Laptop Program FAQ



Can I buy my own laptop instead of leasing it?

No. There are several reasons why the College has chosen to go with the lease model for the laptop program. One of the most important reasons is the fact that the College’s software licenses cannot be transferred to non-college laptops. In addition, since the college purchases software licenses in bulk, the cost to the student is lower.

Can I use my own laptop?

No. Due to tax regulations, participation is mandatory. In other words, all students MUST lease a college laptop in order for any student to be eligible for potential income tax benefits.

Another major benefit of complete student participation is that the college can troubleshoot potential problems with the laptops in a more time-efficient manner. With a standard hardware configuration, the software can be pre-tested to lower the incidence of potential conflicts.

Finally, participants can exchange the laptop if a serious problem arises. This ensures that students are able to keep working very quickly after a problem occurs, since the software and hardware are standard, and units are already configured and stored for use in the event that a student requires one.

What is included in the cost?

While the price may seem high, it is not when considering a few facts about the program. The laptops that students are using are extremely high quality and high-powered by today’s standards. The laptops are also covered by an extensive warranty program and loaner laptops are maintained and made available to prevent student down-time. In addition, many of the laptops contain software packages that are very expensive. These options are not available to persons who purchase individual laptops.

Can I purchase the laptop when I graduate?

Yes, upon graduation you will have the option of purchasing your laptop for a $1 fee (if all laptop fees are up to date). If you do not purchase the laptop you must return it to Niagara College.

Will I get to keep the laptop that I am assigned now?

Yes, the laptop you are issued is the one you will have for your entire course of study at Niagara College.

Can I keep the laptop for my Co-op work terms?

Students are encouraged to use their laptops during their Co-op work terms.

What about insurance?

The college’s insurance coverage deductible is higher than the value of the laptop. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you consult with your own insurance agent regarding your home coverage to ensure that the laptop is covered under your own policy. In the event of theft, the college WILL NOT issue a laptop until the full value of the laptop has been recovered from you or your insurance agent.

What do I do if my laptop is stolen?

In the event your laptop is stolen, it is critical that you file a police report and contact the security office at your campus immediately. Once these reports have been filed, Information Technology Services (I.T.S.) should be notified at extension 7642, along with your instructors. You should contact your Insurance company and file a claim as before another laptop is issued you must make complete payment on the laptop that was stolen.

How do I fix my broken laptop? What is covered?

All of the laptops are covered under an extensive warranty with the manufacturer. However, we will not cover malicious or extreme abuse — nor will the warranty. If you do experience problems, please proceed to Room L33 at the Welland Campus to see our Dell certified technician, the hours are Mon-Fri (excluding Holidays) 8:30 – 12:00. Before you bring your laptop in, PLEASE BACKUP YOUR DATA. I.T.S. will not responsible for any loss of data. If your repair will take more than a day, at your request, you will be issued a loaner laptop. Several members of the I.T.S. department are certified by the manufacturer to repair the laptops. They will also act as the primary contact for the manufacturer as far as getting your laptop repaired is concerned. Please do not contact the manufacturer yourself, or attempt any repairs. Unauthorized repairs can void the warranty.

How do I pay?

All payments are to be made in the cashier’s office at the students’ campus. In addition to payment, you will be required to sign a lease agreement for the laptop. The lease agreement will be available at the distribution event.

Can I install my own software on the laptop?

Yes. However, there are two important items to always remember:

  1. You MUST have licenses for the software you are installing. Software piracy is illegal and thus illegally copied software cannot be put on the laptops.
  2. In the event that there are software conflicts with your laptop and there are potential problems with NC software, I.T.S. will not spend much time trying to isolate the conflict. Often, a simple re-image of the hard drive will be performed, which will erase any software you have installed. Please note that backing up your work is very important.
Who do I contact for more information?

If you have questions in regards to the laptop program or the lease structure, please feel free to contact your program coordinator. Questions with regards to the technical aspects of the laptop program should be directed to the Niagara College Help Desk at extension 7642, or to

Will I be in a special classroom?

Many of the classrooms that are used by laptop programs have been modified to provide network connectivity and sufficient power. As time progresses, additional classrooms will be modified to allow for the increased number of laptop students.

What happens over the holidays such as Christmas break? Summer vacation?

During holidays in which college operations cease such as Christmas, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, etc. students may retain their laptops. If you choose to keep your laptop for the summer or a co-operative work term, you must return your laptop on the date specified for your program. You can find these dates in the Important Dates section of the main Niagara College website.

I am receiving OSAP. Is the cost deducted automatically?

No. Current governmental polices do not cover the cost of the laptop program. The laptop will not be released to OSAP students. It is the student’s responsibility to go to the Cashier’s office and make payments.