check-in in the fall.
According to Director of Instructional Technology Charley Butcher, the laptop initiative will greatly improve access to reliable WiFi and streamlined software in and outside the classroom.
“One of the main complaints we get from students is about WiFi, but it’s often not really our network. It’s a hardware issue,” Butcher said. “Giving every student a reliable device that is equipped with up-to-date software turns all of our classrooms into computer labs. Students will be able to complete assignments from anywhere.”
The laptop initiative will also make faculty and students more flexible as the University’s COVID-19 Task Force prepares for fall semester that may still include some portion of online or hybrid learning.
“We’re hoping to be 100% in person this fall, but we have to plan for every possible scenario,” Provost Dr. Allison Jablonski said. “Knowing all of our students will have a reliable laptop to stay connected ensures a seamless and rewarding academic experience for everyone.”
For more information about Lynchburg’s laptop initiative, email Butcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.