There is always that risk, of theft, but if the soon-to-be uni student has been properly vetted and is interested and vested in this then the risk is much less than it could be. Surely she can be trusted to keep it out of sight when not needed, and if there is doubt a simple conversation should take care of that. Also buying a crappy, cheap computer instead of a decent or even good computer could inhibit her enthusiasm and make it more likely that she fails or bails. There's a lot to be said for having the right tools, and attitude is a large part of success.
What's the difference in price, just a few hundred $$$ for most between a cheap feeling, slow computer and one that is quick, snappy, and a joy to use? IS it really worth that compromise when it is very likely to impact the probability of success?