Kutztown University takes pride in promoting diversity on campus, and personal computing is no exception. Accordingly, the university does not officially recommend one computer system over another. If you plan on purchasing a new computer for use on campus, here are a few things to consider:
Choice of hardware is really a matter of personal preference. Most students bring either a MacBook or Windows laptop. A few students use Linux, but be aware that on-campus support for Linux systems is limited.
We do see some desktop computers, but space in a residence hall room is generally at a premium so most students opt for a portable computer.
Chromebooks can be seen as an economical alternative to traditional laptops. The major drawbacks to Chromebooks are that you can't install Microsoft Office on them (although they can run Office Online applications -- see Software below) and they have extremely limited offline capability. We typically receive a handful of inquiries each year concerning the viability of Chromebooks, but few of our students use them as a primary computer.
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is installed on every Mac and Windows PC on campus, so you'll likely want to have it on your own computer for compatibility.
That being said, you don't have to purchase Microsoft Office. All Kutztown University students are given a subscription to Microsoft Office 365. This subscription provides student access not only to official KU email, but also to free downloadable versions of Microsoft Office for multiple devices -- up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets and 5 smartphones.
In addition, all KU students have access to free web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- no installation required. Although these web-based versions don't have all the functionality of the full versions, they are adequate for most documents students need to create.
Because Office 365 is a subscription-based service, versions of Microsoft Office students download and install on their personal devices will stop working nine months after the student graduates from the university.
Residence hall rooms provide both wired and wireless access to the campus network and internet. Although the majority of students solely rely on wireless access, you may want the option of wired access. If so, be sure your computer has a built-in Ethernet port; otherwise you can purchase a USB Ethernet adapter.
You can submit your computer purchase-related questions and concerns to us and we'll respond as soon as possible.