What to Bring to Campus

USC Aiken Dell Premier Program

Computer Services is happy to announce that students, parents, faculty and staff now have access to special discounts from Dell on the purchase of new hardware and peripherals.

Discounts with this program can make a big difference in the price of your next computer purchase.

To take full advantage of available discounts, you may also want to consider joining the Dell Advantage Loyalty Program for 5% back in rewards and free 2nd day shipping!

Using your discount is easy! Just go to: www.dell.com/USCA and make your purchase. No further verification is required.

Other Hardware Discounts

Faculty, Staff and Students can also take advantage of educational discount pricing when purchasing computer hardware.

Many of the most popular hardware vendors, such as Apple, currently offer discounts through USC.  For information on purchasing hardware through their programs please see USC's UTS (University Technology Services) page: http://uts.sc.edu/computerpurchase/

However, please keep in mind that many hardware vendors also offer discounts on hardware for educational purposes.  To see if your preferred vendor offers these discounts to you, please refer to the educational pricing and programs section of their respective website.  In many cases the only requirement to receive these discounts is access to your USC Aiken email address.

Planning to purchase a new computer?  Be sure to check below for the recommended minimum specifications for a new computer. 

Already have a computer and just need to see if it will work on campus?  Generally, any computer purchased in the last four years and running a minimum operating system of Windows 7 for PCs or OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion for Macs, is eligible to connect to the campus network.

We recommend either Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.11.x El Capitan or macOS 10.12.x Sierra.  However, we do also provide limited support for Windows 7 (support ending soon), 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.9.x Mavericks (and newer).  Although other operating systems (such as Linux) may work with the campus network, they are not directly supported by Computer Services or the Computer Services Help Desk.

You are welcome to attempt using your system on campus if it does not meet these specifications, but we will be unable to assist you with troubleshooting or configuration.

Suggested Specifications for New Computer Purchase

The following are the recommended minimum specifications if you're purchasing a new computer:


  • 3.0 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor
  • 8 GB RAM 
  • 250 GB Hard Drive (SSD at least 256GB in size recommended)
  • macOS (Sierra) 
  • Gigabit Ethernet (Standard on all new models, except MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display)
  • 802.11ac 5GHz on laptops (5GHz is highly recommended for wi-fi in Residence Halls)
  • AppleCare Protection Plan
  • Bag to protect laptop, if applicable


  • 3.0 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB Hard Drive (SSD at least 256GB in size recommended)
  • Windows 10
  • Gigabit Ethernet (Standard on most models)
  • 802.11ac 5GHz on laptops (5GHz is highly recommended for wi-fi in Residence Halls)
  • Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for expected life of computer (Note: The 3 Year Enhanced Support plan is recommended for Dell systems.)
  • Bag to protect laptop, if applicable 
Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer supported on campus networks!  Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014 and Vista on April 11th, 2017.  XP and Vista systems are no longer able to connect to the campus network.

Microsoft Office 365 is Free for Students

Students may now download a full version of Office 365 for free.  Office 365 can then be installed on up to five different devices including Windows and Mac computers, iPads, and iOS, Android and Windows phones.

For more information, please see the Office 365 page.

Other Software

USC Aiken Faculty, Staff and Students are eligible to purchase many software packages (including: Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows) at deep educational discounts through USC Columbia Technology Services.

For more information on purchasing software through these programs, please visit USC's UTS (University Technology Services) website at: http://uts.sc.edu/softwarepurchase/

As always, feel free to contact us at the Help Desk if you need assistance.

5 GHz wireless adapters are needed for best results in residence halls and work best across the rest of campus offering a greatly improved connection.  If you're buying a new computer or wireless adapter be sure it supports connecting to wi-fi at 5GHz (your sales person should be able to assist you with this).  5GHz adapters offer a much more stable connection resulting in vastly improved performance on the campus wi-fi over older 2.4GHz adapter connections. Residence halls at USCA were upgraded to new 5GHz access points during summer 2016. Most laptops and devices purchased in the last 5 years will already be able to use this new technology.  Devices which don't can be upgraded with a USB wi-fi adapter to connect to the 5GHz wi-fi.

Students are welcome to bring personal printers for use in their dorm rooms.  However, these printers should not be used wirelessly.

Wireless printers are no longer allowed on campus because a printer's wireless connection interferes with secure networks, causing those in surrounding areas to be kicked off Wi-Fi. 

Wireless printers have proven to be the #1 cause of students dropping Wi-Fi connections in housing. Connecting to personal printers wirelessly can cause connection issues for other devices in the area.  As a result, any printer with active wireless connections found on campus will be disabled.

If you plan to bring a printer to campus, any wireless features must be disabled and a USB cable used instead to connect to your computer. The Help Desk can help you find instructions for disabling wireless on your printer.




Storage Size

4 GB

at least 16 GB


USB 2.0

USB 3.x