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Computer FAQs

Should I bring a computer?
The Citadel does not require cadets to have personal computers in their rooms. The campus has first-rate computing resources-including ten computer labs in our classroom buildings, a small lab in each barracks, multimedia presentation classrooms, a multimedia support center, and a fully automated library. Other than the technology fee you pay each semester, there is no charge for using the computer labs, campus network, or Internet access. However, a large percentage of our students choose to bring a computer due to convenience.

What brand of computer should I buy or bring? Why?
We strongly urge all cadets who bring a PC to purchase a computer from (PLEASE USE THE MEMBER ID - US126278479 - AT CHECKOUT). This PC is configured to meet the Citadel's requirements, allow for growth during the students' enrollment at The Citadel, and provide a good value. If you bring another kind of computer, we will supply a network connection address, but otherwise, you are on your own. Technical Assistance Policy

Why shouldn't I purchase an HP or Apple or bring a computer that is not a brand the Citadel services?
Computer technicians at the Citadel are certified to service Dell computers and there is no charge for our technicians to work on the computer as long as the warranty is current and the student is enrolled and living in the barracks. If you bring another brand of computer and it breaks, you must arrange service with the vendor directly to repair it and pay for all associated costs.

Why are the prices on the recommended systems higher than other PCs online or in retail stores?
The recommended systems are business or high-end consumer model PCs.  They are not low-priced entry level PCs; they are designed with higher quality materials.  These systems are configured with four years of next business day warranty, four years of accidental coverage (full coverage on accidental drops, spills, and cracks), and with enough power to run optimally for all four years at The Citadel.

Why do I need that much warranty?
The Citadel can provide free technical service and repairs to the Dell brand PCs under warranty. If not under warranty additional charges for parts apply.  Many people shopping for a new computer love the peace of mind they get with the four year warranty and accidental coverage through Dell.  As Dell certified technicians, no matter what happens to the PC, we can take care of it.

Should I buy or bring a Notebook or Desktop computer?
Bring a desktop or notebook computer - it is a matter of preference. An overwhelming amount of students choose to bring a laptop computer.  This makes a lot of sense because of their portability and the size of rooms in the barracks.  Please note:  we are not currently offering any desktops on our Computer Recommendations page.

Which of the recommended models should I purchase?
Most students can get the standard PC model (Latitude 14) for classes. Engineering students may need the additional speed and graphics capability of the power model (Alienware 14). Check (PLEASE USE THE MEMBER ID - US126278479 - AT CHECKOUT) for different recommended models.

Do I need a printer?
Each barracks and most academic buildings contain a black and white network printer in the Computer Labs. The printers are free to use as a part of your technology fee.  You may consider bringing a small Ink Jet for color printing if you wish.

Do I need Microsoft Office?
Yes, all students will need Microsoft Office to complete their course work at The Citadel.  As of right now, Microsoft Office 365 University is the most economical answer.  Please keep in mind that you must have a .edu email address in order to get this offer.  We recommend that you wait until after you arrive and get your email address to purchase the software.  A technician can assist you with the installation if necessary.  If you rather have it pre-installed on the system, Dell will sell you the software at full price when you configure your PC for purchase.

What happens if my computer breaks?
Our technical support team can fix your PC if it happens to break (within our policies).  You can stop by one of our convenient Computer Support Shops located in each barracks or have a technician come to your room via a personal appointment.

What else will I need?
A surge-suppressor is also highly recommended to protect equipment from damage during power surges and stormy weather.

Network cables are provided. Company sergeants will be responsible for distributing cables to incoming freshmen cadets. Cables are also available in the barracks at the computer labs for returning cadets, or in Bond Hall Room 253 (ITS Help Center).