Having a computer is an essential tool for college students. With many classes converting to a paper-free system, students are expected to turn in their homework online. Thus, most students bring their personal computer from home. The University offers student prices on laptops and software, as well. For those who do not have a computer or prefer not to bring one to school, there are plenty of computer labs on campus. All residence halls and apartments have 24/7 computer labs. Most students prefer working on a computer at the library, but it is often too crowded. However, most halls have a study lounge equipped with computers for student use. Writing centers are also dispersed across campus for those who need to work on a lengthy assignment and might need to print it, as well.
The University of Minnesota has free Wi-Fi for students with a valid U of M username and password. The connection is good, for the most part. However, some parts of the campus or some rooms in a dorm, have a weaker signal than the rest. Thus, it is advised to be in an open area where a computer has a higher chance of accessing a better signal. Students can carry their own Internet access cards for times like these. Many coffee shops and restaurants in the area also offer free Wi-Fi to lure students. The tech support is very helpful and does its best to answer student questions. All in all, the availability of computers is great. Labs are always equipped with updated software that a student might be interested in. The reception and speed are good in most places, except for a few blind spots.