All Freshmen and New Transfer Students Eligible to Receive Free iPad


California State University, Bakersfield, will open an era of unprecedented access and achievement for new students by providing a free iPad to all incoming freshmen and new transfer students who register for the CSUCCESS initiative – or California State University Connectivity Contributing to Equity and Student Success.

“CSUCCESS will assure that students have immediate access to innovate, new mobile tools they need to support their learning,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “The new initiative will establish a foundation for their achievement and has the potential to play a key role in eliminating stubborn equity gaps among our talented and diverse students. In addition to truly addressing equity and access, we see these as powerful tools as we prepare our students for their future careers.”

Though the numbers continue to shift as more students complete the enrollment process, CSUB is anticipating roughly 2,700 new students will be eligible for the program, which is operated by the California State University in partnership with eight of the system’s 23 campuses, including CSUB. Some 35,000 students from participating campuses will be eligible to receive the technology, beginning with the fall 2021 term.

The vast majority of CSUB’s students are the first in their families to attend college, and 65 percent of undergraduates receive Pell Grants, a key indicator of financial need. During the pandemic, CSUB worked to bridge the equity divide by loaning hot spots and laptops to nearly 1,000 students so that they could continue their education in a remote-learning environment.

THE CSUCCESS initiative builds on that outreach by offering an iPad Air, Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard Folio to all incoming first-year and transfer students who register to participate. Students will use the iPad bundle for the entirety of their undergraduate experience at the CSU.

The retail value of the iPad and all accessories is $905, but the CSU was able to negotiate 15% savings. A full accounting of expenses will be available in the fall after all students have received their equipment and we have been able to calculate the total demand.

During the initial phase, campuses will support the purchase of the devices in a variety of ways, including through savings and reserves accumulated over time for new programs, reimbursements for revenue lost during the pandemic, and investments in the CSU by the state as part of the 2021-22 budget.

Funding for future phases is still to be determined, but the university is actively seeking additional sources of revenue and partnerships to continue and expand the program in future phases.

“I am convinced that true and consistent student success depends on having a modern, and more importantly, reliable, computing device in our students’ possession beginning on day one and continuing throughout their college experience,” added Castro. We aspire to have additional phases of the initiative that will expand access to more new and current students.”

Eligible CSUB students who wish to register for the program should visit

For CSUB student who are not eligible for the initial phase of the program but need assistance with access to technology, please visit

Joining CSUB in the initiative are the CSU campuses at Channel Islands, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Maritime Academy, Northridge and San Marcos.