What’s Next For Laid-Off Workers The year 2020 will live in the minds of Americans for years if not decades to come. Regardless of how someone sees the Coronavirus pandemic, there is no denying the pandemic has affected many American lives.

One area where the pandemic has had a profound effect is on the U.S. economy. This has led to a massive amount of layoffs. Unfortunately, the effect of these layoffs included an unemployment rate that jumped from 4% to 14% in just 6 weeks. That’s a lot of jobs lost in an economy that is dependent on contributions from all American workers.

As the economy starts its recovery, there are growing concerns that many lost jobs won’t be returning. While that may seem like a tragedy for a lot of people, it could just as well become an opportunity. What kind of an opportunity? An opportunity to start a new career.

What the Future Holds for Unemployed Worker

If an unemployed worker is not expecting a call from their employer, there is no time for lamenting. This is a perfect time and opportunity for unemployed workers to find a new career path. Fortunately, the online education industry is geared towards allowing people to do just that.

Think about it for a moment. You lost your job or business. You need to find something new that will offer you long term security in a business environment that’s changing. You now have the option of pursuing an online degree right from the comfort of your home. Whether you realize it or not, this is the future of education in America.

The responsibility you have to yourself and your family is to find a financially and mentally rewarding career path. You also need to identify a career path that is going to remain relevant in the coming economic environment,

Good news! Online classes and degrees are now available in many areas where lucrative and enjoyable job/career opportunities await.

Career Paths to Consider

If you are going to pursue an online degree, you want to make sure to invest your time and money wisely. It’s important to choose an occupational target that is going to be relevant today and in the future.

To help you in that endeavor, here is a short list of online degrees that are currently gaining in prominence:

  • Bachelor’s Degree Business Administration – provides access to careers in accounting, marketing, investments, and finance
  • Associate’s in Medical Assistance – responsibilities include logging appointments, keeping medical records, and interacting with insurance companies
  • Dental Hygienist Certification – responsibilities include assisting dentists, performing cleanings, and educating patients about good dental hygiene
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science – career paths include web design, network design, and software development
  • Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Information Systems with a focus on digital security
  • Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Fire Science – responsibilities include performing fire inspections and analyzing fire prevention techniques

If you have a specific interest, there’s a good chance you can find an associated degree program online. If you choose or need to work while attending online courses, you will find doing so in manageable.

Lucrative Career Paths You Should Pursue In 2020 A hint from an expert on how to find an excellent job after the current economic recession can give you a head start that others may not know. Instead of hoping for jobs to come back, you can improve your chances of finding worthwhile work when the market rebounds by learning new skills. Almost everyone knows that some jobs may not come back after economic conditions improve, but many may not choose to prepare for it. Training for a new one may give you a better chance to get a job that pays well in a tight market.

Finding Access to Courses Online
Whether or not you think it fair, the fact remains that a college degree helps many people earn more money. Salary information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that an employee with a four-year degree earns almost twice as much as one with a high school diploma. A two-year degree produced nearly one and a half times as much money in 2019. Your computer provides access to courses in every field, and you can get everything you need from the comfort of your home. The virus makes college campuses pose risks that you may not want to accept, but you can start expanding your knowledge through online courses.

Choosing the Right Field of Study
Data literacy gives you a critical asset that can make you attractive to companies who need to defend themselves against business disruptions. In a Forbes article, Bernard Marr shares his expertise on jobs for the fourth Industrial Revolution and recommends studying data management and acquiring digital skills.

• Artificial Intelligence
The fascinating fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence allow computers to perform human-like functions of decision-making, language translations, speech recognition, visual perception and many others.

• Big Data
Companies use advanced information technology to examine accumulated data gathered over the years. Analysis of the data provides a basis for predictions that help companies make business decisions.

• Blockchain
Encryption makes blockchains a valuable tool in digital records that represent sales, services, contracts and supplies.

Coding
Computers use coding or instructions from programmers to perform a task. Almost all electronic devices can read, understand and execute the instructions that coding provides.

