How to Get Free Internet for Students by Government

The internet is crucial in modern society. In this digital era, many things are happening online. We have thousands of people working from home who require the internet to execute their tasks. When pandemic stroke the world, many people had to stay at home to carry out their duties online. Students were not left behind as they were forced to study online. You will learn how to get free internet for students by government shortly.

We have students who come from poor households and cannot afford the internet to carry out their studies. Such students require help to execute their learning processes. Since their guardians or parents cannot afford to purchase the internet they need, they require help to purchase the data they need for their internet connections. That is why the government comes in to help such people to acquire the necessary internet connection.

Suppose you studied in the early years of 2000 and earlier. In that case, you might wonder why a student will need an internet connection, yet we have libraries full of books in schools. However, you must understand that times are changing, and information is being sought online. We have online libraries where students can get study materials using their phones and computers. Furthermore, these materials may be free of charge compared to books that need purchasing from bookshops. 

How can students get free internet from the government

There are various ways students can get free internet from the government. They include through;

  • Lifeline
  • Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
  • Joining government schools

Let us look at each one of them to understand them deeply.

i) Lifeline

Lifeline is a federal government aid program that assists low-income households with free smartphones, texts, voice calls, and data. Suppose you are a student from such a household. In that case, your guardian can easily help you if they qualify and apply for Lifeline. One must check if they qualify for the program at the national verifier.

You can qualify for Lifeline through income. You are eligible to apply if your total household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guideline. To prove that you qualify by income, you will need to bring documents such as the previous year’s federal, state, or Tribal tax return, Social Security statement of benefits, current income statement from your employer or paycheck stub, retirement or pension statement of benefits, and Veterans Administration statement of benefits.

You can also qualify for the program through aid programs such as;

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)

One may also qualify through Tribal Programs such as;

  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Head Start (income based)
  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

2) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Another way students can benefit from government-free internet is through the Affordable Connectivity Program. That happens if one of their household members qualifies and applies for ACP. The Affordable Connectivity Program is also a federal government program offering low-income households’ affordable broadband. The program ensures that households can get the broadband required for work, school, healthcare, and more.

ACP provides a discount of $30 per month toward internet service for qualifying households and $75 per month for households on eligible Tribal lands. Qualifying households can also get a one-time discount not exceeding $100 to buy a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet from participating service providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price. Therefore, as a student, you might benefit from a discounted device for your studies besides the free internet.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to a single monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

How to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program

You can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if your household income is 200% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Also, you can get the ACP services if one of your household members received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year or meets the qualification criteria for their provider’s existing low-income internet program. You can also qualify for the program if you or a household member participates in the following aid programs.

  • The National School Lunch Program
  • SNAP
  • School Breakfast Program
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • WIC
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Lifeline

Also, if you live in the Tribal Lands, you may qualify through the above programs. Also, we have Tribal Programs that can help you to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. They include the following.

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal TANF
  • Tribal Head Start (income based)

ii) Attend a Government School

We have numerous government schools that offer free internet to their students. You only need to attend the government school, and you are good to go. Usually, the internet offered by those government schools is in the form of hotspots whereby students can connect their devices for free.

The government institutions that offer free internet are mainly universities and colleges. The hotspots usually require passwords to access them. We also have rooms within those institutions whereby students can connect to ethernet ports to access the internet.

Interestingly, we have institutions that provide free devices such as tablets and laptops to aid their studies. Therefore, you will enjoy free internet as well as a free device. The only problem with free internet in colleges is congestion because many people use the same Internet connection. That leads to slow connections that can lead to reduced performance.

How else can you get free internet for students by government

The government is not the only source of free internet. Suppose any of your household members fail to qualify for Lifeline. In that case, there is no need to worry about where you will get a free internet connection as a student. There are various companies and non-governmental organizations where students may get free internet for their studies. They include the following.

1) EveryoneOn

The EveryoneOn is a non-governmental organization focusing on bringing internet and computer technology to financially challenged families. The organization also offers free internet to marginalized communities. It aims to create social and economic opportunities by assisting people to obtain cheap internet service and computers. Furthermore, the organization delivers training programs for digital skills.

Above all, EveryoneOn offers tools to assist students and those needing the internet in finding computers, low-cost internet, and digital literacy training locations.

2) Human-I-T

The human-I-T founders aimed to reduce e-waste by repairing technology and connecting the repurposed devices to needy people who needed them but lacked access. Additionally, the organization geared to providing low-cost electronic devices, Human-I-T, provides free resources for finding low-cost internet for those who qualify or those paying too much for internet services.

3) PCs for People

PCs for People is a non-governmental organization that provides refurbished computers to low-income individuals. It also offers cheap internet connectivity as part of its mission. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the company started accepting Pell Grant documentation from students from colleges affected by school closures to help them obtain low-cost computers plus the internet for virtual learning.

4) NetZero

NetZero is an Internet service provider headquartered in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. NetZero offers free internet access to attract an audience for major advertising businesses. It offers 200MB of free internet data every month. However, you must purchase a NetZero Mobile Broadband device to qualify for the free data. Some get ten hours monthly free dial-up internet access from the company.

5) FreedomPop

Another company that offers free internet service is FreedomPop. The company boasts the world’s first completely free mobile plan while at the same time offering free wireless internet plus free home broadband. The free internet can reach speeds of up to only 1 Mbps. Looking at the speeds, the free internet is not suitable for those who use the internet heavily. However, you may pay for an upgrade to get more data and speeds up to 25 Mbps.

6) Mesh networks

As a student, you can also get free internet from Mesh networks. The connections are suitable for highly motivated and tech-savvy users. The company offers a long-term and sustainable free internet access option. Mesh networks are often called “the future of free internet access,” meaning that the company is here to stay.

Mesh networks connect multiple wireless routers within a given area. Instead of each router getting its data through the same centralized source, they get data from any of the other routers, or “nodes,” in the within-range networks.

However, there is a slow network challenge when many devices are connecting to each other. The hopping of data from one router to the other leads to a slow network connection. Also, hopping from one network to the other can pose a considerable security risk whereby users’ data may be under threat. However, since students do not need to enter sensitive information online, they can benefit from the free internet.

Bottom line

The internet is an integral part of the modern community since almost everyone requires the internet to carry out various online activities. Some work online using the internet. Students require the internet to carry out their study activities. Times have changed, and library books are less helpful nowadays. However, not every student can afford the internet. Due to that, the government offers free internet to those from low-income families.