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Marietta College students are innovative thinkers who are ready to take on diverse challenges, and a new program being unveiled for the Fall 2022 semester will help ensure new first-year and transfer students are ready to start accomplishing their academic goals by the time they take their first course.

“As we head into the holiday season, we are excited to announce that the College will provide a new laptop to all first-year freshmen and first-year transfer students attending Marietta this coming academic year,” said Marietta College President Bill Ruud. “At Marietta, we are committed to causing student success, and we believe students need updated technology in order to achieve it.”

The new laptop program, which is funded by an anonymous donor, takes some of the burden off new students, who may not have a laptop or have an outdated one, and their families. It may also help recruit and retain students.

“We are always looking for ways to help ensure student success — and with this amazing gift from a former graduate, we can eliminate one of the barriers that may prevent some students from achieving their academic goals,” Ruud said.

Dr. Josh Jacobs, Vice President for Advancement, said first-time Marietta College students — freshman and transfers — who are enrolled full time in August 2022 are eligible for the free laptops.

“Laptops give students the flexibility and freedom they need to work on academic assignments anytime, anywhere,” Jacobs said. “Yet, even students who do have Wi-Fi and digital devices may not be able to fully participate in their courses if the technology they have is old, outdated, or not powerful enough to handle the demands of today’s streaming applications or statistical packages.”

Marietta College can address these challenges by supplying a personal laptop to each student. 

“Providing standardized machines will allow the College to set clear technology expectations while ensuring that students have what they need to succeed,” Jacobs said.

Student Body President Alex Lersch ’23 (Tiffin, Ohio) said access to technology is essential in education, adding that most of his and his fellow students’ work is on Moodle — an online learning management system. Another benefit to having personal laptops is that online books are less expensive to purchase.

“This is very exciting for the people coming in,” Lersch said. “It’s a digital world.”