How to Get a Free or Cheap Laptop for College
While there is no shortage of money saving tips for every college student to know, certain costs for an advanced education are unavoidable, like purchasing a laptop. And with the price of computers seeing a 1.3% increase in the last month alone, finding a deal on this essential item isn’t always easy. Luckily, a handful of organizations have made it their mission to connect students facing financial hardships with a free laptop to use for their schooling.
Funded by educational nonprofits, these groups will provide eligible students with reliable tech to give them an opportunity for academic success. If you’re enrolled in an accredited four-year degree program and are in need of financial assistance to acquire a laptop, consider checking out one of the following organizations:
Computers with Causes. Computers with Causes is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide refurbished computers, gifted by donors, to help low income families, children in foster homes, nonprofits, the elderly, and disabled veterans in need. To receive a computer, you need to fill out a computer request application form, which will ask you about your current financial situation, including if you’re currently receiving government assistance in the form of TANF, SSI, SSDI, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc. Your application will be reviewed by the organization, where a determination will be made within 30 days regarding your eligibility for a free computer.
Dell Scholars Program. The Dell Scholars Program picks 500 students annually to provide a financial support system for those who may face financial challenges while pursuing their degree. After submitting an application, semifinalists are chosen who then must provide a copy of their high school transcript, a complete Student Aid Report from their FAFSA, and an online recommendation. To call this strictly a “program that provides a free laptop” would be burying the lead, as they provide each of their scholars with $20,000 scholarship, as well.
Laptops 4 Learning. Laptops 4 Learning is an organization that provides 25 refurbished laptops to qualified participants for every month during their reward period. To apply, you need to create a 90-second video outlining your need for the organization’s assistance. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen (or a U.S. Permanent Resident), at least 18 years old, and currently enrolled or intend to enroll at an accredited college or university located in the United States.
PCs for People. PCs for People is an organization whose mission is to provide digital assistance for educational opportunities to low-income individuals, families with children, and those with disabilities. While not free, PCs for People sells refurbished laptops at a steeply discounted rate, with prices starting as low as $100, as long as you meet their income requirements. PCs for People has distributed over 190,000 computers since 1998, and each purchase comes with a one year hardware warranty.
Connect All. Connect All is a membership program that helps people gain access to technology via recycled technology. Connect All sells Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, Microsoft, and Apple laptops starting at $79. Unlike the other programs, you don’t need to show a proof of need to purchase one of their products; anyone is eligible to buy from their website. All computers come with a one year warranty and come preinstalled with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office software.