Student Computer Recommendations

What kind of computer should students bring to Augustana?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from students planning to attend Augustana is: "What kind of computer should I buy?"

Augustana strongly suggests you own a computer. We do not require a specific brand or type, but we do highly recommend purchasing your computer from a name-brand manufacturer (e.g. Apple, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba).

As a general rule, the higher the specifications of a computer, the more it will cost and the longer it will last.

You may want to consider adding an extended warranty and also accidental damage/theft protection to your computer. Some companies like Apple do not offer accidental damage/theft protection and recommend you purchase it via your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy for a few dollars per month (speak with your insurance agent about this option).

Should you purchase an Apple Mac or a Windows PC? 
Which type of computer you bring is your choice. However, if you are considering a Graphic Design or Journalism major, those departments strongly recommend that you purchase a Mac. Our Art/Journalism computer lab is set up with Apple iMac computers and specialized software.
One of the unique features of Apple computers is that they can be set up to run both Mac and Windows operating systems and software. For some students, this flexibility is very helpful.

Augustana Helpdesk Minimum Recommended Specifications:

Windows PC Systems

Operating System — Windows 7 or 8.1
Processor/CPU — Intel Core i5 or greater
Memory/RAM — 4 GB or greater
Hard Drive — 320 GB or greater
Wireless — 802.11 g, a, N, or ac

Other - USB drive or flash drive for backing up your stuff

Apple Mac Systems

Go to the Apple Education Store - Apple Education Store for Augustana Students

Here you will find suggested models and special pricing for students. The special price also requires that you purchase Apple Care (this is Apple's 3-year warranty)


Microsoft Office

Check out the Microsoft Student Store for special pricing available from Microsoft for the Microsoft Office Suite. (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access). Cost is $99.95.

You might also want to look at the Microsoft Office Home and Student version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote). This sells for about $124 from various vendors (Amazon, OfficeMax, etc.). With this version, you can install the software on up to three computers in your household, so this can be a great deal if you need more than one copy.

What about virus protection?

You should have current virus protection to connect to Augustana's network. We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials.

For Mac and Linux, we currently do not recommend specific software. See our Student Anti-Virus Information web page for details.


Wireless access is available throughout campus. Specific instructions for connecting to the Augustana Network in Residence Halls is found here - Connecting on Campus

If you would like more information, contact the Help Desk at 605.274.5331.