Frequently Asked Questions
Bringing Your Own Laptop to Berklee
If you already have an Apple laptop computer, you may be able to use it to meet Berklee's laptop requirement. Learn more about Berklee's laptop requirement for undergraduate students at the Boston campus, and explore the questions and answers below for more details.
- Can I extend my current AppleCare?
- Can I share a computer with another student?
- Do I have to purchase the software package?
- I have some of the programs listed in the package already. Do I have to buy those, too?
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.
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.
Yes. Every entering Berklee student is required to purchase the software package regardless of whether you are bringing your own laptop or purchasing one from the college. Updates to these applications are provided to you at no cost while you are enrolled (with the exception of ProTools, which requires an upgrade fee after one year).
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 enables a seamless transition when you wish to share files with other students or your instructors. Once your laptop is approved, the software package must be purchased in its entirety.
Buy a Laptop through Berklee (Boston campus only)
- There is a new Apple MacBook Pro model available. Why might I get a previous model?
- How do I learn about my new laptop package?
- Why is a carrying case or bag not included?
- I just picked up the laptop I bought through Berklee. Can I return it and use one I already own?
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.
There are many avenues available for you to learn about all of the components in your laptop package:
- Part of the content of the required first-semester course MTEC-111, Introduction to Music Technology, will focus on computer and music technology basics.
- The Student Computer Support Center offers technical help, workshops, and one-on-one walk-throughs to help you prepare to learn using music technology. You can check out their YouTube channel. You can also stop by in person, call 617-747-8800, or send email to email@example.com.
- The Learning Center offers a variety of classes that students can take throughout the year. For more information, please contact the Learning Center.
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.
If you wish to use your own laptop, you should declare this to the Student Computer Support Center (SCSC) before picking up a laptop package during the computer distribution period. If you change your mind after picking up a Berklee laptop, we will only consider a return if the laptop is still unopened and factory-sealed.
General Computer Questions
- Why is a computer required?
- How does Berklee decide which Apple computer model I will get (if I purchase from the college)?
- Can I purchase insurance for my computer?
- If my laptop needs repair, is a loaner computer available?
- Is a printer necessary? What printing resources are available at Berklee?
For more than 70 years, Berklee has been committed to preparing our students for the musical, technological, and business necessities of the career path upon which they will embark. It has become increasingly clear that to continue this commitment, Berklee students must be well versed in computer technology and, specifically, music technology.
Berklee decides which Apple computer model you will be provided with through your purchase via a very careful cross-departmental review process. The college weighs the overall cost of the package against a need to ensure that the computer model chosen will be sufficient for the majority of Berklee students, no matter what he or she decides to study. The computer needs to be easy to transport around campus and powerful enough to record and edit a multitrack audio/video session. The MacBook Pro line of Apple computers fits this description.
In the past, Berklee provided a 15-inch MacBook Pro computer for students. This was due to what was available and the needs of the Berklee student at that time. The needs haven't changed much, but the computers have. Computers that are smaller in size are now more powerful than their predecessors and screens that are smaller in size are able to display much more than their previous larger counterparts. This is why Berklee has decided to provide the 13-inch MacBook Pro model. The computer is one of the most powerful portable computers in the Apple portable family, is able to display much more than the 15-inch models of the past, and is much more transportable due to the its smaller overall size. Also, it costs less than the 15-inch MacBook Pro model, allowing Berklee to keep the overall package cost under $3,000.
Yes. Berklee strongly recommends that you protect and care for your computer as you 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), you are 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
Should your laptop need repair, computing resources (both computers and external equipment) are available in various college labs. There are no loaner computers available for use.
It is not necessary to purchase a personal printer. We suggest that you wait and make a purchase decision about a printer after you determine your printing needs and become more familiar with the printing resources available at the college. Berklee's Media Center provides print stations where you can connect your laptop to print documents.
Purchase and Eligibility for Laptop and Required Software
- What is the payment process?
- Is financing available?
- I have an account balance; can I still pick up any items in these packages?
- Can I return anything?
- I am a summer 12-Week-Only student or a provisionally accepted student attending in the summer. Do I need to purchase a laptop or software?
To simplify the purchasing process, Berklee includes a laptop computer purchase and required software charge for entering Boston campus students (including first-semester transfer students) on students' first semester tuition bill. If you are entering in Valencia, you will be charged only for the required software package. If you are bringing your own laptop in Boston, once having completed the entering student laptop requirement form, we will have the laptop charge removed and replaced with the software package charge.
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 to the Office of the Bursar at 617-747-2165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financing the full laptop package, software package, or any additional hardware and software requirements of a declared major is the responsibility of the individual. Questions relating to payment should be directed to the Office of the Bursar at 617-747-2165 or email@example.com.
The cost of the Berklee laptop package and required software 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 either the laptop package or the software package. Any student or parent who is concerned about being able to afford the laptop and/or software purchase as part of their enrollment at Berklee should contact an Admissions, Bursar, or Financial Aid office counselor.
Supplemental loans are an option for financing the laptop and/or required software purchase. Grant aid is not available for this purchase. To finance the 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 Student Financial Services.
No. Your account must be paid in full before you are allowed to pick up any items.
The Berklee laptop computer purchase charge and software package charge is nonrefundable, and nothing can be returned once the student swipes his or her Berklee ID through the activating ID scanner and takes possession of the laptop package or software package.
I am a summer 12-Week student, or a provisionally accepted student attending in the summer. Do I need to purchase a laptop or software?
If you are attending only the 12-Week summer program session, or are provisionally accepted during the summer term, you are not required to own a laptop or purchase a Berklee laptop/required software package, as long as you already own a laptop. However, you should be aware that many classes require a computer and applications in the Entering Student Software Package. The required coursework may be extremely difficult without an Apple laptop that meets the college's minimum requirements, and you may purchase the software package or full laptop package if you wish. Please contact the Student Computer Support Center in person, by calling 617-747-8800, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: If you are a 12-Week student and you become fully enrolled in a subsequent semester, you will be required to own an Apple Macintosh laptop computer at that time and you will need to purchase the Entering Student Software Package.
The Entering Student Software Package
- What software is included?
- Must additional software be purchased?
- How is software updated?
- Are the software products included in the Berklee Laptop Package transferable to another individual?
The software 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.
Throughout any academic year, Berklee anticipates that new software and updates to existing software may become available. Updates to these applications are provided at no cost while you are enrolled. 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 hub.berklee.edu dashboard to stay informed about software updates.
Are the software products included in the Entering Student Software Package transferable to another individual?
No. All software products are registered to the individual who purchases them. The software products are not transferable to any other individual. Software included in the package is intended solely for the purchaser.
- 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.
- All software licenses are registered to the student who purchases the laptop package.
- Software licenses are not transferable to any other individual.
- Software included in the Entering Student Software Package is licensed solely by the purchaser; software may not be co-licensed.
- Students using "cracked," "hacked," or illegally obtained versions of software may be reported to appropriate college offices for disciplinary sanctions.
- 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.
- The Student Computer Support Center is not responsible for backing up information on computers.
- The Student Computer Support Center will provide support services only for software approved by the college.
Click to read Berklee's Acceptable Use Policy.