Online Colleges that Offer Free Laptops
Are you currently taking, or planning on taking your college courses online? If you do not have a laptop already, you may have trouble accessing your courses. An easy solution would be to run to your nearest Apple or Best Buy store, open your wallet, and walk home with a new laptop. Unfortunately, we aren’t all blessed with a money tree in our back yard so this option may not be feasible.
The good news is there are plenty of online and campus based schools willing to help you attain a laptop. These special laptop programs bridge the accessibility gap between students without laptops and online classes. Rather than having to pay for a computer on their own, students can get one for free or for a low price through their school’s laptop program. If you need a laptop for college, one of the options here on our site may provide the perfect opportunity for you.
Online Colleges That Offer Laptops
A quick way to find schools that offer a laptop program is by using the school search form at the top of this page. If you don’t find any schools that offer your preferred degree, we also created a short list below for your convenience. Some of the most popular online colleges with laptop programs include:
- Colorado Technical University – Website link.
- Full Sail University – Project Launchbox.
- Bethel University – iPads Only.
- Drexel University – Website Link.
- Purdue University – Discounted laptops.
- Azusa Pacific – Website Link.
- Seton Hill University – Macbook & iPad.
If your school is not on our list, you still may be able to get a laptop through your college. Some schools offer loaner laptops to students under special circumstances as a way to help the through their education. Contact our academic advisor to learn more about your options.
Different Types of College Laptop Programs
There are several different ways that college laptop programs can work. They all result in a laptop for you to use for school, but some cost more to be a part of than others. Here is an overview of each option and how it is set up.
Early Graduation Gifts
Some colleges offer free laptops for students through their degree programs. When you graduate from one of these schools, you get to take the laptop as if it is your own. The computer belongs to the school until you graduate, and you have to give it back if you do not end up graduation from the school. Consider this as an incentive to get through your degree.
Some schools set up payment plans for their laptops so that students do not have to absorb all of the costs upfront. The payments may be tied into their school fees, or they may be strung out as a separate bill. You can think of this as a “rent to own” laptop program, which will still get you the computer you need in the end.
Some schools issue laptops through a loaner program, where students are able to use their computers as long as they’re in school. They must give the laptops back at the end of their degree or whenever they leave the school. This may not seem like a beneficial program, but it does give you a chance to get a computer free of charge while you complete your education.
Added Perks with College Laptop Programs
Most college laptop programs offer more than just a computer for you to use. With your computer, you will get:
- Programs necessary for your degree (Microsoft Word, Photoshop, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Free tech support
- Warranty coverage
- Repair and replacement services
- Free Wi-Fi on campus
- A bag or case (sometimes)
- …and more!
Every laptop program is a little different, but they all come with more than just a computer and a power pack. You can use your laptop as if you bought it from a store, and then you can get through your degree with ease.
So How Do You Get a Laptop for College?
In order to get a computer to use for your education, you need to look through online schools with laptop programs. If you don’t feel like going on an endless Google searching spree, you are free to use our ‘school laptop search’ form at the top of this page to get matched with schools that offer your degree of interest. Alternatively, we also have a list of college laptop programs that you can browse below the form. When you find the one that offers the degree you want and has the laptop you need, you can apply to the school and hope you get in. Assuming that you are admitted into the school, you can enroll in classes and complete the paperwork necessary to get your free laptop.
If the laptop you are getting is not free but instead covered by your financial aid, you may have to wait for your scholarships and grants to post to your account before you get your laptop. You could potentially pay for the computer outright and then get reimbursed for the computer when your aid comes in. If that is not an option though, simply wait for the right time and let your instructors know about your delay.
Online Schools with Tablet Programs
There are some online colleges with tablet programs, similar to the laptop programs discussed above. In this case, you would get an iPad or some other type of tablet to use during your time in school. This might be in place of the laptop, or it might be in addition to it.
A lot of community colleges with medical degrees offer tablets to students because the students must work in a hospital setting for part of their training. The tablet acts as a way for the student to access patient records, look up information, and record processes in the field. If you are going to school to be a medical assistant or nursing assistant, this could certainly be in your future.
If You Can’t Find a Laptop Program…
Look for a creative way to get a computer to use. Not every student fits the requirements for online schools with laptop programs, but that does not mean you have to go without. Here are some alternative ways to get a laptop for college:
- Rent a computer from Rent-A-Center, Aaron’s, or similar. Stores like these have rent-to-own computers on hand that you can use for whatever you need. If you pay them back on the schedule they set out for you, you will pay a lot more than you would retail. If that is all you can do though, it is a quick way to get a laptop.
- Go to the library. They will have free computers that you can access at any time in the day. You may be able to use a laptop through your school’s library during the day, but you will have to return it before the library closes. You may also be required to use it on or near the facility.
- Use your financial aid to pay for it. This piece of advice is for students who get money back from their school due to excessive scholarships, grants, and loans. When your school money comes in, don’t waste it on frivolous buys. Get a decent computer to use for college.
- Buy or trade for a used laptop. You can find a ton of options on Craigslist for this. Meet up in a public place, and test out the computer before you pay for it or give up an item to trade. If everything looks good, you could get a laptop for a fraction of the price of a new one.
Check first with online schools with laptop programs, and then move on to the suggestions above. Either way, you will soon have a laptop to use for school.