While the computer requirement imposes an additional financial obligation on students, there are several solutions and means to make it affordable and practical for students.
For all students who file for financial aid, the Cost of Attendance (COA) can be increased for estimated computer expenses to purchase a computer. Students may file a COA Appeal to add reasonable costs to their cost of attendance to purchase a computer. In most cases, this means that students and families will be taking out additional loan funds to cover the purchase of a computer. Very few students will see increases in grant or scholarship aid simply because of the higher COA. More information on loans can be found here: http://www.finaid.vt.edu/types_of_aid/loans/index.html
Lease and Lease-to-Buy
Students who are unsure of their major or who prefer a monthly payment plan might want to consider a lease or lease-to-buy option. While these plans tend to be more costly overall, the payment schedule could be more convenient for some, such as students receiving financial aid.
Check the guidelines for your particular scholarship to determine what computer-related expenses may be covered. In some cases, the monies cannot be applied to the purchase price of a computer, but may be used to lease a computer.
For each full-scholarship student-athlete who does not already own a personal or portable computer upon arrival at Virginia Tech, the athletics department will make available a suitable computer for his/her use. The specifications and provision of these computers will be tailored to each student-athlete's field of study and provided per NCAA regulations through a combination of leasing, issuance-and-retrieval, and expansion of computer labs. Pell-eligible student-athletes receiving a full or partial scholarship may qualify to obtain a computer at no cost through the NCAA Special Assistance Fund.
Students and their parents may wish to consider insurance coverage for the computer. This can be incorporated as a rider on homeowner's or renter's insurance.