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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:
1. Dell Scholars Program
The Dell Scholars Program is designed to support low-income, highly-motivated students pursuing a college degree.
Perks: Dell Scholars receive a $20,000 scholarship, plus a laptop with a 4-year warranty.
Deadline: The application deadline is December 10, 2023.
2. Laptops 4 Learning
The Laptops 4 Learning Program provides laptops to low-income students pursuing an online education.
Perks: Each month, the program awards 25 refurbished laptops to qualified candidates.
Deadline: The application season is ongoing.
Top Easy Scholarships of March 2023
$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
Easy scholarship open to all US-based high school, college, and graduate students
$2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay
Open to high school, college, community college and graduate students
Sharpen No Essay Scholarship
Open to high schools seniors and college undergraduates
$25,000 “No Essay” College Scholarship
All high school, college, and graduate students
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.
1. Northwest Missouri State University
Tech Perk: All students are offered 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
2. University of Minnesota-Crookston
Tech Perk: Every student is provided a laptop
Eligibility: All enrolled students are eligible
3. Moravian College
Tech Perk: Students receive a MacBook Pro, iPad, and Apple pencil
Eligibility: Incoming undergraduate students are eligible
4. Valley City State University
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
5. Full Sail University
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
6. Chatham University
Tech Perk: Students receive a MacBook Air during student orientation
Eligibility: All incoming first-year students are eligible
7. Strayer University
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
8. Wake Forest University
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
9. Bowdoin College
Tech Perk: All students receive a free MacBook Pro, an iPad Mini, and free software relevant to their studies
Eligibility: Every student at the college automatically receives this perk
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. If you are a student, you should be able to receive a discount on your laptop as a result of your student status.
Frequently asked questions
Are there any limitations on what I can do with a free laptop I got for college?
What happens if the laptop breaks or is stolen? Will I need to return it or pay for a replacement?