Personal Purchases

Ithaca College faculty, staff and students qualify for special educational prices from a number of computer manufacturers for personal computing needs. Educational pricing can be obtained by identifying with Ithaca College at time of purchase usually by providing an Ithaca College email address. Ithaca College primarily uses Windows computers from Dell, and Macintosh Computers from Apple. Both manufacturers offer special pricing to college students and employees. 


Any new computer purchased from one of the leading computer manufacturers should be more than adequate for basic student use on campus (Microsoft Office, basic Internet access, etc.). If unsure as to which platform to buy, Mac or PC, students should consult with the appropriate academic department. The Park School of Communications strongly recommends a Mac laptop and the School of Business requires that all incoming first-year students purchase or bring a laptop equipped with Microsoft Office. All student computers must have anti-virus software installed and updated on a regular basis before being able to connect to the campus network or Apogee's ResNet.

Most computer purchases will come with a standard software package that includes the Microsoft Office and a browser like Internet Explorer for Windows or Safari for Macs. Some academic programs may require specialized software. Specialized software is also available in the labs for use by faculty, staff and students.

If your specific needs are more demanding (for example, if you use computer graphics development software or video capture) then you'll want to make sure that you purchase a faster system that has more memory, storage space, and high-end graphics. You can also check with your academic advisor or department to find out what they recommend.

For College PC's, we currently use the Windows 10 operating system and Microsoft Office 2016. New PCs for personal purchase come with Windows 10.

For Apple computers, we currently use OS X operating system and Microsoft Office 2016. New Macs for personal purchase come with the latest version of macOS.


Before purchasing specific software, you may want to consider which applications IT is able to support. IT can answer some questions and provide some help on supported applications; for those programs that IT does not support, seek the help of your hardware or software vendor. A list of supported software is available in the Training and Documentation section of the website.

Software can be purchased at educational prices from many retailers and mail order companies when you identify yourself as a college student or employee for your personal purchase. Ithaca College participates in the Adobe Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP) through the Ithaca College Bookstore.

Anti-Virus Software

Many antivirus products are available for personal computers. It is up to you what you use. The most important feature is to set the antivirus program to update automatically so that the virus definitions are always up to date.