How to Get a Free Laptop for College| TOP 55 Colleges that offer free Laptops

How to Get a Free Laptop for College| TOP 55 Colleges that offer free laptops


How to Get a Free Laptop for College in 2023. Starting college can be an exciting but financially challenging time for students and their families. Aside from tuition, one major expense students face is purchasing school supplies, including laptops.

Fortunately, programs and opportunities are available to help alleviate this financial burden. This article explores the importance of discounted and free laptops for students and provides a comprehensive guide on where and how to obtain them.

The Importance of Discounted and Free Laptops for Students

Receiving a free or discounted laptop can significantly ease the financial strain on college students and their families. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average total cost of attendance for full-time, first-time students at four-year universities varies depending on living arrangements:

  • $26,800 for those living off-campus
  • $26,000 for those living on campus
  • $15,600 for those living with family

These costs encompass tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, and other living expenses. While financial aid is available, many students still need to pay more attention to their expenses, making free or discounted laptops valuable.

online colleges that offer free laptops 2023

Common Eligibility Criteria for Free Student Laptops

Organizations offering free or low-cost laptops typically require applicants to meet certain criteria, including:

  • Photo identification
  • Student identification or proof of enrollment
  • Proof that personal or family income falls within the organization’s requirements
  • Documentation demonstrating participation in government assistance programs (e.g., Federal Pell Grant, Medicaid, housing assistance)

Colleges Offering Free Laptop for College to Bridge the Digital Divide

Access to technology is indispensable for college students in today’s digital age. However, many students still face technology-related barriers that hinder their online learning experiences.

According to a 2021 report from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, around 19% of college students reported obstacles such as inadequate computer hardware or internet connections.

If you’re an online student, having a high-performing laptop is crucial for effective participation in virtual learning. Fortunately, many colleges now offer programs that provide Free Laptop for College to students, aiming to bridge the digital divide.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 55 colleges offering free or discounted laptops and other tech perks.

The Digital Divide: A Challenge for College Students

Online education has become increasingly prevalent, so the need for accessible technology has grown significantly. Unfortunately, not all students have equal access to the necessary hardware and software. Many colleges have developed initiatives to address this issue to provide students with the tools they need for success.

Next is the list of online colleges that offer free laptops.

55 Colleges That Offer Free or Discounted Laptops

At the very least, most colleges will connect you to student laptop discounts with tech companies like Apple and Dell. Some universities offer incoming students a free laptop they can keep even after graduating. These online colleges that offer free laptops and financial aid also.

Additionally, some colleges loan laptops to students for a semester at a time. Let’s take a look at the laptop policies at these 55 colleges:

SchoolLaptop PolicyEligibility
Alabama State UniversityFree loaner MacBook Pro laptops through Apple Loan ProgramCollege of Business and Administration students
American National UniversityFree laptops and softwareAll domestic students
Amridge UniversityDiscounted laptops through Chromebook programAll students
Azusa Pacific UniversityDiscounted laptops through CollegeBuysAll students
Auburn UniversityDiscounted laptops through Apple, Dell, HP, and IBMAll students
Bethel UniversityFree laptops or ChromebookAll undergraduates
California State University, BakersfieldFree loaner laptops through STEP ProgramStudents with demonstrated financial need
California State University, East BayFree loaner laptops can be checked out every semesterAll students (first come, first served)
California State University, FullertonFree loaner laptops can be checked out every semesterAll students (first come, first served)
Chatham UniversityFree 13-inch MacBook Air laptops, cases, and backpacksAll first-year students; some transfer students
Dakota State UniversityFree Dell laptopsAll full-time first-year students
Davenport UniversityDiscounted laptops through participating vendorsAll students
Drexel UniversityDiscounted laptops through participating vendorsAll students
Eastern Kentucky UniversityDiscounted laptops through EKU’s Barnes & Noble bookstoreAll students
Harvard UniversityDiscounted laptops through Apple and DellAll students
Indiana State UniversityFree loaner laptopsCommuter students
Moravian UniversityFree MacBook Pro laptops and iPadsAll first-year students
Northwest Missouri State UniversityFree laptops and laptop repairsAll students
Oklahoma State UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through OrangeTechAll students
Park UniversityDiscounted laptops through participating vendorsAll students
Purdue UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through ITaP Shopping programAll students
Saint Leo UniversityFree loaner laptops through Department of Information TechnologyAll students (first come, first served)
San Diego State UniversityFree loaner laptops can be checked out from the libraryAll students (first come, first served)
Seattle Pacific UniversityDiscounted refurbished laptops through Computer and Information SystemsAll students
Seattle UniversityDiscounted laptops through participating vendorsAll students
Seton Hall UniversityFree laptops and softwareAll undergraduates
Southern Nazarene UniversityDiscounted laptops through DellAll undergraduates
Southern New Hampshire UniversityDiscounted laptops through Apple and DellAll students
St. John’s UniversityDiscounted laptops through Lenovo and AppleAll students
Stony Brook UniversityDiscounted laptops through DellAll students
Strayer UniversityFree laptops with Microsoft softwareNew and readmitted bachelor’s students
The Ohio State UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through Tech HubAll students
University of ArizonaDiscounted laptops and accessories through university BookStoresAll students
University of Arkansas, GranthamFree Lenovo laptopsAll students
University of California, BerkeleyDiscounted laptops and technology through participating vendorsAll students
University of California, DavisDiscounted Apple products, including laptops, through TechHUB at campus bookstoreAll continuing and professional education students
University of California, IrvineOne-time budget increase of $2,000 can be requested for a new laptop; discounted laptops also availableAll undergraduate students receiving financial aid
University of Central FloridaDiscounted Apple and Dell laptops through Computer StoreAll students
University of MichiganDiscounted laptops through Tech ShopAll students
University of Minnesota, CrookstonFree laptops and softwareAll on-campus students
University of Nevada, Las VegasDiscounted laptops through participating vendorsAll students
University of Texas at AustinDiscounted laptops and technology through Campus Computer Store and HiEd Tech StoreAll students
University of Texas at DallasDiscounted laptops and technology through Student Technology Initiative and HiEd Tech StoreAll students
University of Texas at San AntonioDiscounted laptops and technology through Campus Technology Store and HiEd Tech StoreAll students
University of Texas at TylerDiscounted laptops and technology through Dell and HiEd Tech StoreAll students
University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyDiscounted laptops and technology through HiEd Tech StoreAll students
Villanova UniversityDiscounted Apple and Dell laptops through Partner Purchase ProgramAll students
Wake Forest UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through WakeWareUndergraduate students
Washington State UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through CORETECHAll students
Western Washington UniversityDiscounted laptops and technology through participating vendorsAll students

