Niner Ready Laptop FAQs

Financial Aid

Can I apply for additional financial aid to cover the cost of the laptop?
  • If you have already accepted your full financial aid offer and you need additional aid to cover the laptop purchase, you may apply for either an Alternative Loan or a PLUS Loan. If you need assistance with this process, please contact Niner Central.

  • If you have already accepted a lower amount of your loan (less than the total amount offered) but want to increase your loan amount to cover your laptop purchase (up to the maximum amount offered), you may request the increase on the Loan Change Form.

Can I finance my laptop?

Not through the NinerTech Store, but other retailers may offer financing options. Financing typically involves pre-approval and may include an interest-free period. Information about Dell financing is available through the Dell Store online. Apple financing is available through Apple Card.

What if I need to borrow a laptop?
  • The Library offers short-term loaner laptops. For more information, visit this site.


Do I have to buy a new computer?

No, if you already have a laptop, you don’t need to purchase a new one.

Do I have to buy my laptop through the NinerTech Store?

No. The NinerTech Store offers great educational discounts and on-site support, but you are free to use the retailer of your choice if you need to purchase a laptop. We recommend these hardware specs to ensure your laptop can meet your needs for your next four+ years.

Can I use an older laptop I already own?

Maybe, especially in your first couple of years. But as you advance in your academic career, you may find that you need a laptop with more computing power and processing speed. Use these hardware specs as a guide to help ensure your device will last you through graduation.

Can I use a Chromebook?

Chromebook’s capabilities do not meet the Niner Ready Laptop Initiative. A Chromebook is browser-based and will not allow you to download specialized software you may need to complete your coursework.

Will I need to bring my laptop to class?

Your instructors will let you know if you are expected to bring a laptop to class.

Why a laptop and not a desktop?

A desktop is fine, but most students prefer the portability of a laptop. A laptop also comes with a built-in camera and microphone, both of which may be required for some courses.


Where do I get the software I need?

As soon as you activate your NinerNET account, you can download Microsoft Office. Once your classes start, you can download antivirus software, endnotes, and more—all at See a full list of free software.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is now available through Software Center for Windows users. It includes: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, and Access. See this Microsoft site for more information about Microsoft 365. Once you upgrade to Microsoft 365, all future updates will happen automatically and be less dramatic (like regular browser updates). Please upgrade by December 31, 2023. Anyone who does not upgrade on their own will be upgraded beginning January 3.

Why are we switching?

Microsoft is moving away from version based software (Office 2019, Office 2021) to the continually updated Microsoft 365. Also, faculty want to teach on the Office version that students use which is Microsoft 365.

What is the upgrade process like?

  • The upgrade will take approximately 15 minutes to install.
  • You will not be able to use Office products (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Excel) while Microsoft 365 is being installed; It will also automatically quit any open Office applications.
  • The upgrade will remove all older versions of Office (Office 2016, 2019). If you need to use an older version of the software for a specialized reason, don’t upgrade at this time and contact the OneIT Service Desk to be excluded from the December deadline.

What to expect on Windows:

  • The Office icons in your Start Menu may not update until after you log out and back in to your computer. 
  • Microsoft 365 has an AutoSave switch that is turned Off by default (see image below). If a user chooses to toggle it on, they will be prompted to sign in to OneDrive and any changes they make to that particular document will be automatically saved to OneDrive going forward.
    Note: since we use Google Drive and DropBox for file storage, OneIT recommends not using this feature. Also, AutoSave is not the same as AutoRecovery; AutoRecovery is enabled by default.​
screenshot of the autosave button

What happens to older versions of Microsoft Project and Visio?

Microsoft Project and Visio are not included in Office but can be purchased separately. If you or your department purchased Project or Visio:

  • Project and Visio 2019 will continue to work after this upgrade.
  • Project and Visio 2021 will need to be installed after the upgrade, please submit a ticket to the OneIT Service Desk.
  • Project and Visio 2016 and older should be repurchased, see this FAQ.

See these FAQs for additional information. Contact the OneIT Service Desk with questions.

Note: This information does not apply to the William States Lee College of Engineering MOSAIC computers.

Warranty & Repair Information

Do I have to buy a warranty?

No, but the warranty will help you in the case that you have an accident with your laptop. Do you have a warranty on your phone? It’s the same reasoning—your laptop is an essential tool (like a book), and you don’t want to worry about it breaking or getting it replaced because you dropped it or spilled coffee on it.

What happens when my laptop needs a repair?

Staff on-site at the NinerTech Store are certified to repair computers still covered under NinerCare, Dell or Apple warranty. If your computer isn’t under warranty, please take your computer to a local, reputable repair shop that specializes in fixing your type of device.

If I purchase a warranty through the NinerTech Store, can I get service anywhere?


Does a warranty purchased through the NinerTech Store cover data recovery or backup?

No, warranties purchased through the NinerTech Store are not responsible for data backup or recovery. However, with a warranty from a Niner Ready Bundle combined with a backup hard drive provides an easy way to have peace of mind, as your data would be duplicated.