Merced College announced Monday that it will loan more than 1,500 laptops to students enrolled in the college’s fall semester.
Quantities are limited and priority will be given to full-time students enrolled in 12 or more credits who are performing well, according to a press release from Merced College.
The loan program is intended to reduce the financial burden of online studies.
The college announced in late June that it would offer most of the fall 2020 courses online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This decision was made after examining the impacts of COVID-19, with advice from the administration, public health and partner institutions.
According to Greg Soto, dean of student services at Merced College, staff have been working to finalize the details of the laptop loan program.
“By lending laptops to current and prospective students, my sincere hope is that we remove the barriers for any student who wishes to continue their education at Merced College,” Soto said in the statement.
“Access to technology can be a barrier for a large percentage of our student body. “
Students who apply for the program and qualify will be notified by email of an appointment date and time. T
Laptops will be distributed to students one week before the start of the semester on August 17th.
The COVID-19 guidelines will be communicated to students prior to their appointment to pick up the laptops, which will be distributed through a drive-thru window and without an appointment, the statement said.
The college said it will also offer access to free and extensive Wi-Fi throughout its main campus.
Previously, a spring semester loan program made 400 desktops available to students. The college had quizzed students about the technology needed to complete classes when classes moved online during the statewide stay-at-home order in March.
Merced College said students who benefited from this program will continue to have access to desktops if they continue their studies in the fall.
According to Merced College, students interested in the loan program are encouraged to apply as soon as possible by filling out and submitting a form on the college’s website.
Registration for the fall semester is underway and is now open on the college’s website.