Can Students Succeed Without a Laptop in College?

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Today a lot of people cannot imagine students without laptops. Although many students do have such devices, not everyone has access to a laptop. So is it possible to succeed in college without it? In this article, you’ll find a detailed answer to that.

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Why Laptops Are a Big Part of College Experience

To be honest, college life without a laptop can be quite difficult. A lot of assignments are given online and many materials are available in digital format.

Having such a toll with you gives you more convenient access to all resources and educational opportunities. Students can conduct research whenever they want, follow online programs, or pay for papers when they need help. Professional academic writing help is available 24/7 with just a couple of clicks.

If a student is struggling with an essay or term paper, it is possible to instantly get advice or guidance on that. Experienced authors deliver writing, editing, and proofreading assistance with all types of college assignments. So whether you lack confidence or need more free time, you can simply order an essay from them. Experts will polish your work or do it from scratch. In any case, you get an original and well-written assignment right on time. Without a laptop, such an opportunity is not as easily available.

Here are several common things you need such a device for in college:

  • Sign up for classes;
  • Access digital materials for courses;
  • Reach out to professors and staff;
  • Communicate with peers;
  • Follow online educational programs;
  • Do research for papers and courses;
  • Keep all study documents and materials close and in one place;
  • Having more privacy with your own device;
  • Submitting assignments and taking tests;
  • Taking notes;
  • Having access to third-party software.

Also, it is worth noting that some classes require having a laptop. Usually, these are the ones that have to do with STEM. And without constant and easy access to the internet, students would not be able to get online degrees or certifications.

Can You Succeed Without It in College?

Yes, you can. But it is going to be much more challenging in many ways. The exact situation depends on the institution itself, the type of major, and the curriculum. But overall, many tasks can be solved with alternatives. Although it is considered one of the must-have tools, not every student can afford it. But it should not stop you from pursuing higher education.

So what are the alternatives? The first one is to use a library or computer class resources. Every college provides such opportunities. The issue here is that there is often a higher demand for those computers. So you need to be proactive to get a place in time and do all the work.

Some universities offer to rent laptops for 24 hours. Others offer renting devices for the whole duration of your education. But such opportunities are available for learners from low-income families. Check the options your institution has.

Also, they might not have third-party software. And people using public computers need to be more cautious about data security and privacy. Sometimes, learners will have to wait for quite some time to get access to a computer. This makes it less convenient and requires strict time management.

The second alternative is to use a tablet. Surely, it is not ideal as it has fewer features. But it is more affordable and gives access to the internet. Also, you can buy a wireless keyboard to work on assignments and type all the documents you need. In such a case, you still have comfort and privacy. Although advanced software like Adobe Suite will not run on a tablet.

The third option is good for those who have a desktop computer at home. If possible, take it with you to a dorm. Yes, it is bulky and takes up a lot of space, which is limited. But it might give even more functionality than a laptop. And it solves all the urgent issues you might have. You will not be able to take it to class, but this is not necessary for the vast majority of courses.

man with backpack beside a books


How to Find an Affordable One

If you decide you need a laptop for college, there are several ways to save money on such a purchase. Of course, the most advanced and new models are quite costly. But the choice depends on what functionality you are looking for.

With some reasonable money management and part-time work, students might save up to get a decent device for a second semester or year.

Here is how you can save some money on buying a laptop:

  • Do not go for the latest and new models unless you need them for education. If you need a laptop to run CAD as an Engineering student, you’ll need a powerful device. But if you need basic word processing and the internet, there is no reason to spend a lot.
  • Consider buying an old laptop. This can be risky because you need to make sure it is in good condition and works fine. But if you are lucky, you can have a great deal.
  • Look for student discounts. The majority of tech brands offer deals and discounts for students. To access them you’ll need your ID and email with the college domain. Some discounts might go even 60% off, this depends on the model and producer. You can check out Dell, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft, and Samsung for regular offers for learners.

Skip on an extended warranty. If you are not prone to treating your devices poorly, you do not need that extended warranty – it only adds to the price.

When choosing a device consider the operating system, memory capacity, processor, RAM, and battery life.

In Summary

To answer the main question – it is possible to succeed in college without a laptop. But it is going to be much harder. There are alternative opportunities out there. And while you use them, you can save up for a decent device and make your college experience more comfortable in the next semester.