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OSU, Apple Launch Program To Give Incoming Freshmen Free iPads

ipad in college classroom
U.S. Naval War College

Need an iPad? Enroll at Ohio State.

Under a new partnership announced Wednesday, beginning in autumn 2018, all incoming first-year students at all Ohio State campuses will get free iPads.

Under a partnership thought to be the first of its kind for both Ohio State and Apple, OSU will get the 10.5-inch, 256GB iPads at a discounted price. The devices sell for $799 on Apple’s website.

The iPads are part of a larger effort Ohio State has branded “the Digital Flagship University,” which will also mean a new iOS design laboratory that OSU says will serve faculty, staff, students and members of the broader community.

The lab will be on the Columbus campus and is expected to open in the spring of 2018.

OSU will also offer a new course on Swift computer programming.

“We are establishing our Digital Flagship University initiative by combining the resources and talents of an international technology leader and one of the most comprehensive public universities in the world,” Ohio State President Michael Drake said in a written statement.

The iPads will be given to all incoming freshmen and the three classes after them, Drake says, but they will not be provided to students already enrolled.

“This unique program will give students access to the incredible learning tools on iPad, as well as Apple’s new coding curriculum that teaches critical skills for jobs in some of the country’s fastest-growing sectors,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a statement released by OSU.