• Digital Marketing
Through blogs, search engine optimization, websites, social media and other outreach channels on the internet, digital marketing provides content that informs and educates potential customers.

• Internet of Things
Embedded software and sensors allow devices to communicate with each other through the internet as they collect and exchange information.

• Web Development
Webmasters use coding, programming and computer science to design, build and maintain websites that allow companies to have a presence on the internet.

Opportunities to improve your skills and prepare for jobs after the market rebounds can qualify you to enter the post-coronavirus world. Online courses let you build up qualifications without leaving home or your current job, and you can work at a pace that suits you. With training, you can gain an advantage for the job market after the current economic recession.

Americans are on the move in 2020. While the tally of permanent moves for 2020 is ongoing, short term moves more than doubled from roughly 150,000 to 350,000 in March of 2020 according to a MYMOVE analysis of USPS data.  California, New York and Illinois received the most short term net out migration and the beneficiaries include Texas, Georgia and Idaho.  

Reasons for relocation include:

*Lower taxes

*Lower cost of living

*Better quality of life

*Better jobs

*Less congestion

At My College Laptop, we ask:  Are Americans undergoing relocation for education?  If a person was to relocate for education reasons, which states provide the best programs for their residents? Since we asked the question, we have to provide answers. Hence,  we ranked the top states for education migration.

The Top 20 States For Education Relocation

Rank State Tuition Program Benefits Eligibility Our Comments
01 WV West Virginia’s free-tuition Free
Community College
• Pass a drug test for marijuana.
• Be a resident of West Virginia.
If you are 21 and moving from California, Colorado, Nevada or Washington – you might want to think twice.
02 TN Tennessee Promise Free
Community College
• Be a resident of Tennessee. It pays to be a member of the Volunteer state.
03 CA California College Promise Free Community College • Be a first time college student.
• Be a resident of California.
California still knows how to party. More reason to stay if you are resident and more reason to go if you are not.
04 MI Futures For Frontliners Free Tuition • Must be a Michigan resident and an essential worker in the state of Michigan One of the largest programs in the country geared toward essential workers.
05 AZ The University Of Arizona Primary Care Physician Scholarship  Free Tuition • Be a resident of Arizona.
• Be a full-time medical student at University of Arizona.
• Work a mandatory two years in underserved medical communities across Arizona or scholarship converts into a loan. 
Service to the underserved is the highest calling.
06 CO Colorado Pledge Free Tuition AND/OR Room or Board • If family income is $60,000 or less then the student receives free tuition/room or board.
• If family income is $60,000-$125,000 then the student receives free tuition.
The Centennial state is listening to Gen-Z and Millennials
07 GA HOPE Career Grant Free Community College & 30 free degree hours • Apply for one of 12 highly demanded majors. Keep HOPE alive!
08 CT Pledge to Advance Connecticut Free
Community College
• Be a resident of Connecticut.
• Fill out FAFSA and meet the requirements.
• Attend a local Community College full time.
CT is making community college free.  
09 DE Over-60 Tuition-Free Degree
SEED Program
Free Tuition