How to Get a Free or Discounted Laptop for College

If you need a laptop or computer for college, there are several avenues to explore:

Choose a School With a Laptop Program

Many colleges offer laptop lending programs, allowing students to borrow laptops for a specific period. For instance, Santa Ana College’s Digital Dons program enables students to borrow a laptop for one term at a time.

Use Scholarship, Grant, or Loan Money

Certain scholarships and grants may cover expenses beyond tuition and fees, including books and supplies like laptops or tablets. Explore your financial aid options to determine if you can use these funds to acquire a computer.

Purchase From Companies That Offer Student Discounts

Numerous tech companies provide education discounts directly to students. For example, Lenovo offers a 5% discount for students and teachers who verify their ID using Apple and Dell also offer education discounts on select laptops.

Look for Used and Refurbished Tech

Another cost-effective option is to purchase a used or refurbished laptop. Websites like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp allow sellers to list new or used items, including laptops, in their local markets. However, exercise caution when dealing with third-party vendors to ensure reliability.

Additional Resources for Free or Discounted Laptops

If you’re still in search of a free or discounted laptop, consider these additional resources:

  • Community Computer Connections Program: This initiative refurbishes computers and provides them free of charge to low-income individuals, veterans, and families on Long Island.
  • Computers With Causes: Computers With Causes accepts donations of used or surplus computers and distributes them to students, teachers, schools, and other deserving recipients.
  • Kramden Institute: Kramden Institute refurbishes old computers and awards them to students and community members in need. The organization also offers educational programs in digital literacy and advanced coding.
  • Notebooks for Students: Notebooks for Students is a nonprofit organization offering discounted laptops to college, high school, primary, and homeschool students.
  • PCs for People: This organization sells refurbished and discounted computers, internet modems, and tech accessories for students and families in need.
  • Tech for Troops: Tech for Troops refurbishes used computers to prevent them from ending up in landfills. These refurbished computers are donated to veterans in need and their families.
  • Tech Exchange: Tech Exchange was founded to address the digital divide. The organization provides refurbished computers to low-income families free of charge.
  • Virginia Star: This after-school club teaches high school students to refurbish computers, which are then donated to school districts, organizations, and families in need.
  • With Causes: With Causes reuses and recycles computers to assist disadvantaged and underemployed individuals. The organization also supports educational programs and classrooms, including computer labs.

Selecting the Right Laptop for College

When choosing a laptop for college, it’s crucial to ensure that the device meets your program’s hardware requirements. Check with your school for specifications, including recommended hard drive size, processor speed, and software compatibility.

For example, if you’re pursuing a computer science major, you’ll likely need a specific device to support your coursework. Your personal budget should also influence your choice, as various laptops cater to different needs. i.e; Accredited online colleges that offer free laptops.

accredited online colleges that offer free laptops

Top 7 Laptops for College Students

To help you make an informed decision, here are the top 7 laptops for college students:

  1. Apple MacBook Air M1: Ideal for students seeking a lightweight design and long battery life.
  2. Acer Swift 3: A portable yet powerful laptop suitable for multitasking.
  3. Microsoft Surface Pro 8: A versatile device with a touch screen and extended battery life.
  4. Acer Chromebook Spin 713: The best Chromebook option for reliable and durable performance.
  5. Apple MacBook Pro M1 Chip: A premium Apple choice for students requiring a powerful, long-lasting laptop.
  6. Dell XPS 13: A premium Windows laptop for students looking for advanced performance and graphics.
  7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet: Ideal for budget-conscious students seeking high performance.

