Are colleges really giving away laptops and iPads for free?! Yes, they are!There are a handful of campus-based and online colleges offering laptops to their students, some as part of loaner programs, others giving away the laptops as part of tuition and some schools just require students just pay a “technology” usage fee.
There are also a few schools who are actually giving laptops to their students for free.
So where do you find colleges that offer laptops, iPads, and/or tablets?
We’ve compiled a list of online colleges that offer laptops, iPads and tablets for you so you don’t have to search all over the web for them yourself.
See our list below.
Keep in mind, not all of these schools offer laptops for 100% free, but usually, the school will work with you on a payment arrangement, just take it right out of your student loans or roll it into tuition costs.
List of Online Schools That Offer Free Laptops
Seton Hill University – MacBook Air or iPad. Students at Seton Hill have their choice of a 13-inch MacBook Air or an iPad Mini. The MacBook air has 8Gb of RAM, a 256 Gb hard drive and 1.7 GHz processor. The iPad mini has 32Gb of storage. Students may keep their laptop or iPad after graduation. Seton Hill charges a $1,000 technology fee in addition to normal tuition.
Stevens-Henager College – “free” laptop. The cost of the laptop is included in standard tuition and fees. After graduation, students can keep the laptop.
Southern Nazarene University – 14-inch Fujitsu Lifebook E555, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro. After the student completes one semester, the student owns the laptop outright.
Wake Forest University – “Free” 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook. The laptop must be returned upon graduation or bought for ~$300 after graduation. The laptop comes pre-loaded with educational software and cloud-based tools. There is no direct charge for using the laptop.
Northwest Missouri State University – free 14-inch HP EliteBook 840 G1 laptop that must be returned upon graduation. The cost of the laptop is included in the normal tuition. Students have to pay a $50 fee to use the laptop over summer breaks.
St. John’s University – choice of 12-inch Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga or 13-inch MacBook Pro. The school charges a one-tim $49 fee for the Lenovo and $400 for the Macbook Pro. Graduates may keep their laptops .
Bethel University – Bethel offers laptops to all incoming, on-campus freshman during orientation. The cost of the laptop is included in the normal tuition. Students must pick up the laptop during their first semester or they forfeit the offer.
Widener University – Engineering students only
Everest University – Laptop Loaner Program. (Currently unavailable 02/17)
Full Sail University – Project Launchbox.
CollegeAmerica – free laptop for undergraduate students that they keep upon graduation. Each laptop comes loaded software applicable to the student’s degree program. The cost of the laptop and software is included in normal tuition–there are no extra fees.
Independence University Online – free laptop and tablet. The student first receives their tablet during their first “module” and then their laptop during their fourth module. Both come fully equipped with all the software a student needs for their program. Graduates get to keep both the tablet and laptop after graduation. If you’re looking for an online college that offers laptops to their students and the best chance of graduating, Independence University is a great choice.
If your college is not on this list, they still might offer laptops or iPads. Contact your advisor to ask about your school’s laptop program.
Online Colleges that Offer iPads
Duke University Global Health Institute – free iPad
Long Island University – free iPad mini
Bethel University – iPads Only
Free laptop for college students from government
You can’t really call the government and request a free laptop if you’re a college student, no matter what your circumstances are.
With that being said, there are some government-funded programs that provide a loaner or affordable laptops to college students in need.
In your local area, you can connect with:
- Department of Social Health Services – they’ll connect students and potential students with programs and non-profit organizations that can provide assistance for getting a free laptop for college students or at least point them in the right direction.
- Benefits.gov – This site will help you find government benefits that you qualify for.
- DisasterAssistance.gov – If you’ve been a victim of hurricanes or other natural disasters, you may qualify for help from the government, maybe not in the form of a free laptop for college students from government, but there may be other help.
While we wish that the government would step in and provide free laptops for college students from the government for low-income or need-based students, they currently don’t have a program in place.
If the government won’t give you a free laptop and the schools above don’t fit what you need, you won’t be stranded without a laptop.
There are a handful of organizations that offer free laptops or heavily discounted laptops for low-income families that can’t afford them on their own.
- Computers With Causes
- Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
- Computer Technology Assistance Corps (CTAC)
- Everyone On
- The On It Foundation
- The World Computer Exchange
- PCs for People
- The National Cristina Foundation
- Seattle Community Network
- Komputers 4 R Kids
- Microsoft Registered Refurbishers
- SAM.gov Assistance Listings
- Smart Riverside
- With Causes
Comparing Laptops for College Students
Laptops can be very cheap and still get a decent job done for basic tasks that students are required to complete during their college years while some are super expensive if you’re looking for one with all the bells and whistles.
Below is a list of our recommended laptops for college students.
|Asus Chromebook Flip (C100PA-DB02)
|Lenovo ThinkPad T450s
|Acer Aspire E5-573G-57HR
|Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch
|Mac OS X
|Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch, Retina Display
|Mac OS X
|Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-In-1 (7350)
|Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series (E7450)
|Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12
|MSI GT72 Dominator Pro G-1438
|17. 3 Inches
Comparing Tablets and Readers for College Students
Here are some of the top-performing tablets for college students.
|Apple IPad Air
|Apple IPad Air 2
|Apple IOS 8
|16, 64, 128 GB
|Asus Transformer Book T100TA (64GB)
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
|Apple IPad Mini 2
|16, 32 GB
|Asus VivoTab Note 8
|Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series (7140)
|Microsoft Surface 3
|Microsoft Windows 8.1
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
|Google Nexus 9
|16, 32 GB
Online Schools Offering Free Laptops and iPads
COLLEGE AMERICA – This school offers all of their students laptop rentals. If for some reason you are unable to complete your courses and graduate, they must be returned to the school immediately. They are considered rentals until you graduate. After graduation, however, it becomes yours! ALL yours! Master’s students do not qualify for this program at all. Not sure if it’s included in tuition costs or not, this is not something publicized by the school.
