How do I participate in this program, and is there a cost?

Access is free for UC Berkeley undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Complete this application to be considered.

When is the application deadline?

For Fall 2020, please apply by the priority application deadline of July 15, 2020. After that date, applications will continue to be accepted and assistance will be provided until our inventory is depleted.

How do I find out if I'll be receiving a device from this program?

After you submit your application, we will verify your eligibility by email to inform you about whether a device that meets your needs is available.  Applicants who apply before July 15, 2020 will get a confirmation email by early August, 2020. 

When might I receive a device?

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting supply chains and delivery times. We are doing our best to meet students' technology needs expediently. Students who applied by July 15, 2020 and who met our eligibility criteria will have a device shipped to them at the start of August 2020 so that they are delivered in time for the start of Fall 2020 instruction. After that, we will mail students devices in batches shipped twice weekly until our inventory is exhausted.  

Can you send devices internationally?

No, we ship only within the United States, and we cannot ship to US territories.  

Who can I reach out to with questions?

Please send questions to

What other equipment is available?

Part of the application will allow you to inform us of any other equipment you may need for your studies (e.g. headphone, webcam, stand alone microphone, etc.). These items will be considered based on instructional need.

Do I get to choose which device I get?

Almost all students will receive a Lenovo ThinkPad if they are in need of a laptop and a SonimXP8 if they are in need of a hotspot. We will contact you individually if it is not possible to provide these options and we must offer something else from our inventory.  


Loan Duration


Specs and Other Notes

Hotspot: Somin XP8, served by AT&T Up to 12 months Fall 2020: 
Order pending
Hardware and free 12-month service plan available. For students living in AT&T service area only. See Q&As for more information here.
Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad E495 14" Ryzen 7 Up to 4 years Fall 2020:
3,300 on order, expected August 2020

Comprehensive info on Lenovo ThinkPad E495 14" Ryzen 7

  • Processor: Ryzen 7
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit English, French, Spanish
  • RAM:16GB 
  • Hard Drive: 512GB SSD
  • Support: 4 Year accidental damage protection and premier support 

Does the University offer tech support?

Student Technology Services provides tech support for all students Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Contact or 510-642-HELP.

Where should I return my device?

Students should return any hardware loaned through STEP either within two weeks of their graduation or within four years of the loan date, whichever is sooner. If a student fails to make satisfactory academic progress, they are also required to return the device. The device return procedure is routinely evolving due to COVID-19; please email to arrange return.

I am not returning to campus.  Can you mail me a device?

STEP will mail students devices at addresses within the US, but cannot ship to US territories nor internationally.

I live in campus housing.  Can I get a hotspot? 

Students living in campus housing are not eligible for a hotspot, with the exception of those residing in University Village. Please contact the Student Technology Services Helpdesk with questions about internet access. The Helpdesk  is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., by phone and email (510-642-HELP,