Where Can Students Get Free Laptops for College?

  • Your University or College

Some educational institutions offer free computers to their students, either as gifts or on loan for the duration of their degree program. It’s essential to check if your school provides such programs and the eligibility criteria.

  • Computers with Causes

Computers with Causes is a charitable organization that provides computers to students, veterans with disabilities, foster homes, and others in need. While there is no specific income limitation, applicants must demonstrate their need for assistance and undergo a background check. The application process can be completed online through the Computers With Causes website.

  • Dell Scholars Program

Low-income and first-generation students can benefit from the Dell Scholars Program, which offers financial literacy resources, textbook support, laptops, and scholarships. To apply, students must submit an online application, transcripts, an online recommendation, and a completed Student Aid Report (SAR) from their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • On It Foundation

The On It Foundation provides free computers and computer training to low-income public school students in grades K-12 who receive free or reduced school lunches. Parents or guardians can apply on behalf of their children by submitting a request letter and a letter from the school confirming lunch program participation on official letterhead.

Where To Get College Student Discounts on Laptops

If you do not qualify for a Free Laptop for College, purchasing one at a discounted rate is still available. Government programs and nonprofit organizations can help in this regard, and several tech companies offer student discounts on laptops:

Organizations and Government Programs

– Affordable Connectivity Program

The U.S. government’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides discounted internet service and a one-time credit of up to $100 to purchase a computer from participating retailers. Eligibility depends on income level and participation in certain government programs.

– Connect All

Connect All offers low-cost refurbished laptops, desktops, tablets, and other devices to nonprofit organizations and low-income individuals. Eligibility is based on government assistance program participation and income level.

– Notebooks for Students

This nonprofit organization offers discounted name-brand laptops to students of all ages and grade levels. Laptops may be new, factory refurbished, or off-lease.

– PCs for People

PCs for People recycles and refurbishes computers for distribution to nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and families.

Tech Retailers

– Acer

Acer provides a 10% discount on computer equipment for students. To avail of the discount, students must register on Acer’s website and verify their student status.

– Apple

Apple’s Education Pricing Program offers student discounts in the form of gift cards worth up to $150, applicable toward the cost of an Apple laptop.

– Dell

Dell offers discounts for students through its Dell Advantage for Students Program. Students can sign up on the website using their school email to access the discount.

– HP

The HP Education Program provides discounts of up to 40% on select computers, printers, and accessories for students and teachers.

– Lenovo

Lenovo offers a 10% discount on laptops, tablets, and other tech items for college students, K-12 students, parents, and educators.

– Microsoft

Microsoft offers a 10% student discount for K-12 learners, college students, faculty, and parents on select Microsoft Surface devices, laptops, and accessories.

online colleges that offer free laptops and financial aid
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Free Student Laptops

Can a student get a free laptop?

Students may qualify for a Free Laptop for College through certain schools or organizations depending on eligibility criteria. Alternatively, they can purchase laptops at a discounted rate through various government programs and tech companies that offer student discounts.

How can I get a laptop for college with no money?

Students seeking a laptop without money can explore options provided by their school, charitable organizations like Computers with Causes, or government programs. These options are designed to assist low-income students in obtaining laptops.

How can I get a laptop for free?

Low-income students may be eligible for a free laptop through organizations such as Computers with Causes, the Dell Scholars Program, or the On It Foundation. Those who need to meet these criteria can inquire with their school about free laptop programs for needy students.

Why do I need a laptop for college?

  • Many college classes require the use of computer software for coursework. Whether writing papers, creating presentations, or conducting research, having access to a laptop is essential for completing assignments efficiently. While colleges often provide access to computer labs, having your laptop can be more convenient and accessible.

Can I get a free laptop for college?

  • If you attend an online college that offers free laptops, you may qualify for a free laptop or tablet through your school. Alternatively, you can explore nonprofit organizations that provide refurbished laptops to needy students. Additionally, consider reaching out to acquaintances who may have unused laptops they are willing to donate to a struggling student.

Can I use FAFSA aid for a laptop?

  • If you receive more financial aid through FAFSA than needed to cover tuition and fees, you can use the surplus funds to purchase supplies, including a laptop or tablet. Some schools issue rebate checks for the remaining balance of FAFSA funds once student accounts are settled.

What laptop do most college students use?

  • The laptop choice varies among college students, with many opting for Chromebooks or other budget-friendly options. However, some academic programs may have specific requirements, such as the need for an Apple computer, like a MacBook Pro. Regardless of popular choices, ensuring your laptop meets your program’s specifications is essential.

How do I choose a student laptop?

  • When selecting a student laptop, affordability is a significant consideration. However, verifying that the laptop meets your school’s requirements, including operating system compatibility, processor speed, and storage capacity, is equally important. Consulting with your academic department can guide you on the right laptop for your program.
Free Laptop for College

Acquiring a laptop for college can be costly, but there are numerous avenues for students to obtain free or discounted laptops.

By exploring the resources and programs of online colleges that offer free laptops 2023 mentioned in this guide, students can significantly reduce the financial burden associated with their education and ensure they have the necessary tools for academic success.


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