STEVENS-HENAGER COLLEGE – This college offers all of their students a laptop when they enroll in the online hybrid course programs. Make sure your intentions are to graduate, however, or it’s labeled as a loaner. If you graduate from their courses, you get to keep it as a graduation gift! How cool is that?
BETHEL UNIVERSITY: This college offers iPads to each and every online and full-time student who enrolls. Rumor is, you are allowed to hang on to your iPad after you graduate, but I’d definitely want to check this out with the school before you start believing something that could be nothing more than a barrel of monkey’s kind of story! They also do not advertise what their tuition costs cover, so we are not positive if this one is free or not. The point is, they do have them, and you can get your own!
ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY – Yeah sure, they give away iPad’s to all incoming freshman’s…if you can afford their tuition rates! (Ranging somewhere around $250,000!!) It’s crazy how they can charge that much, and make statements that imply these big buck tuition rates DO NOT include the cost of your brand new iPad. Does that make it a gift?
LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY – As a full-time undergrad, you can take classes through this universities CW post campus. They offer a very nice selection of online courses, and students get a mini iPad to make sure they can stay up-to-date and use relevant information when going after their degree. Can’t afford full-time classes? This university offers a kick-ass solution: discounts at a reduced rate of a whopping $250 bucks for those who qualify!
EVEREST UNIVERSITY ONLINE: This college is recognized nation-wide. They offer loaner laptops to students who take ONLY online courses! They have courses for a variety of majors. Their program has helped thousands of students succeed by making it possible for them to stay connected to the classroom virtually.
FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY: Students who attend Full Sail University are required to have a computer for their studies. This is provided by the school. The school does charge you a fee, which is taken out of your student loans, and cost depends on which computer you intend on purchasing, and of course, what courses you are planning on taking. They also provide their necessary software suite which they refer to as “Project Launch Box”.
Last but not least, we will include a community college. I have seen a lot of lists with big-wig colleges and universities, but none with online colleges that offer laptops, online colleges that offer iPads for just your average community college student who cannot afford Harvard priced tuition’s so here goes. Last on the list we have:
FORT WAYNE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: This college has a butt-load of campuses all over the state of Indiana. They also have online courses available. They offer a variety of laptops, iPad’s, and Android tablets. You have to actually go inside of one of their bookstores to purchase one of these with your student loans, but after you make the purchase, you can use it for strictly online course use!
Online Colleges that Offer Laptop Discounts
Online Colleges That Offer Laptops FAQ
What Online Colleges Give You A Laptop
- Strayer University
- Southern Nazarene University – Choice of 3 laptops. Dell Latitude 3380, 13″ MacBook Pro, 15″ MacBook Pro
- Wake Forest University – free laptop must be returned upon graduation
- Northwest Missouri State University – free laptop must be returned upon graduation
- St. John’s University – choice of 3 laptops – Apple MacBook Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad L380, Lenovo ThinkPad L380 Yoga
- Independence University Online – laptop and iPad program
- Bethel University – Google Chromebook
- Centenary College
- Widener University
- CollegeAmerica – free laptop
- Stevens-Henager College – laptop
- Azusa Pacific
- Full Sail University –Apple MacBook Pro
- Indiana State University
- University of Minnesota-Crookston
- Colorado Technical University
- Saint Leo University
- Rochester College – free Apple MacBook or iPad
- Wentworth Institute of Technology
Does Strayer University offer free laptops?
Strayer does offer laptops to their students that enroll in many of their bachelor’s programs. They offer a “Strayer Tech Pack” which includes a laptop from Mikrotek and Microsoft software. After completing three quarters of classes, students are able to keep their laptops, otherwise, the laptop must be returned or the student will be charged a fee.
Does University of Phoenix offer laptops?
No. The University of Phoenix does not offer laptops to their students.
Which laptop is best for online classes?
There is no one laptop that is best for online classes. For basic classes that don’t require photo or video editing, any laptop that can hook up to Wifi will work. For photo and/or video editing, you’ll need a more powerful laptop, which comes with a heftier price tag.
According to Heavy.com. here are the best laptops for online college students:
1. Asus Chromebook
2. HP Notebook
3. Dell Inspiron
4. ASUS Zenbook
5. Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
6. Acer Aspire Gaming, Editing, and Design PC (Editor’s Choice)
7. MacBook Pro
8. Apple MacBook
9. Microsoft Surface Book
10. Eluktronics Editing, Design & Gaming PC
Does FAFSA cover laptops?
Students can use FAFSA money to cover laptops. The FAFSA program will not buy a laptop for you but you will be able to use financial aid in order to buy a laptop for college.
Can you buy a laptop with Pell Grant or student loans?
Yes. Pell Grants and student loans are provided to help students cover their education expenses. A laptop can qualify as an education expense if it’s needed for schooling.
Can you buy a laptop with scholarship money?
Yes. Once a scholarship has been given, the winner of the scholarship can use that money to pay for college expenses. Most classes now require laptops for enrollment. A laptop qualifies as a college expense.