“As the University continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID pandemic, it has become clear that many students have found it challenging to work from home,” said James M. Monaghan, associate vice president of academic affairs, in a news release. “From our student surveys, a large percentage of students shared computers with multiple family members and some did not have access to a computer at all. Many have difficulty accessing the Internet."
Students will receive a Microsoft Surface Go2 device, which doubles as a laptop and e-reader tablet. It was selected by student focus groups, the university said.
The devices will come preloaded with Zoom videoconferencing, Microsoft Office and links to the university's learning management system.
The university typically has about 350 students in its freshman class each year, officials said.