Free Laptops for Online College Students: A Guide to Getting Yours

Studying in college can be an expensive affair with tuition fees, accommodation, and study materials all adding up to a significant amount. To help alleviate the financial burden, some colleges offer free laptops to their students. Gone are the days when a pen and paper were the only tools for taking notes because laptops have become the norm in higher learning. With the advent of modern technology, laptops have become essential tools for learning, online research, and communication. Hence, as an enrolled student in an online program, a free laptop can be an excellent asset to your education.

Free Laptops for Online College Students: A Guide to Getting Yours
Free Laptops for Online College Students: A Guide to Getting Yours

Many colleges and universities provide free laptops to their students to make it easy for them to manage their coursework and other tasks effectively. With COVID-19 forcing educational establishments to shift to online platforms, schools have been compelled to provide their students with the tools necessary for remote learning. Obtaining a laptop may not be the only consideration when joining a college, but it certainly makes life easier, especially when you don’t have access to a personal computer at home. In this article, we will delve into ways you can qualify for a free laptop in college, which institutions provide them, and the benefits of owning one.

The Benefits of Online Colleges Offering Free Laptops

Online colleges that provide free laptops to students can make education more accessible and affordable for all.

The Drawbacks of Online Colleges Offering Free Laptops

While offering free laptops can be helpful, online colleges must ensure that they have quality devices, provide proper technical support, and factor in the costs in tuition fees.

Online College Free Laptop Programs: A Game Changer for Students

College students come from different backgrounds. Some students are privileged enough to afford any educational expense, while others can barely make ends meet. As technology permeates every aspect of our lives, laptops have become a prerequisite in the learning process. For students who cannot afford one, free laptops can make a huge difference. In this article, we will explore what online college free laptop programs are, how to get one, and their impact on students.

What are Online College Free Laptop Programs?

Online college free laptop programs are initiatives by universities and colleges to provide laptops for their students. These programs aim to break the barrier that financial constraints create, allowing students to have equal access to resources and technology to enhance their studies. The laptop models provided by these programs vary depending on the institution, but students are usually given a standard, functional laptop that can support academic tasks such as taking notes, research, and accessing course materials.

How to Get a Free Laptop for College

The process of getting a free laptop for college varies depending on the institution. However, there are generally two ways to get a free laptop: through financial aid or by applying for the college’s free laptop program.

One way to obtain a free laptop for college is to apply for financial aid. Colleges and universities offer need-based financial aid to students who are struggling with the cost of education. A section of financial aid programs includes free laptops as part of the aid package. Students who qualify for financial aid can request a laptop, which will be added to their aid package.

The other way to get a free laptop for college is to apply for the institution’s free laptop program. Typically, students must apply for the program through the college’s financial aid office or student services office. As part of the application, students may need to prove financial hardship. After being selected, students can get a free laptop to support their studies.

Impact of Online College Free Laptop Programs on Students

The impact of free laptop programs on students cannot be overemphasized. These programs are designed to empower students who can’t afford laptops, giving them equal opportunities to succeed academically. Here are some of the benefits of online college free laptop programs.

1. Increased Academic Performance

A laptop is a powerful tool that can be a game-changer in a student’s academic performance. Students who receive free laptops can access online resources and information, creating a conducive environment for learning. Also, they can use software and tools that they were not able to afford before. A study by Educause Review shows that 80% of students believe that laptops have a positive impact on their academic performance.

2. Cost Savings

College tuition and living expenses can be a burden on students and their families. With free laptop programs, students can save hundreds of dollars on purchasing a laptop. This extra money can be invested in other educational resources such as textbooks and tutoring. Students can also use the saved money to cover some of their living expenses such as rent, food, and transportation.

3. Equal Access to Resources

In today’s digital world, access to online materials and resources is crucial in a student’s education journey. However, not all students have the privilege to access these resources because they can’t afford a laptop. Free laptop programs bridge this gap, allowing students to access online resources with ease. This access can help them to explore different learning materials, share ideas with their peers, and access educational software.

4. Better Connectivity

Free laptops for college students come with Wi-Fi capabilities. This feature ensures that students can access online resources without any limitations. Especially in today’s new normal, where most classes are being held online, having a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop ensures that students can attend classes and submit their assignments on time. This connectivity also enables students to communicate with their professors and peers, creating an active learning environment.

