How to Get Free Laptops for Students from the Government

A laptop is a portable computer that has a screen, keyboard, and battery. Unlike the desktop computer, a laptop allows you to use it on the move. That means you can operate the device while traveling, in the fields as you relax under a shade, and so on. You do not have to connect the device to the wall socket when the battery has a sufficient charge. We shall see how you can get free laptops for students from the government.

Students require laptops to aid their studies. They can type documents for their assignments and research online when connected to the internet. A laptop also allows them to save study materials sent by their teachers or downloaded from various study sites. That way, they can improve their performances in class. By the way, a laptop can help a parent save on textbooks since the device can serve as an alternative source of knowledge.

Furthermore, students require laptops for their entertainment. Everybody needs to relax their minds a bit. Students can play games on their laptops and watch movies & music videos to refresh their minds. They can also view entertainment programs from various sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix. Therefore, the devices are essential for students. Unfortunately, we have those who cannot afford laptops. That is why the government offers free laptops to such students.

How to get free laptops for students from the government

The government understands that we have students from low-income families whose parents or guardians cannot afford laptops. Therefore, they need to help them enjoy life just like other students from wealthy families.

You can get a free laptop from the government through various means. They include the following.

1) Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), which financially assisted people seriously affected by covid’19. When EBB came to an end, congress saw the need to introduce ACP to continue assisting low-income families with affordable broadband. 

Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that helps ensure households can afford the broadband they require for school, work, healthcare, and more. To meet the objective, the federal government, through FCC, provides a discount of at most $30 every month toward internet service for the qualifying households and at most $75 every month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

Furthermore, qualifying households can get a one-time discount of at most $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a participating service provider if they contribute at least $10 and at most $50 toward the purchase price. Therefore, a student from a low-income household can get a free laptop to learn smoothly through a little contribution. The amount one has to contribute is little, and we can term the devices as free.

One disadvantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program is that it is limited to a one monthly service discount per household. Also, every eligible household can only get one device discount. Therefore, if several children are in the family, they will have to share one device, which can disadvantage them.

Who qualifies for the ACP program?

Not everybody qualifies for the program. There are various ways you can qualify for the ACP program. These include the following.

1) Qualify through income

A household may qualify for the ACP program if the gross income is at or below 200%. That is as per the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and you must show proof that your household income is at the above percentage. Therefore, you will need to produce documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, a W2 form, an employer letter, unemployment documentation, or disability insurance.

2) Qualify by various criteria

A household also qualifies for the ACP program to get a free laptop from the government if a household member meets at least one of the criteria below.

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating service provider’s existing low-income internet program.

3) Qualify by assistance programs

A household can also qualify for the program through various assistance programs, including the following.

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

4) Qualify by residing in the Tribal Lands

Another way you can qualify for the ACP program and get a free government laptop is by residing in Tribal Lands and qualifying for the above programs. Also, suppose you or a household member participates in the following assistance programs. In that case, they qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. They include;

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

How to apply for the ACP program

You can follow two steps to apply for the affordable connectivity program. You can apply when you visit Affordable Connectivity and submit an application. One may print out a mail-in application and send it to the relevant agency. After that, you should contact your most preferred participating service provider and choose a plan to have the discount applied to your monthly bill.

Alternatively, you can apply for the benefits program on your service provider’s website. After that, you can select the most appropriate plan to get the discount. Some service providers also combine the ACP benefits with Lifeline to provide a comprehensive service to their customers.

2) Attend a government school

We have numerous government schools which provide free laptops to their students. If you need a laptop for your education, attending a public school can significantly help. The schools which offer laptops to their students believe that subjecting young people to technology helps them advance in technology to greater levels.

3) Join an online college

Various colleges allow students to study online. To facilitate the learning process, they offer free laptops to those who enroll. We have a lot of government colleges that allow students to study from home. That way, they can reduce commotion within the institutions. You may also find online schools that offer free tablets to their learners.

Tablets also allow you to perform various activities just as you can do with a laptop. They allow you to type documents, download files online, and send and receive emails, among other activities. Interestingly, we have private colleges and universities that give free laptops to their students.

4) Use government libraries

There are numerous public libraries that you can visit and get a free laptop to use for your studies. However, you may not be able to carry the device with you. Once you finish what you want, you can hand over the device to the attendant and leave. However, government libraries also donate laptops to needy individuals. You may be lucky to get a device for your use.

How else can you get a free laptop other than from the government?

There are other ways to get a free laptop other than the government. They include the following.

i) Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

Various NGOs offer free laptops to students and individuals from low-income households. They include the following.

ii) Computer Aid International

Computer Aid International is an international NGO that offers laptops to schools. The organization believes every individual has a right to access sustainable IT solutions. A laptop is one of the essential aspects of IT enhancement. For your understanding, Computer Aid International operates worldwide. 

The organization has managed to assist millions of needy students with the help of donors such as Siemens, Oxford University Press, Sony Pictures, and AstraZeneca.

iii) Computers With causes

Another NGO that allows you to apply for a laptop computer is Computers With causes. The organization invites needy people to apply for a free computer to better their lives. Therefore, students from low-income backgrounds can apply with their parents’ or guardians’ assistance.

The organization’s primary goal is to provide refurbished computers from their generous donors to help schools, children in foster homes, low-income families, the elderly, and disabled veterans in need. You can apply online.

iv) Causes

Do not confuse Causes with Computer With Causes as they are two different organizations. Causes give laptops and computers plus other devices to needy families. The application process is easy as you only need to visit the platform online and make your application. Once the Causes volunteers review your request, you may be among the lucky people to get a free laptop for your studies.

v) Computers for Kids

Computers for Kids is among the non-profit organizations that offer free laptops to kids in WA, ID, and OR. The organization gets donations from businesses or individuals. They then refurbish and give them to underprivileged children. The organization also offers low-cost computers to schools and other NGOs.

vi) Get help from friends and relatives

You may get a free laptop for your studies if you borrow from your relatives such as your parents, brothers, uncles, and so on. Friends can also help you get a free laptop computer.

Bottom line

A laptop is a portable computer that helps you use it on the move. It has a rechargeable battery that ensures you can use it even if there is no electricity. Students require laptops for their studies. They can also use them for entertainment by playing games, watching movies, and music videos. Since the devices are expensive, not everyone can afford them. The government has ways to provide needy students with free laptops.