When black students at the University of Michigan took to Twitter several years ago to critique campus policies and culture, one tweet in particular caught the attention of college administrators.
The post (perhaps one like this) described how online payday MI alienating and awkward it can feel for a student to show up to class without a laptop. The university doesn’t require all students to own personal computers, yet many do, using them frequently during lectures to take notes or follow along with readings.
“With professors saying ‘Everyone take out your laptop,’ it was not an inclusive environment. It wasn’t equitable,” says Susan Perreault, director of student recruitment for the university’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
So the dean asked Perreault and Gretchen Kopmanis, technology services office manager and Mac team lead, to devise a pilot program that would help low-income students get access to laptops-and maybe even improve their enrollment and retention rates, too.
Affordability, or lack thereof, has recently been a hot topic at the University of Michigan. In 2017, a New York Times analysis found the institution had the highest median parent income of 27 higher selective public colleges, at $154,000. Last year, one student started a crowd-sourced document called “Being Not-Rich at UM” full of advice about how to get by on a modest budget.
“There’s a high population of high-income students here. Low-income students really feel out of place at Michigan,” says Camille Mancuso, a junior and the vice president of the Michigan Affordability and Advocacy Coalition student group. (more…)