Yes, please update when you know what the deal is.
PSA: If you're going to buy a computer and want to take advantage of HLS' so-generous contribution reduction (http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/sfs/basics/pamphlet.php#debt),
DON'T BUY YOUR COMPUTER UNTIL AFTER JULY 1! They don't tell you this online or anything, but only computers bought after the end of June are eligible.
(Yes, I just bought mine last week when the financial aid office wasn't replying to my emails. They got back to me today with the above information -- *grumble, grumble*)
But on this page
Any computer purchased prior to June 15th of the summer before you enter HLS or after April 2nd of the year you graduate cannot be considered an "education-related" expense. Therefore, we cannot help you finance its purchase.
Yeah, I caught that too. I think the difference is that the page you linked is for computer loans, and the program I inquired about is for reducing the student contribution. There's a link from the page I linked to that would seem like it would have the details on this program (and the consumer debt payoff program), but it leads to a 404 error.
The woman who emailed me today did indicate that the list of covered accessories (monitor, etc.) on the page you linked applies to the reduction program, too.
What is the deal with this? Does this mean that the computer I buy this summer will count but the student debt that I payed off in April will not?
Also since they take this amount away from your student contribution, does that mean that they give you more grants in exchange?
Yeah, I mean that's what I interpreted it to mean. That's what I hope will happen. My personal case is now being discussed by the financial aid committee, so we'll see what happens.
Alright, so it came out in my favor after all. Basically, you buy a computer and all the necessary accessories (per the linked list), certify in September that you bought them with your own assets and submit your receipts to the fin aid office, and they'll reduce your student contribution. Since I already managed to embarrass myself by buying before July 1, I wasn't about to press the person who contacted me for details on whether the reduction would be redistributed among loans, grants, or both. But if someone else wants to try their hand...