Getting anything done in today’s world is virtually impossible without a computer. Tasks like applying for a job, paying bills, completing paperwork and so on; not having a computer is a makes these simple jobs a lot harder than they have to be.
In this list, you will find over 25 ways to get a free laptop or desktop computer (or highly discounted).
Most of these programs are for low-income individuals or students.
For those of you just outside of qualifications, there are still some extremely cheap ways to get a laptop or a computer.
Listed below are some of the legitimate ways to get a free laptop, so to avoid all sorts of scams, keep reading this article.
How to Get a Free Laptop
Organizations and programs listed here are free to apply and shouldn’t cost you anything.
The Onlt Foundation
In order to qualify for a free laptop you must satisfy these qualifications:
-Have a child actively enrolled in K-12
-Receive free (or reduced) lunch
-Attend a public school. Only for the United States.
Onlt Foundation has started Jump Only in case you don’t qualify for a free laptop, you could get highly discounted ones.
Computers 4 R Kids
This organization is doing excellent work in building up school computer labs and kids computers at home. They are based in North California and you should definitely call them and see if you qualify and if they have any laptops available.
Computers With Causes
They donate computers to kids, returning military and households in need. The only problem is they are overwhelmed with requests every year so they have to donate only to ones with the most in need.
With Causes collects many donations and then distribute to the ones in need. In order to be eligible you have to:
-Live in a low-income household
-Live in a women’s shelter for battered women
-Be a military member or veteran
You don’t have to explain your situation to them, they just ask for basic information.
Smart Riverside Inclusion Program
Smart Riverside Inclusion Program is a geographically exclusive program for free laptops. In order to qualify you must:
-Live in Riverside, California
-Earn less than $45,000 per year
-Take a free computer class
After you finish the course you will receive your laptop. This program seems like it is very complicated but it is designed to help low-income families with their education, communication, and potential.
Technology for the Future
This organization is a big advocate for getting computers in the hands of students. Even though they don’t have a clear application process on their site, you can call them and see what steps you need to take to get a free laptop.
World Computer Exchange
World Computer Exchange is doing great work with developing countries and ones hit by a natural disaster. The only requirement is that you have to be under 24 years old. Each computer they give away comes with Linux and contents including agriculture, environment, technology and other educational content.
Salvation Army or Goodwill
Salvation Army can help you with a lot of things and a free laptop is one of them. If you’re having a rough time financially they can help. The other option is Goodwill. They can also help you out with many things.
Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse
They have a useful map that can help you connect with their organization near you. They have over 75 locations across the United States on their map. There are some locations that are not entirely free but search through the map until you find something close that matches your financial capabilities.
This is a non-profit organization like many on this list that helps low-income homes get connected to the internet and access to a laptop. The amazing thing is that they have helped over 600,000 people to connect to the internet since 2012, and they plan to help over 1,000,000 by 2024. Contact them directly to see how they can help you get a free laptop
Freecycle is a great community drive site. They have over 9,000,000 members worldwide. The goal is to prevent things from going into the trash by giving them to other members of their community. To use the site, you need to find your local board and see if there are any laptops on there. If so, just go there and pick them up, otherwise, you can post a request and wait.
Contests / Giveaways
It’s always a long shot, but entering legitimate contests or free laptop giveaways can be a great way to receive a free laptop without doing anything. Stack Social sometimes gives away free laptops but be sure to check their site from time to time. Be careful with this option and enter only contests that are 100% legitimate.
Even though your local library probably won’t have any free laptops for you to bring home they often have a least few computers to use for free. Generally, they also provide free internet access.
The only thing that you need to have is a library card which is usually free to make.
Contact Your Local or State Department of Human Services
Although there is currently no federal programs to connect low-income families with free laptops, you can contact your local or State Department of Human Services to see if there are any programs or laptop grants available. You can also contact local municipalities who often partner with non-profit organizations that can help assist you in getting a free laptop.
Free Laptops for College Students
There are not many ways for college students to get a free laptop. The best way is to try one of the programs listed here.
Colleges with Free Laptops for Students
There are some colleges that give their students free laptops, but with the tuition and everything, it really doesn’t count as free. The Open Education Database has a list of colleges that offer free laptops for being a student.
Notebooks for Students
While they don’t give free laptops for college students, they do sell them at a highly discounted price with a 4-year warranty to students.
Highly Discounted Laptops & Computers
If you don’t qualify for a free laptop or simply you are not near any organizations that are able to help you out, you will find other solutions below.
The Jump OnIt Foundation (started by the OnIt Foundation listed above)
It was started by the Onlt Foundation. It’s an alternative if you don’t qualify for a free laptop from the Onlt Foundation. The laptops are around $100 with extra discounts for military, students, and seniors.
PCS for People
This organization offers low-cost laptops and desktop computers that are in an income-based government assistance program.
Computer Technology Assistance Corps (CTAC)
CTAC sells laptops and desktops on a “cost-recovery basis.” In order you qualify you must have one of the following:
-Receive state of federal benefits, such as food stamps
-Be handicapped or disabled
-Receive free or reduced schools lunches
Desktop computers start around $70 while laptops are around $100.
Even though they offer low-cost internet, they can also hook you up with an affordable laptop equipped with Microsoft Office, an anti-virus, and a warranty if you qualify.
They are based in Seattle with a physical shop. If you are not from Seattle they also offer free shipping on all orders and laptops. Their computers also come with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
Although you can’t get a free laptop you can definitely find some great deals.
Craigslist or eBay
Depending on how old the laptops are, you can find some great deals on these sites. A refurbished ThinkPad T420 from Lenovo can go for $100- 150.
How to Spot & Avoid Free Laptop Scams
While all of the resources listed here are legitimate it’s important to remain aware of scams and other harmful sites. Some of the scams that you can stumble upon are fake surveys, instant winner ads and so on. Be extremely careful when applying for free things.
Some of the things to pay attention to are;
-Look for 3rd party reviews
-Make sure to read the Terms & Conditions before applying
-Make sure nothing seems out of place
-Avoid entering any sensitive information when possible
-If they have a number, call them and talk to them in person.
Please, never give out personal information unless you know that the organization in question is legitimate. Do not give information like email addresses and passwords, social security numbers or drivers license numbers, etc.
It is extremely important to remember that these organizations are here to help people in need and if you can afford a laptop or a computer on your own please consider it. I hope that this post helped you in finding a perfect laptop for you.