Buying or Replacing a University Computer

Towson University gets special pricing from Dell and Apple.



Benefits of buying or replacing a university computer through the university include:

  • a three year warranty
  • Computrace for all laptops (theft recovery service)
  • Dell laptops also include accidental damage coverage

OTS provides full support for recommended models. You should stick with the recommended models unless you have a compelling technical need. If you choose other models, OTS provides limited support.

Making a Purchase

How a computer is used determines when it is eligible for replacement and the source of possible funding. Once you have identified your funding from the options below, please contact your college or department IT Coordinator or you department head unless otherwise noted to begin the process.

Computer-Trade-Up Program

Faculty and staff office computers for all divisions-except Administration and Finance-are refreshed on a four to five year cycle through the Computer Trade-Up Program, budget permitting.

Administration and Finance staff are not eligible for the Trade-Up program, effective February 12, 2015. Administration and Finance staff will be refreshed through the EduCycle Program. If a new computer is needed versus a reconditioned one, the Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer will approve exceptions based on demonstrated needs and job responsibilities.

The EduCycle Computer Reconditioning Program

All departments on campus can add computers to their inventory or receive repurposed replacement computers from the EduCycle Computer Reconditioning Program at no cost. These computers are generally three to four years old, have a two year life expectancy, are fully refurbished, and have a new solid state hard drive, keyboard, and mouse included.

Computers for New Tenure-Track Faculty

The Office of the Provost provides one-time funds for a computer for new tenure-track faculty. OTS works with department chairpersons to order and deliver computers to welcome our new faculty.

Classrooms and Computer Labs

Computer replacements are funded through student technology funds. The OTS Classroom and Computer Lab Technologies unit works with department IT contacts to make computer purchases and there is nothing special that needs to be done by faculty.


Try to buy computers through a grant when possible, but remember eventually the computer will need to be replaced. Departments must plan and budget for replacement of grant-funded computers.

New Faculty Start-up Funds

If you have start-up funds and want to buy a computer, consult with OTS before you buy it. This applies to all technologies, not just computers.

Direct Department Purchases

If none of the above apply, you will need to consider department operating funds.

New Faculty and Staff

Individual colleges and departments are responsible for planning and budgeting for faculty and staff computers when hiring new employees. They must also consider any other technologies new employees will need including phones, printers, software, etc.

Buying through Retail Stores

Don’t buy computers online or at a store unless you talk to OTS first. Our staff will be happy to order for you using Dell and Apple university online stores to ensure proper configuration, best pricing, and favorable warranty terms. 

Note: Apple requires that all university Mac purchases be made through a Towson Apple Education Store, which is managed by the Office of Technology Services (OTS)


Historically, those well-intentioned donors of computers and other technologies have offered equipment that is well beyond its useful life cycle and is not compatible with our network and current security requirements. Please speak with OTS before committing to and accepting any technology donations.