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NECC Announces Student Laptop Funding for Spring Semester

Submitted by on January 19, 2021 – 8:23 pm


Erin, an NECC student, and her daughter Violet, were on campus in late summer to pick up a laptop for the fall semester.

A student laptop fund created at Northern Essex Community College last fall to ensure students have the tools to be successful in online learning has exceeded expectations, according to Dr. Jennifer Mezquita, vice president of student affairs.

The college has awarded over $300,000 in laptop vouchers to 635 students for the fall semester. Applications are being accepted now through Feb. 1 for the spring semester, which began Wednesday, Jan. 20.

“We originally allocated $200,000 in institutional CARES Act funding for the fall semester bookstore laptop credit pilot,” said Mezquita. “But when we saw the student demand, we increased that by 50 percent.”

Northern Essex instituted a pilot student laptop requirement for the fall semester after announcing that 90 percent of classes would be taught online. The spring semester will also be 90 percent online.

For most programs, a simple laptop like the Dell 3000 Inspiron, priced at $429, is what is required. Other majors, such as engineeringcomputer information science, and art and design, will require a more powerful laptop, such as an XPS Dell or MacBook Pro, which can cost up to $1,699. The vouchers awarded will range from $440 to $882.

“It’s our goal to provide students with as much financial support as possible,” said Mezquita. “It is likely we will be able to provide the full cost to those who have to purchase the lower cost laptop. Students who need the higher priced laptop, will be encouraged to supplement the difference with institutional scholarships, financial aid awards for those who qualify, and student CARES Act funding, while funding lasts.

To be eligible for the bookstore laptop credit, students must be currently registered and enrolled in a major, and complete an online application  between now and Feb. 1 for the spring.

Students who are approved for funding will be notified by Feb. 12 and receive a college-funded bookstore credit.

Anyone with questions, should reach out to