As if you needed to be reminded, college is not cheap. These days college students are faced with rising costs, mounting student loan debt and the fear that when they get out of college with that glorious degree they won’t have a job. No matter your message to college students heading into the workforce, the ones heading into college could use all the help they can get. This is the reason that Microsoft has launched a seasonal program aimed at putting Windows PCs in the hands of college students. The program is called “Chip In,” and is using crowdsourcing to cover the PC costs.
Microsoft will pitch in a 10% discount on the available PCs in the Microsoft Store, waive any shipping, handling or tax and toss in a free copy of Office 365 University for the first 10,000 students. Then it is up to the student to crowdsource the remainder of the PC cost via the Chip In site. With the prevalence of Kickstarter and Indiegogo for funding projects, this is a simpler crowdfuding site aimed at the most important project of all — the future of this nation through education. How was that for profound? Any student with a .edu email address can participate in the program. They create their “giving page” and start the process of begging family and friends for money. Unlike in the past, there is no longer any shame in asking the world for money. We live in a crowdsourced universe. If you can donate to random Kickstarters for invisible board games, you can help college students get PCs for school.
“We know that heading to college is one of the top reasons students buy a new PC — it’s a powerful tool to support their education and stay in touch with their families and friends,” said Kristina Libby, head of Consumer Communications for Windows. “With Chip In from Microsoft, students can leverage the power of their social networks to help them get a new PC and Office 365 University this back-to-school season.”
Chip In runs now through Sept. 1, 2013 and is a good way for college students to not only get a brand new PC, but to learn about the humility found within crowdsourcing. Being an active Kickstarter and DonorsChoose.org giver, I know there are people out there who have no problem giving money to those that need it. While this isn’t exactly feeding the homeless and is certainly a middle class charity, college students still need PCs. Many college students are tapped out as far as costs, and while we might think that PC cost isn’t a deal breaker for many students it is just that. The Chip In program at least offers a way for students to eliminate one cost from their laundry list of “becoming an adult” expenditures.
Some of the PCs being offered within the context of the program are the Lenovo IdeaPad 13, Acer S7 Ultrabook and HP ENVY x2. The full list of PCs and rules of the program can be found at www.windowschipin.com.