Bring Your Own Device

Are computers mandatory for my success at Buena Vista University?

Buena Vista University requires students to have a computing device. Each academic department will have their own requirements for software and hardware. Please review these requirements to determine what kind of machine you will need to use.

Do you have any recommended models?

ITS recommends one of the following models for student use:

Anyone of these models can be purchased through our partner CDW. When purchasing from their site, please use your BVU email address.

Each student is unique and will have their own personal requirements. Make sure to review the specifications on each model to find the machine that will best suit your needs.

Are there suggested minimum specifications for what kind of computer I need to have?

If you are unsatisfied with our recommendations for laptop models, we do have a few minimum specifications you should keep in mind. We are certified to perform repair work on business-grade HPs that are currently under warranty.  We will not be able to perform hardware repairs on any other brands or HPs consumer-grade laptops. This is why we provide a recommended and minimal specifications guideline located below. As brands and models can be vastly different, the inside components of one device to the next are relatively the same.

Recommended Computing Device Minimum Specifications:




Recommended Specifications

Minimum Specifications

Recommended Specifications

Minimum Specifications


Intel Core i5 or

Intel or AMD

Intel Core i7

Intel Core i5


4 GB or more

4 GB

4 GB or more

4 GB

Hard Drive

7200 RPM or SSD


512 GB

128 GB







802.11 a/g/n

802.11 g/n

802.11 a/g/n

802.11 g/n

Laptop Warranty

3 Year

1 year

3 Year

1 Year

Operating System

Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

OS X 10.9

OS X 10.7

Antivirus Software

Recommend Security Essentials from Microsoft and MalWareBytes

Built into the operating system

*Note regarding minimum specifications:
A device with the minimum specifications will work on campus at this current time. Although as technology continues to evolve, so do the needs of having a usable device on campus. ITS does not guarantee that we will be able to support a device configured with the minimum specifications for the next four years. This is why we provide a recommended specifications column.

Can I buy a computer through the university?

Students are not able to purchase computers through the university. However, you may purchase devices with academic discounts through our partners. For instructions on how to apply academic discounts, please visit the BVU Hardware Academic Discounts page.

  1. Apple
  2. Hewlett Packard (HP)
  3. Dell

Do I need to buy insurance or warranties for my devices?

Buena Vista University recommends purchasing a warranty that will last for the duration of the useful life of the device. This is typically a 3 year warranty. Purchasing a warranty will aid you in the event of hardware failure or destruction. Additionally, BVU recommends purchasing Accident Damage & Protection (ADP) that will cover beyond one year when purchasing a new machine.

Computing devices can be added to renter’s or a parent’s home own insurance policy. This will cover the cost of repairs and/or replacement in the event that a machine is stolen, lost, or significantly damaged.

Where should I go if I need help or repairs?

If you have purchased a business-grade HP laptop and it is under warranty, we will be able to perform repair work on your device. If you have another brand of laptop under warranty, the helpdesk staff cannot perform warranty work on those laptops. However, they can and will assist with resolving software-related issues and perform best efforts to identify other issues.

The 2FIX staff can also provide guidance for personal laptops that need repair by the manufacturers. They can also assist in returning your warrantied computer to the manufacturer for warranty work. If you use external assistance, please make sure that the individual repairing your machine is certified by your manufacturer’s company so that you do not accidentally void your warranty. Request for certification documentation from all computer repairmen.

What software do I need to purchase?

Software purchase and installation requirements vary between majors. Contact your professor to see what software you will need to purchase and install for your classes.

Common Student Required Programs

Microsoft Office* (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)

Free download at Office 365 for any full time Storm Lake campus student. MS Office will not expire after graduation.

SPSS* (statistics)

Adobe Creative Cloud*

Can I connect to the BVU network with my computing device?

Buena Vista University provides its constituents with wireless internet access. Use of this network requires that all users comply with Information Technology Services policies. Please review the Copyright and Fair Share policies for appropriate network use and behavior.

Wireless connectivity will be stronger and more reliable with a wireless card that is 802.11 A/G/N capable.

Am I able to bring a tablet device?

While you are allowed to bring a tablet device, it will not meet the minimum requirements set forth by BVU. Please note that there are many capabilities that will not function properly on these devices. This can include access to printing, shared drives, and some software designed for use on more powerful devices.

For instructions on how to apply academic discounts, please visit the BVU Hardware Academic Discounts page.


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