The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for students as they prepare for the fall semester.

Whether a student chooses to attend remotely or return to campus, they may have concerns about studying or working in a shared space, accessing Campus Computing Sites if they are off-campus, owning a Mac but needing a Windows operating system, or having a personal device that is not able to perform necessary tasks.

To facilitate a hybrid learning format and safe computing needs, a new Sites @ Home laptop loaner program is now available for U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus. This program offers access to powerful and reliable technology that would typically be made available through Campus Computing Sites and other on-campus resources.

“We want to enhance support to students with remote learning needs — both distance and on-campus — and ensure the removal of technology obstacles they may face by providing, as quickly as possible, well-equipped laptops,” said Bob Jones, executive director of support services for Information and Technology Services.

Laptops are pre-configured with a Windows PC operating system and come with access to the Campus Computing Sites software library, and can be borrowed for one or two semesters.

“This laptop loaner program is one component of how the university is supporting our student community as they navigate the unique conditions created by the pandemic, and complements other resources that ensure access to needed technology,” said Amy Dittmar, senior vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, professor of finance in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and professor of economics in LSA.

Additional information about how to request a laptop, program terms and how to get help is available on the ITS website.

“I’m grateful to Ravi Pendse and the ITS team for their creativity, energy and can-do attitude in getting this done,” said Michael Barr, dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. “The laptop loaner program will be a real help to many students when they need it the most.”