Additional Information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bring your own laptop to Berklee

Buy a laptop through Berklee

General


Bring your own laptop to Berklee

 

Can I extend my current AppleCare?

If you are still within the limited warranty (within one year from from the date you purchased your laptop), you have the option to purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan directly from Apple. Take your computer to an Apple store and request to purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan. If you already purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan and it has expired, you are not eligible to purchase an extended AppleCare Protection Plan.

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Can I share a computer with another student?

No. You are not allowed to share your computer with another student or use their computer to meet the laptop requirement. Every Berklee student must have their own laptop.

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Do I have to purchase the software package?

Yes. Every entering Berklee student is required to purchase the software package regardless if you are bringing your own laptop or purchasing one from the college.  

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I have some of the software listed in the package already. Do I have to buy those too?

Yes. Berklee provides the same version of the software to every student. This is to ensure that everyone is obtaining and using the same software versions across the college. This also helps enable seamless transition if students wish to share files with one another or their instructors. Once your laptop is approved, the software package must be purchased in its entirety.

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Buy a laptop through Berklee

 

There is a new Apple MacBook Pro model available. Why am I (sometimes) getting a previous model?

Every academic year, Berklee strives to provide students with a known, tested, and supported laptop platform for the curriculum. At times, this laptop may not be the absolute latest model released by Apple. Berklee endeavors to provide a proven, stable technology environment in which students can learn and faculty can teach. Therefore, we must evaluate, test, and be able to support all computers and software prior to distribution. In addition, to the extent possible, we try to keep the overall package affordable. We always endeavor to maintain classroom and educational continuity, however computer models and software applications in the package can change at any time.

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How do I learn about my new laptop package?

There are many avenues available for students to learn about all of the components in their laptop package:

  • Training classes are offered by the Learning Center. Students are strongly encouraged to attend these classes in order to obtain the greatest benefit from their computer and the resources available at the college. Also, the Learning Center offers a variety of classes that students can take throughout the year. For more information, please contact the Learning Center.
  • Part of the content of the required first-semester course MTEC-111, Introduction to Music Technology, will focus on computer basics.
  • Students can contact the Student Computer Support Center at 617 747-8800 or via email at 8800@berklee.edu.

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Why is a carrying case or bag not included?

Individual needs and preferences vary, so most people prefer to select their own personal style, color, and quality.

To protect your investment, you are advised to purchase a backpack or carrying case specifically designed and padded for laptops. When shopping for a carrying case, ask whether the store carries any models designed to carry laptops less conspicuously. Such cases will reduce the risk of theft.

Check out the Berklee Bookstore, located at 1090 Boylston Street, and at berklee.bncollege.com.

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I just picked up the laptop I bought through Berklee. Can I return it and use one I already own?

Students who wish to apply for a waiver must do so before signing for and picking up a laptop package during the computer distribution period. Waivers will not be considered after a student has picked up his or her Berklee Laptop Package.

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General

 

Why is a computer required, and why an Apple Macintosh?

For more than 50 years, Berklee College of Music has been committed to preparing our students for the musical, technological, and business necessities of the world into which they will enter. It has become increasingly clear that to continue this commitment, Berklee students must be well versed in computer technology and specifically music technology.

Berklee uses Apple Macintosh computers throughout our curriculum because much of the software that supports our curriculum runs exclusively on the Macintosh platform. In addition, we have found that students who have experience working on the Macintosh platform at Berklee are better prepared when they enter the music profession, where the Macintosh platform and the same software used in our coursework are prevalent and vital tools. As part of the education process, students not only learn about music technology, but also how to utilize their computer for managing their studies, organizing their schedule, developing an effective network of contacts, and ultimately, managing their career.

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Why should Berklee specify the computer type, specs, and configuration?

Our experience with the laptop requirement combined with research on the experiences of other universities indicates that Berklee students enjoy numerous benefits as a result of this requirement.

  • Coupled with a laptop computer, entering students have a year to learn the basics of music technology and are better prepared when declaring a major, particularly one of Berklee's technology-heavy majors.
  • The core first semester course Introduction to Music Technology, which is mandatory for all students, requires the use of a laptop computer and music software during the semester. In addition, many courses feature internet-based materials.
  • Students see a more realistic representation of the way course content is applied in the working world.
  • Students become more accustomed to working in the manner of their chosen profession.

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Can I bring my own laptop or desktop computer?

Yes. However, all entering students are still required to own an Apple laptop that meets the college's requirements.

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Can I purchase a computer from another enrolled Berklee student?

No. You cannot purchase a computer from a currently enrolled Berklee student. If you bring your own laptop to Berklee, your computer's serial number will be logged.

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Can I purchase insurance for my computer?

Yes! Berklee strongly recommends that students protect and care for their computer as they would any other valuable resource. Repairs not covered under the limited warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan can be very expensive. If theft, breakage, or other damage occurs (regardless of fault), the student is liable for the cost of any and all repairs or replacement. Safeware Inc. offers laptop insurance that protects your computer investment.

Please note that items not covered under warranty include but are not limited to:

  • physical damage (breakage, cracks)
  • liquid spills
  • cosmetic damage (scratches, dents)
  • damage or failure due to abuse, neglect, or inappropriate use
  • extreme physical or electrical stress
  • consumables, such as batteries and power supplies, unless due to defect
  • loss or misplacement of the computer
  • theft

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If my laptop needs repair, is a loaner computer available?

