Inside Counts

CSUN Device Loaner Program: User Characteristics And Academic Outcomes

 Categories: Equity Gap |First Time Freshman | Student Success |Transfer Students  

PDF iconCSUN Device Loaner Program: User Characteristics And Academic Outcomes

Want to be notified when there’s a new report?  


Given the expansion of online learning in the past few years, it has become increasingly important that colleges and universities provide students with the resources necessary to learn.¹ The Device Loaner Program at CSUN gives students the opportunity to borrow a device (laptop, headset, internet hotspot, webcam) to use throughout the semester. The current study seeks to examine the following questions about the program:

  1. Which devices do students utilize from CSUN’s Device Loaner Program?
  2. Which students are more likely to borrow devices?
  3. Is borrowing a device associated with improved academic outcomes?


This study demonstrates that participating in the Device Loaner Program is associated with improved academic outcomes. In particular, hotspot borrowing was positively associated with first-year GPA. Among Latinx students, device borrowing was reliably associated with positive academic outcomes. Latinx and African American students who borrowed a device had comparable first-year GPAs to White students. Device borrowing also had a positive impact on student success for female, first-generation, and Pell Grant students. 

The academic impact of  CSUN’s Device Loaner Program are similar to those of the CSUCCESS program, another type of device loaning program for first-time students, further demonstrating that there may be both academic and psychological benefits to having device loaning programs. That is, students who borrow devices such as a hotspot or laptop may not only be able to have the opportunity to use a device that is pivotal to their success, but they may also feel supported by the university to be successful. Further examination of this finding could include focus groups or interviews with students to participated in one or more of these programs.