Generally, students find that the UVA computer system and labs are well-equipped and really quite efficient. However, most agree that, despite the excellent computer facilities and their convenience, it is much easier to have your own computer. Many students find that the labs get too crowded both between classes and during midterms and finals. Additionally, the school’s extensive wireless network makes having your own laptop a huge advantage. You can access the Internet from nearly anywhere on campus once you have your account set up.
The biggest complaint these days seems to be the nagging pay-for-print policy that the administration was forced to implement following state budget cuts. Students were upset by the new situation, especially those with classes that rely almost entirely on Internet readings or presentations that need to be printed out. If you’re doing a lot of word processing or printing, it may be more cost-effective to bring your own computer and printer. For those students that prefer to get the work done at the library, a fantastic computer network exists for that. UVA has also gone above and beyond to provide IT support for students and regularly holds lab hours in the libraries to help students fix any computer problems that they might have. Overall, technology at UVA more than meets the needs of the student body, and you’ll be able to survive if you can’t bring your own computer. To get the best experience at the University, however, consider both a laptop (with wireless access) and your own printer.