Buying a Computer and Getting Software
Students are not required to own a computer, although most do. This year, 99% of first year students brought a computer with them to campus and the majority of those computers were laptops. If you do not have a computer, Southwestern has a 24-hour lab available to students, faculty and staff located down the sidewalk to the left of the main entrance to the library. This computer lab is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 weeks of the year and you will need your Pirate card to swipe for access.
Discounts on Computers
The University does not sell computers. However, discount pricing for systems is available to students, faculty and staff through the Apple and Dell online stores. Our recommended configuration for computers can be found by visiting the Apple and Dell stores.
Buy an Apple
Apple offers savings on their most popular computers.
Buy a Dell
Dell laptops and desktops are offered to students at a 7% discount year round. And, the Dell’s Educational Purchase Program (EPP) offers monthly specials which are also listed on the Dell EPP website.
Discounts on Software
We recommend that your computer be equipped with the latest version of Microsoft® Office (which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) or an equivalent to ensure compatibility with the computers in the lab and instructional areas.
Students, faculty and staff may purchase software from our volume academic licenser, VarsityBuys at:
You can purchase Microsoft Windows upgrades at:
Open source software is free and legal to use and download. Many are equivalent to commercial software such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Adobe inDesign and so on. Also, you can use them on Macs and Windows computers. In addition, there a many online applications you can use within your browser. For example, Google Docs provides the ability to work with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and documents for no cost.
iPad and iPhone free apps are available through iTunes Store.
Android free apps are available through Google Play.
Some resources for Information about open source and free software:
Macintosh - www.opensourcemac.org/
Windows - www.opensourcewindows.org/
Printer or No Printer?
Students: A personal printer is not a necessity but many students have them for convenience. The 24-hour lab is equipped with a black and white and color printers. There is a small fee for printing and information is available at: Pirate Printing