Delaware Tech – Tuition Free
• Be age 60 or older.
• Be a resident of Delaware for a year or longer.
• Get a 2.0 GPA or better in high school.
• Have a clean record.
Delaware proves you are never too old to go back to school.
10 SC Senior Citizen Free Tuition Program University of South Carolina – Free Tuition • Be a Resident of South Carolina for a year or longer.
• Be age 60 or older.
South Carolina proves that old-school wisdom pays.
11 NE Nebraska Promise Free Tuition • If Family income is less than $60,000 then the student receives free tuition.
• Fill out FAFSA and meet the requirements.
The Cornhusker state is keeping its promise to its citizens.
12 TX FASFA & Pell Grant Programs Free Tuition at 12 select colleges • If family income is from $0-$50,000 get free tuition, depending on the school. Tuition is NOT bigger in Texas.
13 IL Illinois Commitment Free tuition and campus fees • If family income is $67,100 or less then receive free tuition. The land of Lincoln is committed to its citizens.
14 AR Arkansas Future Grant Free Community/Tech College • Enroll in a STEM major at Tech/Community College.
• Work a mandatory 3 years in Arkansas or scholarship converts into loan.
Stem is the future
15 MD Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships Free
Community College
• Fill out FAFSA and meet the requirements.
• Be a resident of Maryland.
• High school GPA must be between 2.3-4.0
• Family household cannot exceed $150,000 yearly.
Maryland is earning its nickname as the Free State.
16 WI Bucky’s Tuition Promise University Of Wisconsin-Madison • Family income must be $56,000 or less for eligibility .
• Be a resident of Wisconsin.
Free tuition at a Research I university.  It doesn’t get any better than this.
17 ME The Pine Tree State Pledge University of Maine at Augusta – Free Tuition • Be a full time student (12-15 credits).
• Be eligible to receive a pell grant.
Residents of Maine have everything to gain.
18 MN Minnesota State Grant Program Free Tuition & Fees • If family income is $40,000 or less attend Community College for free.
• If family income is $30,000 or less attend 4-year university for free.
The land of a thousand lakes and free community college.
19 UT For Utah Scholarship Free Tuition • Have a High School GPA of 3.2 or higher.
• Fill out FAFSA and meet the requirements
• Apply for a pell grant and be eligible.
A great deal for students that have the best snow on earth .
20 HI Hawai’i Promise Program Free Tuition, Fees, & Books

Last Dollar Program
• Fill out FAFSA and meet requirements.  Free tuition in paradise.  

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Digital Career

If you have always wanted to work for yourself and live a dream lifestyle, you are likely wondering what steps you can take to reach success. Working for yourself or running your own company comes with many benefits you might not have considered. You set your hours and work when you want.

If you would like to enjoy even more rewards, start a virtual job. With a virtual company, you can work from your laptop and travel to any spot in the world that grabs your attention. Starting a virtual company is a rewarding path that puts you in direct control of your future. When you launch your first virtual company, you will be pleased with the outcome you can achieve.

Top Online Careers

There are many online careers from which you can choose. Many people try becoming virtual teachers or coaches, but digital marketing is a great option if you learn how to do it.

Digital marketing lets you earn as much money as you want if you follow the right path. You can also become a writer when your goal is to earn a living on the internet. Online writers don’t often make much when they are first starting, but you can increase your earning potential as you earn a reputation for yourself.

How to Find Success With Your Company

Getting started with your virtual business is not as hard as you might think. You can start a website and advertise your services, or you could find a digital job site that matches you with clients looking for the services you offer. Indeed and Guru are two job sites for writers, marketers and other digital professionals. You bid on jobs and earn stars for keeping your clients happy, and you start charging more when your reputation as a professional goes up.

Benefits of a Business Degree

You can work on the internet without a degree and still earn a decent living. On the other hand, having a college degree makes your life that much easier. If you want a degree that helps you in any field, look for a virtual college that offers business degrees. You can also get marketing degrees on the internet if you want to get the most from your time and effort.

You learn much more about your field when you take the right courses. Your clients are also willing to pay more when they know you have a degree in your chosen field. By earning a degree, you also show that you are dedicated to providing exceptional results on which people can depend. You don’t even need a degree when you are getting started. Earn your degree while you are working on the internet, and you can make money while improving your education.

Final Thoughts

Working from your computer is one of the best ways to enjoy life if you earn enough money to live comfortably. You work from anywhere you want and set your hours, but you must remain dedicated to working during your office hours. Get a degree from a digital college so that you can boost your profit potential and enjoy the benefits for years to come.

How Women Can Get Into Tech Fast & Efficiently

A few decades ago, people had to go to college if they wanted to get a career in tech. Today, the same university degree can be completed online. More importantly, there are countless boot camps, certificates and internships you can do to start a career in coding and cybersecurity. Women can get started in the tech industry by using the following methods and tips.

A Tech Degree Is Unnecessary

Many women think that they have to have a degree from a top tech university if they want to start a tech career. In reality, many tech companies will hire people who do not have a degree. In addition, the tech industry needs accountants and marketing professionals like any other industry. If you already have a degree in a different field, you can use it to get your foot in the door.

