August 14, 2020

Students Get Free Laptops & Internet Hotspots to Close Digital Divide

Back-to-School Plans Include Notable Authors Nikki Giovanni & Ibram Kendi at Virtual Orientation

Interested in the Bulldog Loaner Laptop Program?
Eligible BSU students will receive an email about the Bulldog Loaner Laptop Program to indicate their need for a laptop for the fall 2020 semester. If you have questions, contact

(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University is providing free laptops to incoming freshmen, new transfer students and returning sophomores in need, as well as internet hotspots for all students who need it, as part of back-to-school plans to help close the digital divide and promote academic success.

Bowie State will also welcome hundreds of new students with a largely virtual orientation that features iconic poet and author Nikki Giovanni and New York Times best-selling author and race scholar Ibram X. Kendi.

The move by Maryland’s oldest historically black college or university (HBCU) to provide students with free laptops and internet service comes as many more students will need to prepare for distance learning, as part of Bowie State’s Fall 2020 Return-to-Campus Plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university is using its share of federal CARES Act funding relief for colleges and universities to cover the costs of meeting students’ technology needs.

“Technology is no longer an amenity it is a necessity for student success. Students entering our universities today are part of the digital generation, yet COVID-19 highlighted technological disparities across communities," said Bowie State President Aminta H. Breaux. “Our goal is to bridge the digital divide and assure that no BSU student suffers academically due to a need for technological resources.”

Once students successfully enroll for fall 2020 and indicate a technology need, Bowie State will initiate the process to issue a laptop and provide internet hotspot service. Students receiving laptops can keep them until they graduate, as long as they remain enrolled at the university. The internet hotspots will be loaned to the students and free for them to use during the loan period. 

Freshman students who plan to live on campus in fall 2020 will move into the residence halls August 17-21. All residential students must submit a negative COVID-19 test result before arriving on campus and get another free test from BSU once they arrive on campus. Each student will be assigned a two-hour window to move in, with a limited number of guests allowed to help.

Planned in-person activities will help engage the incoming students during freshman move-in week and the August 24-28 new student orientation including game nights and a scavenger hunt, with strict mask and social distancing requirements. The fall 2020 semester begins Monday, August 31 with a mix of mostly online courses, as well as in-person and hybrid instruction primarily for freshman students.


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit


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