Should your laptop need repair, computing resources (both computers and external equipment) are available in various college labs.  Currently, there are no loaner computers available for use.

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Is a printer necessary? What printing resources are available at Berklee?

It is not necessary to purchase a personal printer. We suggest that students wait and make a purchase decision about a printer after they determine their printing needs and become more familiar with the printing resources available at the college. Berklee's Media Center provides print stations where students can connect their laptops and print documents.

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Purchase and Eligibility

 

What is the payment process?

To simplify the purchasing process, Berklee College includes a "Laptop Computer Purchase" charge for entering students (including first-semester transfer students) on students' first semester tuition bill. If you are bringing your own laptop, once having completed the entering student laptop requirement form, we will have the laptop charge removed and replaced with the software package charge.  

Whether purchasing a laptop from Berklee or bringing your own, payment is completed through the Office of the Bursar. As this charge is included in the college's Schedule of Tuition and Fees, payment is accepted in the same ways that all other tuition charges are paid. Any questions about this can be directed the Office of the Bursar at 617 747-2165 or bursar@berklee.edu.

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Is financing available?

Financing the laptop package or any additional hardware and software requirements of a declared major is the responsibility of the individual. Questions relating to payment for the package should be directed to the Office of the Bursar at 617 747-2165 or bursar@berklee.edu.

The cost of the Berklee Laptop Package is included in the college's Schedule of Tuition and Fees. The decision to attend or not attend Berklee should not be based on the ability to purchase the laptop package. However, any student or parent who is concerned about being able to afford the laptop purchase as part of their enrollment at Berklee should contact an Admissions, Bursar, or Financial Aid counselor.

Supplemental loans are an option for financing the laptop purchase. Grant aid is not available for this purchase. To finance the laptop package, include the laptop package cost in the requested supplemental loan amount. In most cases, international students are required to have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

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I have an account balance; can I still pick up any items in these packages?

No. Your account must be paid in full before you are allowed to pick up any items.

Can I return anything?

The Berklee laptop computer purchase charge is non-refundable, and the package cannot be returned once the student swipes his or her Berklee ID through the activating ID scanner and takes possession of the laptop package.

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I am a non-matriculated student (Pro-Arts, 12-Week student, etc). Do I need to purchase a laptop?

Students who attend only the 12-Week Summer Program session will not be required to purchase a Berklee Laptop Package, but should be aware that some classes require a computer, enrollment in those classes may be precluded without a computer, and the required coursework may be extremely difficult without an Apple laptop that meets the college's minimum requirements. Should a 12-Week student become fully enrolled in a subsequent semester, they will be required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

Non-matriculated students are those individuals from Professional Arts Consortium (ProArts) schools or other institutions who are enrolled in Berklee courses but not enrolled in a degree or diploma program at Berklee. Non-matriculated students are not required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer.

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Software

 

What software is included?

The current required software package contains Finale, SmartMusic Studio, ProTools, Microsoft Office, Reason, Digital Performer, and Filemaker Pro. 

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Must additional software be purchased?

The Berklee Laptop Package includes all necessary software to cover the needs of the typical first-year curriculum at Berklee.

The purchase of other software is at the discretion of the individual; however, please note that some majors at Berklee require the purchase of a major bundle (additional hardware and software to support the work of the major). Some specialized classes may also require the purchase of additional software.

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How is software updated?

Throughout any academic year, Berklee anticipates that new software and updates to existing software may become available. Information on updates will be posted on college websites as it becomes available. As a student, you should subscribe to Student Technology Services (STS) announcements via your berklee.edu dashboard to stay informed about software updates.

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Are the software products included in the Berklee Laptop Package transferable to another individual?

No. All software products are registered to the individual who purchases or is waived from the laptop package. The software products are not transferable to any other individual. Software included in the Berklee Laptop Package is intended solely for the purchaser.

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Is there training available for the software?

Training classes for required software are offered by the Learning Center. Students are strongly encouraged to attend these classes in order to obtain the greatest benefit from their computer and the resources available at the college. The Learning Center offers a wide variety of classes that students can take throughout the year. For more information, please contact the Learning Center.

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Policies

 

General Computer Usage Policies

  1. Students are responsible for knowing, understanding, and following established procedures for connecting a laptop computer in any Berklee technology lab and classroom, and to any workstation. Labs, classrooms, and workstations may have different policies and procedures. Some Berklee labs may not support students connecting laptops to workstations.
  2. All software licenses are registered to the student who purchases the laptop package.
  3. Software licenses are not transferable to any other individual.
  4. Software included in the Berklee Laptop Package is licensed solely by the purchaser; software may not be co-licensed.
  5. Students using "cracked," "hacked," or illegally obtained versions of software may be reported to appropriate college offices for disciplinary sanctions.

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Technical Support Policies

  1. Berklee's Student Computer Support Center staff will provide support services for only those computers that are owned by students enrolled at Berklee. Desktop computers do not meet the laptop requirement and will not be supported by the Student Computer Support Center.
  2. The Student Computer Support Center is not responsible for backing up information on computers.
  3. The Student Computer Support Center will provide support services only for software approved by the college.

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Acceptable Use Policy

Click to read Berklee's Acceptable Use Policy.

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