Tech jobs are in high demand, which is one of the reasons why they pay so well. Because they are in demand, employers do not expect a bachelor’s degree from every employee. In addition, employers are starting to realize that a bachelor’s degree is not the best indicator of an employee’s potential.

Find Boot Camps

Companies like Google are beginning to realize that boot camps and short certificates are great ways to train employees for a career in tech. If you get a career certificate from Google, the company will treat it like a bachelor’s degree. Currently, Google offers certificates for UX designers, project managers and data analysts.

Online boot camps are a great way to transition from your current job to a career in cybersecurity. Full Stack Academy, Code Fellows and Flatiron School all have top-rated boot camps. You can also check out boot camps from traditional universities such as the University of Washington, the University of Colorado, the University of California and Columbia University.

Discover Free Options

Coding courses do not have to be expensive. At Codewars, Khan Academy and Code Academy, you can learn to code for free. Many of these boot camps also offer certificates that you can give to a future employer. While they take less time than a college course, they provide you with the same tech abilities.

Get an Entry-Level Position

One of the best things you can do is start working in the tech industry right away. No matter how well you are trained, the tech industry is constantly changing. Because of this, you will always have to learn new information and techniques after you are hired. If you get started in your new position right away, you can immediately begin your on-the-job learning.

In the United States, women only receive 18 percent of computer science degrees. Thankfully, this figure is finally starting to improve. More women are entering the tech industry each year. With a job in cybersecurity or coding, you can enjoy a lucrative salary and great career growth. Whether you get on-the-job training or take an online course, there are a number of ways you can break into this field.

Entry Level Jobs: Tech vs. Non-Tech

Good entry level jobs in the tech industry include: Digital Marketing Manager, Jr. Web Developer, Data Analyst, Social Media Manager, and UI/UX Designer. The mean salary for these tech jobs is $60,572. The mean salary for 5 non-tech jobs (Case Clerk, Accountant, HR Recruiting, Administrative Assistant, Help Desk Support) is $46,602.

* All salary data for this article via Glassdoor and based on submitted salaries with 0-1 years experience.

Therefore, by choosing to enter into the tech industry you can an average, make $13,970 extra dollars a year. Additionally, from 2018-2019 the tech industry experienced a 27.3% growth in industry according to the Swyft Industry Report. In the 2019 State of Salaries Report, the average tech worker made $135,000, indicating there is plenty room for personal growth in this industry.

10 Pitfalls to Avoid in Order to Graduate College

The U.S. college dropout rate is about 40 percent. Higher learning can be tough. Take steps now to stay on track and graduate as planned. Here are 10 things to avoid while getting your college degree.

1. Being Vague About Goals

What do you want to be when you grow up? Now is the time to decide. If you don’t plan on graduate school, major in something interesting but marketable. With a nursing or education degree, you can quickly get a professional job anywhere and a decent salary to boot. A degree in psychology, however, has little market value unless you plan to get a doctorate. It’s easier to keep moving forward when you know which way you’re going.

2. Studying by Yourself

Students learn more effectively in groups than alone. With the help of classmates, you can absorb material on a deeper level and thereby make it your own. A better understanding of what’s learned can improve your grades, and having scheduled study times with others combats procrastination.

3. Activating Student Loan Repayments

Here is an excellent reason to avoid becoming a college dropout. The first payment on your student loans will be due six months after you drop out. According to the Brookings Institution, college dropouts are more likely to default on student loans than students who complete a degree.

4. Staying in the Wrong College

If you’re not resonating with your school, consider attending another one. Not all colleges are created equal. A different school might have an academic environment that’s more compatible with your interests and goals.

5. Dropping Out Instead of Taking a Gap Year

During a gap year, you can travel, tutor, perform community service, work or follow a course of independent study. A gap year can give you some time to find yourself before you resume your studies.

6. Carrying Too Many Credits

If you feel exceptionally stressed, consider taking fewer classes for one semester. It will give you a chance to slow down for a bit and resolve the issues that are making you feel anxious.

