How to Get a Free Laptop for College
College comes with a lot of expenses, including laptops. The good news is that you may be able to avoid paying for a laptop if you’re going to college. There are laptop scholarships for college students, and some schools even provide students with free laptops. Depending on your financial aid situation, you may also be able to use existing funds to purchase a device. Read on to learn more.
Also read: How to save money in college
Use grant or scholarship money
If you received grant or scholarship money to attend college, you may be able to purchase a laptop with your funds. Some financial aid packages include a stipend specifically reserved for laptops, books, and other school-related expenses. Federal Pell Grants can also be used to purchase laptops (in a roundabout way). These grants are paid directly to your school to cover tuition and fees, but if there’s money left over you may be issued a refund check. This can then be used to purchase educational supplies such as a laptop. Just keep in mind that some forms of financial assistance have limitations on how you can spend the money. Check with your financial aid office if you’re unsure about purchasing a laptop with scholarship or grant funds.
See also: Scholarships for college students
Get a scholarship specifically for a laptop
You can also apply for scholarships specifically reserved for laptops:
The Dell Scholars Program is designed to support low-income, highly-motivated students pursuing a college degree. Dell Scholars receive a $20,000 scholarship, plus a laptop with a 4-year warranty. The application deadline is December 10, 2021.
The Laptops 4 Learning program provides laptops to low-income students pursuing an online education. Each month, the program awards 25 refurbished laptops to qualified candidates. The application season is ongoing.
Attend a college that offers free laptops
Many colleges support their students through free laptop programs. Some schools allow students to keep their laptop after graduating, while others require students to return their device.
Be mindful that some colleges offer a “free” laptop bundled into the cost of the cost of tuition. It may be a line item such as “technology fee” listed in your tuition and fees summary. In situations like this, you’re technically still paying for the device.
Below we’ve listed some of the nation’s top colleges that offer complimentary laptops. Note that eligibility requirements vary. If your school isn’t included here, they may still offer free laptops or tablets. Check with your college to make sure.
Tech Perk: All students are lended a laptop they can keep until graduation.
Eligibility: All undergraduate and graduate students living on or off campus (regardless of full-time or part-time status) are eligible.
Tech Perk: Every student is provided a laptop.
Eligibility: All enrolled students are eligible.
Tech Perk: All new students are provided a free laptop.
Eligibility: All new students are eligible.
Tech Perk: Students receive a MacBook Pro and iPad.
Eligibility: Incoming undergraduate students are eligible.
Tech Perk: All incoming undergraduates receive a free Apple MacBook or an iPad.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students and transfers who enroll with 29 or fewer credit hours are eligible (as long as they are admitted by May 31st for the following fall semester or by November 30th for the following spring semester).
Tech Perk: Students receive either a MacBook Pro or a Microsoft Windows laptop.
Eligibility: Full-time students receive a free laptop. Part-time students receive discounts.
Tech Perk: Through Project LaunchBox, students receive a laptop with software and accessories relevant to their degrees.
Eligibility: The cost of the laptop and software is included in tuition. LaunchBox packages are unique to each degree program.
Tech Perk: Students receive a MacBook Air during student orientation.
Eligibility: All incoming first-year students are eligible.
Tech Perk: Students receive a laptop with Microsoft software, which they can keep after completing their first three semesters.
Eligibility: Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program are eligible.
Tech Perk: Students receive a Dell Latitude 2290, which they can keep after paying their first course tuition and fees.
Eligibility: Tennessee state residents who enroll in the Graduate School or the College of Adult & Professional Studies are eligible.
11. Duke University
Tech Perk: Recipients of the David M. Rubenstein Scholarship are offered a free laptop.
Eligibility: Students are eligible if they receive the scholarship. Duke automatically considers applicants who are first-generation college students and demonstrate financial need.
Tech Perk: The WakeWare program provides laptops to students at discounted rates. Students receiving any form of institutional financial aid can get the technology grant, making the laptop free.
Eligibility: All undergraduate students are eligible for the discount program. All undergraduate students receiving institutional aid can apply for the grant program to receive a free laptop.
Not free, but cheaper…
Some colleges sell laptops to students at discounted rates. You may be able to save a considerable amount if you purchase a laptop through your school instead of buying one from a retailer. If you do this, you’ll also have reassurance that the computer is capable of handling your coursework. Just be sure to do comparison shopping to know you’re getting a good deal.
Additionally, many major retailers offer student discounts for laptops. Apple offers discounts of a flat percentage, and oftentimes, free AirPods to students. Best Buy has an entire section of laptops and other electronics being sold at student discounts. If you are a student, you should be able to receive a discount on your laptop as a result of your student status.
More resources for college students on a budget
Free laptops aren’t the only way to save some extra money in college! We’ve got a host of resources available for college students who are on a budget. One great way to save some extra money in college is to find a source of income. That could be from an online job, a tutoring job, or a side hustle. You could even decide to sell some of your clothes to make some extra money. We can also help you save money on housing and find a roommate to reduce costs. Good luck in designing your budget and make sure to check back if you have more questions!