Consider a laptop that has a replaceable battery, or else, you will be there at the charging station a few times a day.
Macbooks get hot and you know when you study for hours on end you want to lay down, put it on the bed etc, macs are in one word, horrible for school.
Go for a DV7T from HP, its big, but its light for a 17 inch notebook at 10 pounds total with extra battery (are those 2-3 pounds going to make the difference?)
Why I recommend DV7T?
Of all the notebooks I have used, owned and fixed, this ones the most solid, cool running 4 hour on a single battery Multimedia workhorse to boot!, its an impressive med range laptop that's very easy to use and easy on the eyes and HP is by a great margin superior to Apples warranty service.
you don't really need anything other then a P type CPU instead of the stock T, quad core or Gaming i7 type and you should run into a cost of no more then 900$ total if you order direct and use a coupon code that could easily be found on any search engine.
if you really want professional grade, go for an IBM/LENOVO Tablet (what all engineering students are required to have for schooling), I do warn you they can exceed 5000$ but with them you really get what you pay for, their quality, Warranty and customer support are spoken of in a soft whisper by their competitors.
Also, you get a tax credit for primary (1000$) students and for secondary students (2000$) on laptops to be used for schooling.
this is last I checked about 6 months ago.
As a Humana member, you receive the EyeMed Vision Discount program at no cost to you. EyeMed offers access to 35,000 national providers at 20,000 locations including optometrists.promotional offers, and the discount does not apply to EyeMed provider's professional services, or contact lenses.Plan code: 9235987.