Computers and Technology for College | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Computers and Technology for College

As an NWACC student, you may have questions regarding the types of computers or technology that can help you complete your college coursework. The following information can offer you a great starting point when deciding what type of computer and technology best fit your needs.


NWACC recommends that students use a Windows desktop or laptop computer. A Mac will also work fine for most classes. Chromebooks are not recommended because they are not compatible with software required for some classes.

The best technology for you will depend on several factors, including your budget and the classes you will be taking. For most students, a basic Windows computer will work. Be sure to read more information below regarding special technology that some degrees may require.

If you need to purchase a computer for college, the following computer specifications are ideal for researching, typing papers, composing email, and other common tasks.

Computer Specifications

Component Good Better Best
Operating System *Windows 10 or 11 *Windows 10 or 11 *Windows 10 or 11
RAM 4 GB 8 GB 8 GB
Hard Drive 128 GB
SSD Preferred

256 GB
SSD Preferred

512 GB
SSD Preferred

*Computers running Microsoft Windows 10 “S” version do not support testing software that may be used primarily in math, science, and health professions courses. Please consult with your device manufacturer or a tech support service regarding whether to switch to the full version of Windows 10. 


  • Webcam: A webcam is recommended to participate in remote or online class activities. A webcam is built into most laptops, and may be purchased as an accessory if you have a desktop computer.

  • Internet: You will need to have internet access, which may be in your home, a local library, at an NWACC location, or using WIFI at other locations in your community.
    • FREE Wifi: NWACC offers FREE wifi in any college building and the parking lots outside of Burns Hall and the Washington County building have Wifi boosters so you can connect while outside those buildings. Learn more about wifi/internet access options

  • Special software: Some classes will have specific technology that you will need for that class – special software or other items. Courses that require certain hardware or software will disclose that in the course notes on the schedule of classes each semester.

  • Get FREE Office 365: As an NWACC student, you have free access to Office 365 applications such as Word, Excel, Power Point, etc. Use your NWACC email and password to log in, and then download on your device or use in the cloud. (Begins at the beginning of the semester, for credit students only.)

Specific Programs

Some college programs will require a specific type of computer to work with software and other computer peripherals. If you plan on enrolling in one of the programs listed below, be sure to view the recommended computer specifications.   

Storage 1 TB
Graphic Needs Full 1920 X 108060Hz refresh

RAM 8 GB (minimum, more would be better)
Storage 500 GB
Graphic Needs NA

Storage 500 GB
Graphic Needs 1080P + screen rezGPU: Nvidia GTX 1050+ Dedicated VRAM 2GB


RAM 16GB  (RAM in Apple laptops cannot be upgraded later)
Storage 250GB minimum
CPU Intel Core i5 or i7
Display 15 in., 1440 x 900 pixels, minimum
Video Card A discrete video card with dedicated RAM


Shopping & Paying for a Computer / Technology

There are many places where you can purchase technology. These include stores in your local community and online vendors, as well as the NWACC Bookstore. Shop around for the best deals using the specifications given above.


Don't Own a Computer?

Access computers and other technology at the NWACC-Benton County and NWACC- Washington County locations. 

Access Computers on the Bentonville Campus:

  • Pauline Whitaker Library and Information Commons: BH1304 and BH1217 (PCs in library have cameras; free earbuds). View hours.
  • Center for Health Professions, Room 3055
  • Shewmaker Global Business Development Building, room 1022*
  • Shewmaker Global Business Development Building computer lab, room 1048*

* You will need to know your BCIS network username and password to use computers in this building.  Call ahead to be sure they are open as hours can change. Contact 479-986-4068 or 479-619-4350.

Access Computers at the Washington County Location:

  • The Pat and Williard Walker Information Commons: WC111, (PCs in library have cameras; free earbuds). View hours.