APU Tech Talk: College Student Essentials for Success

As a parent or guardian with a child entering college, you’re probably wondering what college student essentials your kid really needs. With different tech gadgets flooding the market at every turn, it can be difficult to determine what might be most useful to your student. What you need are straight-forward answers from an expert.

The technology landscape can seemingly change overnight, but Pablo Rangel, IT purchasing specialist at Azusa Pacific University, makes it his job to stay on top of it all. Rangel oversees the APU Computer Store on West Campus, which exists to provide education discounts on the latest technology (along with technological help) to APU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their respective families. Here are the essentials he suggests you equip your student with, and a few important things to keep in mind.

Basic Tech Tools for Academic Success

As far as college student essentials go, an updated laptop and printer are at the top of the list. While both tools can be accessed at the school’s library, it is more convenient for students to have personal ones as well.

“The Computer Store sells any type of computer required by different majors here at APU,” says Rangel. “For example, we sell Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for music majors along with M-Audio keyboards. We also sell external hard drives to store those sweet tracks.”

Rangel notes that you can even find special bundles for the different majors your child may be interested in—such as the Physical Therapy Bundle—which makes it easy to get the exact technology items your student needs for his or her program of choice. This is a super easy way to set them up for success.

This Year’s Must-Have Tech Accessories

The tech that everyone is currently talking about—the new Apple AirPods. “Apple has mastered wireless technology with their new AirPods, which quickly sync to your iPhone with one click right out of the box,” he says. “Having true wireless headphones is a unique experience and they don’t fall out as easy as you would think, making them great for gym workouts, studying, running, and traveling around easily without the wires.”

The Apple Watch is also highly desired, Rangel reports. This tiny and powerful device can track your student’s fitness as they walk around campus, stream their music from iTunes, use Apple Pay, call or text someone using only their voice, guide them with turn-by-turn directions, and silently alert them with notifications about texts, their schedule, or sports scores.

Insider tip: The APU Computer Store is stocked with the [Apple products] (https://computerstore.apu.edu/collections/macbook-pro-with-touch) many students crave, but also has the ability to order any Windows-based computers, cameras, game consoles, and monitors.

Prices Below Retail

If you’re worried that buying tech on campus might come with a hefty price tag, fear not. The APU Computer Store matches its prices against Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target, in addition to offering education discounts—putting their product prices below retail value.

In addition, there are four major sales held during each school year: the Back to School Sale, Brick and Black Friday, the Christmas Sale, and the End of School Sale. Each event is slightly different, but all offer great deals on many must-have items as well as those nice-to-have products, Rangel says.

Insider tip: When Apple releases an update to a current product, APU discounts the “outdated” model. Swing into the store the moment you hear about any updates to grab a deal!

Tech Help and Genius Bar on Campus

Rangel explains that the APU Computer Store can offer such great deals because it’s not-for-profit; the income generated goes right back into sales and services, such as the Trade-In program, Genius Bar, and Repair Center.

“This also means the store is not open to the general public, so there are no lines and quick help,” says Rangel. “We have skilled associates who are trained in soft services such as malware removal, connectivity issues, and product knowledge—and they’re available without an appointment for one-on-one setup or help.”

Insider tip: Students can walk right in at any time and get help with a quick question, or sit down for an hour-long informational session on how to properly back up data.

When it comes to college student essentials, technology does not have to be an overwhelming topic—especially when you have the most up-to-date technology available at below-retail prices and access to immediate support.