7. Living Off Campus

Higher graduation rates correlate with living on campus. It’s exciting and fun to share an off-campus place with roommates. However, the shenanigans can distract you from your studies. Living on campus gives you easy access to classmates, friends, faculty and resources.

8. Ignoring a State of Imbalance

Cramming for exams is part of being a student, but try to keep regular hours the rest of the year. A healthy balance between school, social activities, eating, sleeping and exercise can help you to stay fit.

(Dr. Jubbal, 2019)

9. Neglecting to Ask for Help

Sooner or later, you’ll encounter a subject, a paper or a project that has you completely flummoxed. Don’t waste time beating yourself up. Instead, schedule an appointment with your professor immediately, and get the help you need.

10. Hanging in Is Easier Than Coming Back

If you are feeling challenged now, imagine yourself returning to school in five years with a family and a high-stress job. Get your degree now, and you won’t have to deal with it later.

A college degree is an investment in yourself. It will always work in your favor.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, approximately 100 million Americans are not subscribed to an internet service provider. Many plans are excessively expensive, a barrier which prevents many from access to a reliable internet connection. This technology gap is increasingly pertinent these days, as access to online resources has become an essential tool for job-seeking, education, and conducting business. According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of community college students are home internet users. Students without access to the internet at home often access their coursework from their school’s library.   

Social distancing mandates have prompted schools to close their campuses for the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.  According to a survey released by ParentsTogether, an education advocacy group, the unprecedented switch to remote learning disproportionately affected low-income students without the resources to attend class online.  

Fortunately, many internet service providers offer programs that allow low and fixed-income individuals to access high-speed internet at affordable rates.  

Coverage varies by provider. Here is a comprehensive list of plans available in each state: 


All 50 States

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers monthly internet bills by providing a stipend of $9.25 to eligible recipients. Visit their website to see which internet service providers in your area are participating in this program.

ConnectAll is available nationwide. To enroll, users must create an account and provide proof of eligibility for the program. Once signed in, navigate to the address book and fill out your full address. At this point, users will be able to view the available internet plans.


Alabama

Access from AT&T

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Alaska

ConnectAll


Arizona

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

Spectrum Internet Assist


Arkansas

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


California

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Frontier Affordable Broadband


Colorado

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Connecticut

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

Spectrum Internet Assist

Cablevision Economy Internet


District of Columbia (D.C.)

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Delaware

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Florida

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Georgia

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Hawaii

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Idaho

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Illinois

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Indiana

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Iowa

Cox Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


Kansas

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Kentucky

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Louisiana

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Maine

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Maryland

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Massachusetts

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


Michigan

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Minnesota

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Mississippi

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Missouri

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Montana

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Nebraska

Cox Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


Nevada

Access from AT&T

Cox Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


New Hampshire

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


New Jersey

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Cablevision Economy Internet


New Mexico

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


New York

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

Cablevision Economy Internet

ConnectAll


North Carolina

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


North Dakota

ConnectAll


Ohio

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Oklahoma

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete


Oregon

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll

Spectrum Internet Assist


Pennsylvania

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

Cablevision Economy Internet

ConnectAll


Rhode Island

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


South Carolina

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll


South Dakota

ConnectAll


Tennessee

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Connect2Compete

ConnectAll


Texas

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll


Utah

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Vermont

Comcast Internet Essentials

ConnectAll


Virginia

Comcast Internet Essentials

Cox Connect2Compete

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll


Washington

Comcast Internet Essentials

Wave Internet First (Seattle area only)

InterConnection (Seattle area only)

Spectrum Internet Assist


West Virginia

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll


Wisconsin

Access from AT&T

Comcast Internet Essentials

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll


Wyoming

Spectrum Internet Assist

ConnectAll

Switching from a traditional campus college to full time learning in an online school is not a decision many students make. The existing lockdown policies in the world has put students attending traditional campus colleges in a tough spot. Students are given more reasons to switch to an online school day by day. Social distancing policies globally have placed students attending traditional campus colleges in a tough spot.

