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How Wired is this Campus?

August 8, 2000


WALTHAM, MA- Nearly every college and university claims to be "wired" today but there's a huge range in what that means. "If you're a freshman entering college or a high school student just beginning your college search, you need to ask some hard questions about technology on campus," says Traci Logan, Vice President for Information Technology at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. "Don't assume anything. You could end up disappointed, frustrated and regretting your purchase."

As Chief Information Officer at Bentley in charge of the college's notebook computer program since 1984, Logan has seen it all. She has dealt with technology questions from both the institution's and the students' perspective. Some are fairly obvious, such as what kind of e-mail software do they use and how extensive are the library's electronic resources. But others take more digging and the answers can make a big difference in terms of learning, research, communications and skills development.

To make it easier for students and their families, Logan offers these 21 Questions to ask before purchasing a computer for college, or when comparing schools in the months ahead:

  1. Does the college require a notebook computer or PC? If so, can I purchase it through the school?
  2. Do they have a specific strategy for integrating technology into the curriculum?
  3. How many classrooms are port-per-seat, and are these in classrooms I am likely to use?
  4. If purchased or leased through the college, does the school provide insurance protection for my computer in terms of theft, loss, or damage? Is there a deductible? Is there a warranty and does it coincide with my anticipated years of use?
  5. What are their requirements in terms of memory? Does the notebook allow for future expansion without removing a memory chip (which is often the case)?
  6. Is any portion of the cost of the notebook computer eligible for federal financial aid?
  7. Does the college offer web-enabled student services, such as online registration and course schedules?
  8. Does the college offer software or must I purchase it elsewhere, and what will I need?
  9. If I purchase or lease my notebook through the college, do you provide software upgrades and, if so, how is this handled?
  10. Are useful utilities offered, such as automatic backup software, anti-theft software, or virus protection?
  11. Do dorm rooms have one-port-per pillow or will I have to share one-port-per-room?
  12. Are there open computer ports in common areas on campus, such as the dining halls, library, or lounges?
  13. Does the college offer wireless technology? How extensively?
  14. What is the school?s bandwidth capability? (This will impact what you?re able to do on the Internet.)
  15. Is the network available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week?
  16. How long a network cable do I need within the residence hall?
  17. Does the college offer Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology so I would have access to secured services (like electronic library resources) from off-campus locations?
  18. Do you offer and support ISP services? Do you subsidize the cost?
  19. Is there a Help Desk for student computer questions and what are its hours of operation?
  20. Are there web-based training and assessment programs in place?
  21. Does the college have on-campus computer repair facilities? Do you provide temporary loaners if my notebook needs repair?

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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