Microsoft offers to "chip in" for your (or your kid's) college computer

If you're thinking of buying a PC for a student this summer, Microsoft wants to offer you a deal you won't refuse

Every summer, computer companies roll out the back-to-school offers, with things like a free Xbox or free iPod with your computer purchase. While Microsoft might have another offer in the works for later, right now it's offering to contribute to your PC-buying campaign.

Yes, that's right, a campaign. The Chip In program encourages anyone with an .edu email address to crowdsource their next Windows PC. Microsoft will contribute 10% of the cost of your selected Windows PC and throw in Office 365 University. You create a profile and then beg cajole ask family and friends to contribute to your cause.

So basically it's a 10% discount on a Windows PC from the Microsoft Store and free Office 365 University, with a Kickstarter-like element thrown in (you know, to teach kids some entrepreneurial skills). Of course, you could contribute the 90% needed to buy the laptop.

The program runs through September 1st.

I'm a big fan of Microsoft's Store because it's one of the few places that doesn't charge a restocking fee and it has a generous return policy. That said, you should also compare this offer with any computer deals or discounts provided by your school itself, because those could be substantial.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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