How to Transfer to an Online School

Have you decided to go full time learning online? Are you oblivious of the steps to take to switch from your traditional campus college to an online school? Unfortunately, not many students know how to switch from their on-campus college to an online college. Highlighted below are the steps to take for online college transfer during our current times.

1.      Make a list of online schools you will like to attend

The first step students who want to transfer to an online school need to take is to know what their choices are. What better way to do this than making a list of online schools you are interested in? Collect information about the schools, their curriculum, their fees, their accreditation, the courses they offer, etc.

After making an in-depth inquiry, select the best option out of all the schools you have gathered. Make sure to choose only a school that is officially accredited. You can confirm if the school is accredited by checking the “Accreditation of colleges and Universities: Who’s Accrediting the Accreditor’s” website.

2.      Contact the school of your choice

You can extend your interest in transferring to the online college by making contact with the school. Make sure to go to their administration page. Check out the requirements expected for you to meet before transferring to the school. If you are given questionnaires to fill, provide the answers and let them know your reasons for switching to their school.

Make findings of the paperwork required for you to submit before transferring. If you have any form of making contact with the school to ask questions, exploit that opportunity.  Some schools have platforms where they provide frequently asked questions. Go through those questions and check the answers provided.

3.      Transfer your credits from your former school

Are you transferring from an accredited school? That is already a bonus to transfer your credits. Graduate Center of CUNYC in a study reveals that students who transfer not less than 90% of their credits are twice more likely to complete their online education than those who transfer less than 50%.

 Unfortunately, it may not be easy to transfer credits for a student coming from a school that is not accredited. If you are one, this should not discourage you. Be ready to work hard and get your degree completed.

4.      Submit your application to the school

The last step is to submit your application. Most online colleges have clear procedures on their website to apply for their courses. Read the instructions carefully before applying. Fill in your detail and personal information correctly.

Make submissions of your transcripts and other necessary documents you are asked to provide. Prepare to submit documents like birth certificates, proof of residency, and immunization records. Some schools like the University of Minnesota encourage their online students to submit their transcripts electronically for quicker processing.

After you have submitted your application, check your email regularly for feedback from the college you have applied to. While it is good for you to be optimistic, also keep an open mind for a chance that some of your credits will not transfer.

Laptop computers open up a whole new world for disabled people who want to attend a college or university. They make doing research, accomplishing homework assignments, and connecting with family and friends while on the go a breeze. The good news is that many models are made specifically to address the needs of the disabled community. Depending on his or her disability or health condition, a student can get a laptop that offers features such as screen reading, voice-to-text scripting, and a no-hands mouse. These features are called assistive technology, and major computer manufacturers and third-party ancillary device companies partner to make them available on top-branded computers for disabled persons. Here are some of the best laptops for college students with disabilities.

1. Dell Latitude 7424 14-inch

Assistive Technology Features Supported

The Dell Latitude 7424 is one of the most accessible laptops for students who have mobility challenges. The laptop comes with a sturdy handle that makes carrying it easier for disabled students. We love the tethered stylus that gives mobility impaired students another option to make on-screen selections instead of leaving them to struggle with a traditional mouse. The Dell Latitude 7424 is equipped with a plate that makes it compatible with a desktop docking station. This feature gives mobility impaired students the ability to use the laptop standing up when it’s docked on a raised desk. The laptop has ample storage and processing speed to support assistive technology software such as the hands-free mouse product called Enable Viacom. Enable Viacom is a free, open-source software product that allows disabled persons to make mouse clicks using head gestures and a laptop webcam.

Product Specifications

• Window 10 Pro operating system (OS)

• 16GB RAM

• 7th generation Intel Core i3 processor

• 128GB solid state drive

• HD 1920p x 1080p touchscreen

• Ports: one USB 3.0 Type-C, three USB 3.0 Type-A, two Ethernet ports, one HDMI port, a Display port, and a serial port

Where to Buy

While online resellers such as Amazon consistently dominate the market for computer sales, it’s often best to buy specialty laptops directly from the manufacturer. Laptops for college students with disabilities often require more memory and storage than base model laptops. Dell’s customer support allows students to configure the Latitude 7424 with the features that they want and pass on the ones that they don’t need.

2. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Assistive Technology Features Supported

Our research shows that the Apple MacBook Pro is one of the most accessible laptops for students who have visual impairments. The Apple MacBook Pro has built-in assistive technology features that help visually impaired students perform classic computer functions as normal. The laptop’s built-in screen reader lets visually impaired students know what’s on the screen via audio prompts, and its Hover text function allows students to magnify portions of text as needed. The MacBook Pro is also known for its brilliant display and screen color adjustment that automatically adapts to the lighting in different settings. This automatic screen adjustment feature helps to reduce eye strain whether the student is working from a dimly lit dorm room or a sun-drenched park.
Product Specifications

• MAC OS

• 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor

• 16GB of RAM

• 1TB hard drive storage

• HD 1920 x 3072 display

• Ports: four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

• AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB video card

Where to Buy

The Apple MacBook Pro is known for its superior features, Apple’s outstanding support, and a hefty price tag. Amazon has the best deals on the Apple MacBook Pro. You’ll find discounts on models that have base-level hard drive storage of 512GB and ones that have larger capacity hard drive storage of 1TB.

3. Panasonic Toughbook 55 14-inch

Assistive Technology Features Supported

The Panasonic Toughbook 55 is a durable computer that supports assistive technologies for students who have hand injuries. The laptop comes with hardware that allows it to be mounted to a desktop docking station. Its Windows 10 operating system also supports speech-to-text functions that are essential for hands-free computing. A distinctive feature of the Panasonic Toughbook 55 is its microphones. The laptop comes with four Tetra-Array microphones that result in speech recognition processing that’s up to three times more accurate than a laptop that’s equipped with standard microphones. The Panasonic Toughbook 55 also comes with automatic display adjustment that reduces stress on the eyes.
Product Specifications

• Windows 10 Pro OS

• Intel Core i5-8365U vPro processor

• 8GB RAM

• 512GB hard drive

• Ports: one USB-C, two USB-A, one HDMI, one Ethernet, and a Micro SDXC

Where to Buy

Tried-and-true online retailers such as Amazon usually beat out manufacturers on deals and discounts. For this laptop, we found the lowest price at Barcodes.

4. Dell Latitude 5424 14-inch

Assistive Technology Features Supported

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common problem among children and adults. Common symptoms of this brain disorder include a lack of focus, organizational skills, and attention. Kurzweil Education makes a number of multisensory software tools that help students with ADHD to read for comprehension, organize their ideas, and apply their knowledge in consistently coherent ways. When it comes to laptops for students with ADHD, the Dell Latitude 5424 gets high marks from us. The laptop comes with the versatile Windows 10 operating system that supports assistive technology software products such as the ones made by Kurzweil. We know that laptops for students with ADHD must be flexible enough to support many different software programs, and the Dell Latitude 5424 has enough RAM and storage space to accommodate those special learning tools without compromising computing speeds.
Product Specifications

• Windows 10 Pro

• Intel Core i3-7130U processor

• 8GB of RAM

• 500GB hard drive

• 1920p x 1080p display

• Ports: one USB 3.0 Type-C, three USB 3.0 Type-A, one HDMI, one Ethernet, and one serial

Where to Buy

The Dell website is the best place to buy this laptop. You’ll get a custom configuration, and the company offers free shipping.

5. HP Zbook 15 G5 Mobile Workstation

Assistive Technology Features Supported

When searching for laptops for hearing impaired students, the HP Zbook 15 G5 Mobile Workstation tops our list. This HP laptop comes with Windows 10 operating system that supports speech-to-text applications such as Google’s WebCaptioner and Live Transcribe. When assessing laptops for hearing impaired students, we found that choosing a machine that has a variety of ports and slots is best. The HP Zbook 15 G5 Mobile Workstation has standard USB ports and the latest Thunderbolt 3 ports that support connections to headsets and hearing aids.
Product Specifications

