Student Technology Equity Program: A COVID-Relief Effort

Connecting laptops and other hardware to students with high COVID-related need

Background image: Jenny McNulty with a carload of laptops

What is different about STEP for 2021-22?

  • Overall: STEP did not receive continued funding for 2021-22. As a result, we have limited inventory that we can issue to new applicants, since 65-70% of our devices are still on loan to previous receipients at the University.
  • Laptops and peripheral devices: The minimum standard for eligibility has increased, due to our limited inventory. This is to ensure that students with the greatest convergence of financial need, COVID-related need, and instructional role receive priority consideration.
  • Hotspots: STEP is no longer able to offer new hotspots during 2021-22. Those who received a hotspot previously may retain the physical device, but will need to assume responsibility for their own personal service plan if they wish to maintain hotspot service.

Apply for STEP

If you are an undergraduate, graduate or professional student in need of hardware or internet access:

  • STEP is accepting applications on a rolling basis throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, while supplies last. Fall 2021 applications will be accepted from July 6 to November 24, 2021. For priority consideration, apply by July 23, 2021.
  • Complete this application to be considered for a free loaner laptop or other peripherals (e.g. webcam, headphones, etc.). 
  • We will review your application and determine eligibility based on the convergence of financial need, COVID-related need, and instructional role.
  • Have other questions? Check out STEP FAQs.

Other Free / Low Cost Technology Resources

Contact STEP 

Questions about this program should be directed to ucbstep@berkeley.edu or schedule a one-on-one Zoom-based appointment.


Student Tech Fund logo

STEP is sponsored by the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education with funds provided by central campus. Additional funding and operation is provided by the Student Technology Fund.