Morehouse College announced Saturday that the school has partnered with Microsoft to provide Surface tablets to all newly enrolled students.
The partnership was announced on YouTube during Morehouse’s “Virtual Admitted Students Day,” where newly enrolled students and their families got their first look at college life, albeit remotely.
In a news release, Morehouse officials said the initiative will help address the digital divide for new students in the 2020-21 academic year by ensuring those whose families are struggling financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic “will be prepared for a successful transition to college.”
“Students of historically black colleges or universities are more likely to be impacted by what is known as the digital divide, the gap between those who have access to the internet and technology necessary for homework assignments and those who do not,” the school wrote in its release.
Of the nearly 2,200 students who attend Morehouse, more than 90% qualify for financial aid. Currently, all classes and pre-college summer programs are only available online.
The new tablets, which run Windows 10, can be used in either tablet or desktop mode.
“The digital divide is another battlefield in the fight for social justice because it is directly linked to income disparities between racial groups,” Morehouse President David A. Thomas said in a statement. “Black and brown families are at the lowest rungs of the household income scale.”
Thomas said nearly half of all adults with an annual household income of $30,000 do not have a computer for themselves or their children to use.
“We are grateful to Microsoft for partnering with us to help level the playing field in technology for our new students,” he said.