• Windows 10 OS

• Intel Core i5-8300H

• 1920p x 1080p display

• 8GB RAM

• 512GB hard drive

• Ports: four USB 3.0, one HDMI, two Thunderbolt 3, one Ethernet, and one SD card slot

Where to Buy

The HP Zbook 15 G5 Mobile Workstation is best purchased directly from HP to get the configuration that’s right for you. HP offers promotional coupon codes that give hundreds of dollars off its retail prices and free shipping.
Conclusion

Independent living is part of the college experience. These laptops help students with disabilities get the most out of their time at college.
References

Resources
itstillworks.com/laptop-computers-disabled-5666272.html
www.mapcon.com/us-en/computer-and-software-accessibility-for-the-disabled

www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/
www.computerworld.com/article/2522955/14-tech-tools-that-enhance-computing-for-the-disabled.html?page=2
www.pcworld.com/article/167035/ruggedized_tablets.html
www.disabilityrightswa.org/publications/assistive-technology-special-education-students/
www.thoughtco.com/set-up-laptop-as-a-desktop-1206662

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a computer for college. A standard set up will be sufficient for most online students who aren’t in computer programming or design-specific fields. On a very limited budget you won’t be getting all the bells and whistles, but you can get a solid machine with a decent processor, plenty of storage space, and web browsing capabilities. You might have to dig a little for the best deals but here are some great online auction sites to look for a low-cost laptop.

E-bay: Everyone’s favorite auction site and easily the most well-known. Many students turn to eBay for their computer purchases and the reason is clear: You can get an affordable machine from a reputable seller. In fact, many companies who specialize in refurbishing items sell them through eBay. But if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure to ask seller about any defects the laptop might have or warranties that might be offered by the seller. Shop with confidence eBay has a reputation for defending their buyers against fraudulent sellers.

ShopGoodwill.com: If you love finding great deals at your local thrift store, give this online version a try. At the time of publication there were multiple laptops available and one even as low as $21!

Government Auction sites:

Between seized property, abandoned lost and found items, and government operations themselves, a lot of computers end up in the hands of the government. The items are then auctioned off to the public either online or in person. Federal auction items are available at GSAAuctions.gov, GovSales.gov, Internal Revenue Service Auctions, U.S. Department of the Treasury Auctions, and the U.S. Marshals Service. PropertyRoom.com hosts police auctions from over 3,000 different police agencies and municipalities. State items can be found by clicking on the links below. Municibid.com also offers auction items from multiple, mostly east-coast, states.  If you’re still striking out, see if your county or city hosts public auctions. These items usually come with no history or guarantee but you’ll be paying rock bottom prices.

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas California Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia
Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky
Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Mississippi Missouri Montana
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire
New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota
Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington
West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

UBid.com: With over 5 million registered users, Ubid has become a great resource for everyday item auctions. They sell new, overstocked, and refurbished items on their site. At the time of publication, the site had a handful of tablets available and 2 laptops priced at just over $100. Check back often as inventory seems to fluctuate frequently.

AuctionZip.com is another popular live auction site that occasionally carries computers and electronics. The website lists both live auctions and auctions that are coming soon. You’ll need to register in order to place a bid. After that you can go straight to the live auctions to see what is happening in real time.

WebStore.com has over 300,000 registered users and that base is rapidly. Seller’s aren’t required to pay for listings since the site is supported by advertisements and donations, helping to keep auction prices low. At the time of publication, Webstore.com had several brand-new laptops available at some very competitive prices.

Tips for buying a laptop on an auction site

While buying a laptop on an auction site might not be the most conventional, it can be one of the best ways to stretch your computer budget. Just ensure you follow some simple steps to make the process seamless.

  • Always read the entire item description.
  • Ask the seller questions any questions you may have about the item before you place a bid.
  • Factor in shipping costs; you don’t want a steep shipping charge cutting in on your good deal.
  • Check the return policy; most auction items are final sell so make sure you know what you’re getting before you buy.
  • Check the seller’s reviews if possible.
  • If possible, use a 3rd party payment processor, such as Paypal. They will work with you to dispute charges if you’re not sent what you were expecting.