Ivy Tech Warsaw helps meet technology needs during pandemic through laptop program

Tim Keyes, Ivy Tech Warsaw LRC Coordinator, and April Harrison

Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw launched the Laptop Loan-to-Own program in spring 2020, where students borrow a laptop and—if they follow a certain set of guidelines—are gifted the laptop, free of charge. Lake City Bank originally donated 10 laptops for the program, but ultimately added eight additional laptops after the need for this technology became clear. Now, all 18 laptops have been loaned to Ivy Tech Warsaw students, and 10 students own their laptops after successfully following the program requirements.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of our classes online, having the proper technological capabilities is more important than ever in this increasingly online environment,” said Allyn Decker, Vice Chancellor of Ivy Tech Warsaw. “These laptops have a real, tangible impact on our students’ ability to succeed in their academic journey. With the help of our community partner, Lake City Bank, we’re giving our students the necessary tools to complete their degrees and achieve their career goals.”

Under this program, students were able to borrow a laptop for two weeks and then extend the loan to an entire semester if the laptop was maintained properly through bi-monthly security and maintenance checks. If the student maintained good academic standing at the end of the term and enrolled for the next semester’s classes, the laptop’s ownership could be permanently transferred to the student in need.

“I struggled with taking in-person classes since I do not drive and a laptop was an answer to a few of my challenges,” said April Harrison, a current Ivy Tech Warsaw student who now owns a laptop through Laptop Loan-to-Own. “Having this program available to me has kept my education going. I believe these types of programs offered to students are a big help to many struggling students.”

This program would not be possible without the generous support and donations from Lake City Bank. Special thanks go to David Findlay, CEO of Lake City Bank, Angie Ritchey, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, and Chris Merrill, Vice President and Technology Services Manager.

The Warsaw Laptop Loan-to-Own program is just one of four programs Ivy Tech has implemented in its Fort Wayne and Warsaw service area. Through these efforts, more than 100 laptops have been made available to students since the pandemic started. Students needing access to laptops, can contact Chris Douse at cdouse@ivytech.edu.

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