Student Guide to Evaluating Information Technology on Campus


What you need to know and what you should ask when choosing a university

You’re not just a student; you’re a consumer too…       
…and should know what you’re paying for, so ask!

In searching for the right college or university, you’ll find all kinds of guides, lists, and rankings designed to help and influence your choice, along with print and Web resources that schools are glad to send you.

Computers are everywhere and will be a big part of your college experience. While a campus’s technology resources, support, and services will not be the only factors you consider, they are important, variable, and too often misunderstood.

One of the best tactics is to ask questions. Remember, there are no “dumb” questions, just those you want answers to before you make a commitment.

Technology, learning, and you
Wherever you go to school and whatever you choose as a major or future career, you’ll be using computers and other information technologies. It makes sense to check out the technology environment at the schools you’re considering along with other factors that will influence your choice.

How will you be using technology—in your degree program, in particular classes, in labs, in teams, in field work, and where you live?

These are just some of the questions that this guide will help you ask.
     • Should you buy a computer or use those provided on campus?
     • Can you find a computer at 2:00 a.m. if you need one?
     • Is the Internet easy to connect to around the campus?
     • Are there wireless connections on campus?
     • Will you have to pay a technology fee in addition to tuition?
     • What technology training is available?
     • What about legal file sharing and music and video downloading?

Even if you’re undecided now about a program or a career, you’ll be a learner, a discoverer, and a technology consumer at your school. Spend a little time learning how information technology will make a difference at your school and in your future.

Beyond This Guide
This guide gives you the basic questions to ask about information technology. You can find other useful tips and data, including comparative information on specific technology issues for different types of colleges and universities, on the guide’s Web site: www.educause.edu/studentguide/

This guide was developed by EDUCAUSE in cooperation with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).


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