5. Enhanced Learning Experience

Institutions that offer free laptop programs invest in laptops with the latest technology that supports academic tasks. They also have dedicated IT support to help students with any technical difficulties they may have. This investment creates an enhanced learning experience, making it easier for students to complete assignments, research, and collaborate with others.


Free laptop programs for college students are essential in creating equal opportunities for students to succeed. These programs eliminate the financial barrier that some students face, giving them equal access to educational resources. The impact of these programs on students’ academic performance, cost savings, access to resources, better connectivity, and enhanced learning experiences is undeniable. Therefore, universities and colleges should continue investing in free laptop programs, supporting students in their education journey.


1. Can I get a free laptop when I enroll in an online college?

Yes, some online colleges offer free laptops to their students to aid their studies, depending on certain criteria like the academic level of the program, the length of study, and location of the student. Some online colleges have arrangements with laptop manufacturers or providers. It is also essential to check if the laptop is only for a specific course or program. In most cases, the laptop provided will be for the entire duration of the course. Several online colleges offer this opportunity to their students such as The University of the People, Excelsior College, and College America Online.

2. Does the free laptop have any specifications or requirements?

Yes, just like any regular laptop, free laptops from online colleges come with specifications and requirements that need to be met. The laptop may come with certain software preinstalled or require specific internet speed for successful study sessions. A good example of a specification is that some programs require a minimum of 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Therefore, before enrolling, it is essential to read and understand the requirements of the free laptop to ensure that it will work well with your online coursework.

3. Do I have to give back the free laptop when I’m done with my studies?

It depends on the terms and conditions of the online college or institution. Some institutions may require you to return the laptop or pay the residual value of the laptop or charge a penalty fee if the student is found sharing the laptop with any other individual. On the other hand, some institutions may allow you to keep the laptop free of charge after your studies are complete to aid you in your future endeavors or future courses you may take in the future. Therefore, it is essential to check with the online college regarding the ownership of the laptop before accepting it as part of the offer.

4. Can I choose the laptop model I want to receive?

Some online colleges will allow you to choose the laptop model you want to receive while others will provide a specific laptop model. Most of the laptops are basic models with the necessary specifications to support your online studies. Therefore, it is essential to read the specific terms and conditions such as the minimum specifications for the computer, expected software, and programs that need to be installed; this will help you make a sound decision regarding the choice of laptop model offered.

5. Can I still enroll for the online course if I decline the free laptop offer?

Yes, you can still enroll for the online course if you decline the offer of a free laptop. The free laptop offer is not a requirement for enrollment, and it is not a requirement that you accept it. Some students might have already purchased a laptop, and therefore, it is unnecessary to accept the offer of a free laptop. In such instances, online colleges will offer various resources and support to ensure that the student can study successfully without the need for a free laptop.

6. Do I have to pay extra for the free laptop?

No, you don’t have to pay extra for the free laptop offered by online colleges as part of their enrollment package; it is entirely free. However, some online college students might choose to purchase additional software or hardware to customize the laptop to their specific preference, and in that case, the student will have to pay for the additional software and hardware.

7. Do I have to be a US citizen to qualify for the free laptop offer?

No, being a US citizen is not a requirement to qualify for the free laptop offer. Online colleges have international students from all over the world studying in their programs. However, the terms and conditions of the laptop offer could vary depending on the location of the student. Thus, it is essential to check with the online college programs, particularly for international students regarding availability based on country-specific terms and conditions.

8. Will the laptop come with an internet connection?

No, the free laptop will not come with an internet connection. Most online colleges will require you to have a stable internet connection, whether by wifi or mobile data, to log into the institution’s platform and access your coursework and materials. Therefore, it is essential to plan accordingly and ensure that you have a reliable internet connection before enrolling for the online course.

9. Does the free laptop have a warranty?

Yes, the free laptop that comes with online college programs typically have a manufacturer warranty for one year. The warranty covers any defects related to manufacturing or software provided. However, it is not extended warranties, and it is not guaranteed that the warranty will cover any accidental damage or damage outside the scope of the warranty.

10. Can I sell the free laptop?

It depends on the terms and conditions of the online college or institution. Online colleges have specific measures to ensure that their laptops are used as intended. It is typically expected that the laptop will be entirely dedicated to online studies throughout the coursework’s duration. It is, therefore, important to read the specific terms and conditions of the laptop offer. Most offer laptop services to students exclusively aimed at supporting the students in successful studies, so it is essential to understand the school’s laptop program to ensure that you do not get into any trouble. In summary, therefore, it is not recommended to sell the laptop once received until it complies with your college program requirements.

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