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4 College Sophomore

Technology: Computer lab in the library is usually full. However, my department has its own computer lab which is free to use and print.

4 College Sophomore

Technology: All of the computers are well upgraded and can get the job done. Macs and Windows machines are offered and all have the necessary programs.

4 College Freshman

Technology: I love having the option to check out iPads or laptops for a few hours or a few days. A lot of times I leave my computer at home just for the sake of not having to carry it around and I am able to check out something to use when I need it.

4 College Sophomore

Technology: I use the computer labs all the time and they are the best. I have not had a problem where I need to use a computer and one is not available.

5 College Junior

Technology: I use the computer labs and printers on campus all the time. I wish I wouldn't have purchased a printer last year- I haven't used it since!


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Computers are absolutely an integral part of being a student at Cal Poly. From Facebook to e-books, each student uses his or her computing time differently. Many teachers utilize the school's portal (PolyLearn/Moodle) to allow students to submit work online. Other teachers will just have students email them your work. This works out great, and for that reason, it's not 100 percent necessary to have a printer. There are printers all over campus, and you can pay for the pages you print with your campus ID (PolyCard). There are also two places where people will print for you: Poly Prints (in the library) and University Graphic Systems (UGS). Poly Prints is the place to go if you need a quick project printed, whereas UGS is more for design-related work, brochures, etc. 

Many majors sponsor computer labs. A couple offer some degree of free printing: Civil engineering, for example, requires you to bring your own paper for printing. There are both Mac and PC labs on campus. Certain majors do express a preference for either Mac or PC—though, if you prefer the other, it's definitely easy to get by on the free labs. There are limited computer resources open 24 hours, so if you plan to use a lab, be sure to plan ahead! Most people do have their own computers, but many choose not to bring them to school each day. Some teachers do not allow computers in class, so be sure to communicate with them if you have special needs. iPads are becoming more popular on campus. If, for whatever reason, you need to borrow technology, Media Distribution Services can loan you a projector, camera, or computer (among other devices) for one-week periods.

Facts & Statistics

Wireless Access
24-Hour Labs?
There are three spaces in the library that are open 24 hours.
Charged to Print?
10 cents per page
Special Software & Hardware Discounts
Did You Know?
  • Cal Poly has a system which allows students to borrow laptops and other technology through Media Distribution Services (
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library has a virtual queue for computers. Sign up, and when a computer frees up, you'll see your name on a TV screen.

Student Polls

Rate computers on the following subjects    Based on 279 responses

Very weak
  • Availability of computer labs
  • Campus tech support
  • Free/discounted software
  • Number of computer labs
  • Printing cost/quota limits
  • Reliability of network
  • Speed of network
  • Technology in classrooms and labs
  • Wireless availability

How necessary is it to bring your own computer?    Based on 173 responses

  • 6% Don't waste your money; there are plenty of computers to use on campus.
  • 17% Not necessary for school work but relatively important for socializing and entertainment.
  • 77% Extremely important, especially when the labs are crowded during semester crunch times.
  • 0% The school supplies each student with their own laptop.
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