First off remember that she will be toting this thing around all day. Size is important. Find a balance between usable key board size and functional screen size. Solid state drive is nice but if the unit has a decent cpu and a generous amount of memory the ssd should not be a deal breaker. Remember if considering Apple that Apple OS is unix based, Windows is not. Compatibility with the school is important. You might consider a 12-14" screen for weight savings, and you can always add a wireless keyboard, mouse when she is using it at home Helps a lot with typing long papers etc. AMD or Intel your choice. Intel based system will tend to be a bit more expensive but that becomes your preference. either base will be adequately fast for what you describing her needs are. Good point of advise, take her shopping and see what she likes and what she feels comfortable with. She will be spending a lot of time on the thing so it ought to fit her, and that ultimately is the most important criteria. Good luck with the computer and goo luck to her with her education.