The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Computer Purchase

The information below applies to initial new computer purchases and to the replacement of existing machines.


The college and the university recognize how important reliable, current, and effective computer technology is to the work done by its staff and faculty members and procedures have been established for updating it regularly.

Initial computer purchases, typically for newly hired faculty members, should begin with the online request form below.

Aging computers in HFA are replaced routinely once they have been in service a minimum of four (4) years and according to the college’s Computer Renewal Program guidelines.  Replacements may be PC or Apple computers and can generally be laptop or desktop units.  The college’s contribution toward the cost depends on the age of the computer being replaced and is unrelated to the preferred machine’s cost.

Age of computer being replaced

HFA replacement funds available

< 4 years

Ineligible for replacement*

4 – 5 years


> 5 years


* excluding machines that experience irreparable failure.

Because the college contribution toward a new computer is generally less than the total replacement cost, other university funding must be used. 

Staff:  The difference between the cost of a new computer and the college’s contribution will be covered by the department. 

Faculty:  Several funding sources are available.  Applications for the Chancellor’s Computer Renewal Funds are solicited once each academic year, usually early each spring semester.  (Spring 2021 is an exception when there will be no funding round.)  Faculty members should keep track of their device’s age and plan to submit a request for these funds when their machine approaches the college’s guidelines for replacement eligibility (4 or 5 years) so this opportunity will not be lost.  Chancellor funds provide $1,500 toward a new computer’s cost.  N.B.  Only requests that meet the college’s eligibility guidelines will be approved.  Faculty members for whom $2,100 ($1,500 + $600) or $2,300 ($1,500 + $800) is insufficient, will need to supplement these sums with research, start-up, or department funds. 

Faculty may also use available money in research, start-up, and other department accounts.  MSP-Research Support Funds are not generally approved for the acquisition of new computers, except when Chancellor funds are unavailable.


Questions?  Contact Joanne Dolan or Lynne Latham