Also, as far as bloatware elimination, if you're getting a new machine you can accomplish that in one fell swoop by reinstalling Windows 10 sourced via the Microsoft Media Creation tool as virtually your first step once you get an account setup.
It's the cleanest version of Windows 10 you can get, and almost certain to be more recent than what's shipped on any machine that's been on the shelf.
If money is an object, and clearly it is (and I understand that all too well), you would be far better off looking at factory refurbished PCs with better specs than most Chromebooks with a cost below a new Chromebook.
The last 3 laptops I've acquired were HP factory refurbished and they were indistinguishable from brand new with the exception of the packaging they came in.
To be honest, do not buy a refurbished Chrome book. You would be better suited to a used or refurbished windows machine.
For college, I assume you are going to type a lot. A cramped keyboard on an 11in laptop of any kind will make you hate your assignments even more.
Also, the 16 or 32gb storage these Chromebooks come with is insufficient for holding much at all. If you buy refurbished, you might not even get the "free" cloud space to store documents and stuff with the machine.
Also, only the cut down mobile versions of Microsoft Office apps can be used on a Chromebook. You will be stuck with Google substitutes.
Core I7 CPU (an older dual-core with a 3.7ghz turbo, but still loads better than a new Celeron)
15.6 in HD screen
Comes with battery and charger
Refurbished from Newegg
Lenovo Thinkpads are very solid and well-built laptops with tons of ports and usually solid keyboards.
This laptop is very thick and may not have great battery life, but its much better in every other way compared to a similarly priced Chromebook.