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5 College Freshman

Technology: Great wireless and there are desktops in almost every dorm.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Technology: There are plenty of computers on campus and every dorm has a computer that students can use. There are also various computer classrooms on campus. The majority of computers are Macs, but there are some PCs in the library, and even some Linux machines in the computer science department. It's perfectly possible to go without your own computer. However, the network connection is far from perfect and the printers aren't always refilled in a timely manner.

4 College Sophomore

Technology: Mac's and PC's. Unlimited printing with printers in all the dorms and libraries. Projectors and computers in almost all the classrooms. What else could you want?

Oh, but Microsoft Office isn't free...which is strange to me and seems out of place, but hey, nothings perfect.

3 College Senior

Technology: Issues With Wireless Reliability and Access – The wireless connectivity has many troubles throughout the year, with the Internet being down or non-functioning for a large amount of time. Besides this, the computer availability is really great, and we don't have to pay for printing - even color and poster printing! While most students own their own computer, the library provides laptops for rent and the computer labs typically have open computers.

5 College Sophomore

Technology: There are computer labs in each of the libraries and in two of the academic buildings, as well as computers sprinkled around areas such as the coffee bars. Computers are ubiquitous and easily accessible.
In the main library, McCabe, you can sign out laptops and iPads.
Most people have their own laptops, but you can always find a computer if you need one.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There are more than enough computers—PCs and Macs—at Swarthmore. The College really tries to make sure every student has access to a computer and the Internet. Computers can be found in the dorms, coffee bars, the library, and practically everywhere else. There are also printers in each dorm, and printing is free, so students should never have to worry about coughing up laundry change to print out their linguistics paper. Even the wireless networks have been updated, and wireless Internet speeds are pretty fast. Also, the wireless network covers the whole campus, making any laptop accessible to the Internet wherever it is on campus. The only problem is that the Internet sometimes lags, but it’s rare, and a quick fix to this problem is to bring an Ethernet cable. Overall, Swarthmore has everything a student needs in terms of Internet and computer availability.

Swarthmore’s ITS Help Desk is helpful and generally well-equipped to deal with students’ computer problems. Dorm Consultants and other student computer attendants range from very knowledgeable and friendly to hardly helpful and irritating. Most have at least some experience in both Macs and PCs—even though most campus computers are Apples, many student computers are PCs. Either type of computer can be easily accommodated by the network and ITS, which is a big plus. Most students agree that it is possible to succeed at Swarthmore without bringing your own computer, but almost none recommend it.

Facts & Statistics

Wireless Access
Available in all administrative and academic buildings, residence halls, and many outdoor spaces.
24-Hour Labs?
All residence hall labs
Charged to Print?
Special Software & Hardware Discounts
The College offers lots of software downloads for students. Examples include: Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, ChemDraw, FileMaker Pro, JMP, Matlab, McAfee VirusScan, Microsoft Office, and SPSS.
Did You Know?
  • Each dorm at Swarthmore has at least one Dorm Consultant, a student trained by Information Technology Services to deal with computer problems in his or her dorm.
  • McCabe Library provides wireless Internet service that extends to Parrish Beach (not really a beach, but actually a giant lawn), directly outside of the library.

Student Polls

Rate computers on the following subjects    Based on 35 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 32 responses

  • 3% Don't waste your money; there are plenty of computers to use on campus.
  • 50% Not necessary for school work but relatively important for socializing and entertainment.
  • 47% 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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