The UNCG Guarantee program, an initiative that enables students from low-income families to graduate with as little debt as possible, today announced it has partnered with Lenovo, the world’s fourth-largest computer company, to provide free PCs to the scholars to ensure they have the tools necessary to succeed in school.

Lenovo will supply 40 new ThinkPad T520 laptops which maximize performance and offer a higher level of productivity for today’s mobile students. The donated PCs, valued at approximately $50,000, support UNCG’s strong recommendation that undergraduate students own laptop computers that meet university specifications, and several thousand Lenovo ThinkPads are already in use campus-wide.

“This partnership goes beyond filling a need; it shows we can provide our Guarantee Scholars resources to help them succeed at UNCG,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “UNCG Guarantee is about removing barriers to help deserving students achieve an undergraduate education and providing the tools necessary to achieve success.

“It’s also about a partnership between Lenovo and UNCG coming together for these scholars. It lifts a huge burden when the Guarantee Scholars have the resources they need to be successful students. Laptops these days are a necessity in a college education. I am grateful to Lenovo for recognizing a need, and reaching out to help students. This truly adds to UNCG Guarantee.”

Jason Mooneyham, executive director of public sector, Lenovo, said, “Lenovo is the fastest-growing PC company in education and we understand the vital role the PC plays in and outside the classroom to keep students motivated. We remain committed to developing innovative, feature-rich products that enhance students’ learning environment and as a North Carolina-based business, we are pleased to provide these ThinkPad laptops to our local North Carolina community scholars, many of whom will go on to be the future business leaders of this state.”

Guarantee Scholars will receive their computers on Aug. 19 at the end of their special three-day orientation program. Lenovo will be on-site to provide students with an introduction to the laptops and additional support services. As with anyone who purchases a PC through the Student Laptop Program, these students will receive comprehensive support, including hardware repair services, through the Technology Support Center that is operated by UNCG’s Division of Information Technology Services.
Kristen Christman, director of Undergraduate Student Excellence at UNCG, said the gift has great potential for helping students, and told of a scholar who purchased a laptop last year. “While she knew she didn’t have to buy one, she reminded me how important it was to her success. She had many online components as part of her classes and the laptop made them more accessible; she could keep her documents all together and log-in to do coursework as needed. That student is the reason I have advocated for laptops even more than before.”

The UNCG Guarantee Program, which is need-based, helps in-state students graduate from UNCG in four years with as little debt as possible through a combination of federal, state, university and private grants and scholarships. UNCG Guarantee eligibility requirements call for students to be North Carolina high school graduates who are admitted to UNCG and pursuing their first academic degree; to demonstrate academic promise and potential; to enroll full-time for the regular academic year; to have a family income that does not exceed 100 percent of the federal poverty standard; and to qualify for federal student financial aid.