The purchase of a computer, whether for personal use or for the college, is an important and costly decision. This section provides an overview of the available options, recommendations and discount programs for hardware, software and cell phones.

When purchasing new equipment, it is important to understand the computing environment on campus and the available service options. Ithaca College purchases Dell and Apple equipment and has certified technicians on-site to service college-owned equipment and personal equipment for students. Approximately 70% of the campus community uses Windows computers and 30% uses Mac computers. Both operating systems can be found in the computer labs across campus. Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint and Excel) for Windows and Macs is the productivity software used in campus offices and in labs.

Purchasing Guidelines

The purchase of college owned equipment for faculty and staff is strictly regulated and must adhere to the budget guidelines and process. Once purchased, the majority of college owned equipment becomes part of the Technology Renewal Program and is replaced every three years.

The Park School of Communications strongly recommends that students purchase a MacBook Pro laptop. Students in other disciplines and schools can purchase whatever hardware and software best meets their needs.

Education Discount Display

IT maintains a computer display outside of the Service Desk showcasing current Dell and Macintosh desktop and laptop options. Stop by if you are thinking about purchasing a new computer. All personal computer purchases are made directly with the vendor, not through IT.


The GetIT program provides resources and guidelines for purchasing college-owned equipment.


Software can be purchased at educational prices from the Ithaca College Bookstore and from many retailers and online companies. Site licenses for SPSS Statistics can be ordered through IT.

Adobe License Programs 

Ithaca College participates in several Adobe licensing programs. Purchases are made through the Ithaca College Bookstore; many titles are available at significant savings to students, faculty and staff for both personal and departmental use.