STEP FAQs

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?

The deadline to apply for a STEP device in time for the start of the Fall 2021 semester is to be announced.  April 30, 2021 was the deadline to apply to receive a STEP-provided device in time for Summer Session B in 2021.  

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

After a student submits an application, they receive an immediate email confirmation and a receipt showing their complete form submission.  Next, STEP  verifies that the student meets eligibility requirements and that the device(s) that meets their needs are available.  This process can take 10-12 days.  

When will I receive a device?

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the global supply chain. We are doing our best to meet students' technology needs expediently. We mail students devices in batches shipped regularly.  We also offer curbside pickup, per the table below.  

Can you send devices internationally?

No, we ship only within the United States. We cannot ship to US territories or internationally due to customs and insurance.  

Do you offer curbside pickup? 

During the academic year, we offer students the ability to pick up a device via curbside pickup in Eshleman Hall's lobby. Students queue up in Lower Sproul Plaza. Social distancing, wearing a face covering, and other COVID-19 safety precautions must be observed at all times. Please note that if the air quality index surpasses 150, we may temporarily suspend pickup until the air quality improves. Service updates and additional curbside pickup dates throughout the year will be added below as they are scheduled.  Currently scheduled curbside pickup dates are as follows:

Date and Time Items Available 
Laptops
Hotspots

Drawing Tablets

Webcams

Microphones

Headphones

Fall 2021 curbside pickup dates will be announced in July 2021

NA NA NA NA NA NA

Who can I reach out to with questions? 

Please send questions to ucbstep@berkeley.edu.

Does STEP offer office hours?

Yes, please see the schedule below for confidential one-on-one Zoom-based office hours staffed by a STEP team member. Office hours are offered throughout the course of the year on an ongoing basis. Please select the link of each individual team member to see their availability and schedule and appointment:

Luz Contreras Corona, STEP Program Associate

Jenny McNulty, Student Technology Fund (STF) Analyst


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?

Students will receive a device(s) from our hardware inventory.  We will contact you individually if it is not possible to provide these options and we must offer something else.  

Does the University offer tech support?

Student Technology Services provides tech support for all students via Zoom, phone and email seven days a week (view schedule). Contact sts-help@berkeley.edu or 510-642-HELP.  Some hardware offered through STEP also has a service plan with a private vendor.  See the table in hardware inventory for more information.

Before contacting someone for technical assistance, please review this guideline. Failure to follow these instructions will result in a loss of data.

How do I get tech support for a STEP-provided device?  

For laptops, contact Lenovo Premier Support at 855-669-3600.  For AT&T hotspots, call AT&T at 1-800-999-5445 and ask for Advanced Technical Support.  AT&T will verify each student's identity and contact UC Berkeley Telecom to confirm that the student is a STEP recipient. For other devices, contact Student Tech Services, as described above.  If the problem cannot be resolved, please inform STEP at ucbstep@berkeley.edu so that we can try to help find a solution such as replacing the device.

When and how 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. All students must complete the STEP Tech Return Certification to initiate the technology returns process and receive further instructions.

Check out STEP's Mailing Returns Guide  or STEP's Curbside Returns Guide for more information.

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 provides support  via Zoom, phone and email seven days a week (view schedule).

Where can I learn about STEP's own program assessment? 

STEP publishes aggregated data on its applicant pool in real time.  Additional analysis on distribution progress, program outcomes, and more are forthcoming.  Learn about STEP's own program assessment here.