The College Trifecta: Acceptance, Finances, and a Solid Laptop

What is the educational trifecta? It means getting three important things done, all within a short time span. Getting into the school of your choice is step one. Step two is arranging to pay for your education, and step three is finding just the right laptop so you can breeze through your homework, tutorials, and online classes with ease. If you’ve been wondering about how to achieve one, two, or all three of these essential tasks, here’s a brief overview about each, as well as a list of four workhorse laptops that will help you get the job done and earn your degree.

Getting In

If you have decent grades, took part in at least two extracurricular activities in high school, have excellent references, and write an essay on your application, you should be able to get into at least half of the colleges on your top-ten list. One common pitfall is submitting a sub-par essay. Write and revise this all-important part of the app until you think it’s perfect. Then, have three working professionals critique it for you. Make one last revision and submit.

Covering All the Expenses

Once you’re down to the short-list of schools, the subject of financing will inevitably come up. Don’t eliminate an excellent college just because of cost. Remember, it’s entirely possible to take out a private student loan and get all your education expenses covered. There’s a simple online guide that explains everything perfectly. In fact, getting student loans without a cosigner is an achievable goal for anyone. The bottom line is that with financial assistance available, you should not let total college costs get in the way of your educational dreams.

And remember, there’s more to college costs than tuition. You might also have to cover room, board, several kinds of student association fees, travel between home and campus a couple times per year, a modest amount of spending money, selecting your textbooks, lab fees, sports club fees, and more. When figuring your total expenses for a given semester, be sure to account for every item.

Having the Right Laptop

Here are the four best laptops for college-bound students, based on value, functionality, and reliability:

  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Looking for a budget-priced computer (under $300) that can handle light to medium-duty tasks for college students? This low-priced unit meets the need. Plus, it doubles as a tablet because it comes with a detachable keyboard.
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Featuring a C-port USB, a powerful processor, and two-in-one functionality as a tablet or laptop, this mid-priced laptop (about $600) is a Windows champ that comes with plenty of upgrades from the prior model. Works for college, grad school, or casual use.
  • Apple MacBook Air: Priced right at under $1,000, this powerful unit is vastly superior to its immediate predecessors. Plus, it’s versatile enough to serve well no matter what your major. It handles numerical and word-based tasks equally well.
  • Acer Swift 5: Ruggedly built and packed with power, this $900 laptop is Acer’s newest version of the Swift 5, featuring a 14-inch screen and ultra-light construction. As good or better than all non-Mac offerings at its price point, and functions well for college or grad students in any field of study.
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