Laptops and desktops have become a highly essential part of our lives these days but not everyone can afford them, especially people fighting against poverty. To help such folks, there are various schemes from the government, non-profit organizations, and brands to get free laptops for eligible low-income families.
If you can’t afford a laptop in the U.S. but really want one to stay connected with the modern digital world, then this guide is for you. Here, we have compiled a list of all programs and organizations that offer free computers to people who can’t purchase them with their own money.
Remember that different programs and schemes have different eligibility criteria and processes. You must select the program with the highest chance of getting the benefits. You should also stay aware of some fraudulent schemes available on the web and not trust every scheme that you see on the web.
- 1 How to Get a Free Laptop For Low Income Families?
- 2 General Eligibility Criteria to Get a Free Laptop:
- 3 Programs To Get Free Laptops With Low-Income:
- 3.1 1. Computers with Causes:
- 3.2 2. Everyone On:
- 3.3 3. The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR)
- 3.4 4. The ON IT Foundation:
- 3.5 5. PCs For People:
- 3.6 6. SmartRiverside:
- 3.7 7. World Computer Exchange:
- 3.8 8. Freecycle:
- 3.9 9. Adaptive.org
- 3.10 10. Laptops For Learning:
- 3.11 11. Interconnection:
- 3.12 12. Salvation Army:
- 4 Other Ways to Get Free or Discounted Laptops
- 5 Frequently asked questions
How to Get a Free Laptop For Low Income Families?
There are many ways to get a free laptop if you can’t afford one. You can get it permanently and also for temporary work. For the latter, you can rent a laptop from a local library or ask a friend to lend you their laptop but we’ll focus on the former in this guide. We’ll explain how to get your own laptop for free.
The first step to getting a free laptop if your family is classified as having a low annual income from all sources is to find the right program for you. To do that, you can shortlist some schemes with your eligibility and then select the one that offers the most benefits without much hassle.
After that, you can apply for that scheme with valid documents. Make sure that you stay honest throughout the whole procedure and refrain from hiding any information about yourself. Some of the programs also require a background check or an assessment to eliminate false applications.
Once you’re selected, you will get your free laptop. However, it may take several weeks or even a few months. Being patient is important. You should also remember that your chances of getting a laptop from any certain program or scheme are not guaranteed in most cases.
General Eligibility Criteria to Get a Free Laptop:
There is usually a common eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to get a free laptop. If you’re a student or someone with a disability, your chances of getting benefits increase significantly. However, not all programs have a preference for students and disabled people.
Here are the requirements you must meet in order to get a free laptop for low-income families through Government or non-government programs:
- You must have a proof of American citizenship.
- You must have a valid proof of ID such as a driver’s license, social security number, or passport.
- You must have a document to prove that your income is below the average needed to be eligible for the program such as a tax return or a recent payslip.
- You must have valid proof of address such as a utility bill, credit card statement, lease agreement, or mortgage statement.
- Your proof of enrollment at an educational institute (if you’re a student)
- Your certificate of disability provided by a certified medical institute (if you’re disabled)
- (Optional) Your involvement with any of the following low-income family programs:
- Section 8
- Federal Pell Grant
- Housing assistance programs
- Free or reduced school lunch program
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- National School Lunch Free/ Reduced Program
- Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Unemployment Benefits
- Veteran Benefits
- Head Start
- Food Stamps
- Foster Care Program
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Programs To Get Free Laptops With Low-Income:
Here is a list of all Government-backed, NGO-run, and other types of programs that help people in need to get free computers and laptops. You can pick the right scheme from this list and apply for a free laptop. When you’re approved, you’ll receive a free laptop for your work or studies.
Make sure you go through the terms and guidelines mentioned on respective websites with care. You can also apply to multiple programs to boost your chances of getting a free computer.
1. Computers with Causes:
Computers with Causes is a national program managed by the Giving Center which provides refurbished computers and other necessary equipment to people and organizations in need. They have a simple online application process where you have to undergo a strict needs assessment and background check.
You may also have to complete a reference check. Once your request is accepted, you’ll receive a free computer. The program has a mission to instill the value and power of giving and the impact it can have on others’ lives. They provide thousands of computers every year to the individuals who need them.
It’s also worth noting that if your application is unanswered for over 30 days, you can apply again. However, if your application is rejected, you can’t apply in the same year.
2. Everyone On:
Everyone On is a national non-profit organization that helps people in need to get affordable computers and internet services. They provide no-cost, low-cost, and affordable computers obtained from customers who don’t require them to individuals who really need them.
It offers one of the best programs to get a free computer if the annual income of your family is less than $35,000. Here are some other requirements that you should meet to get a free computer from them:
- Have a child who receives free or reduced-price school lunch
- Receive public assistance
- Live in public housing
- Be a veteran or active-duty military member
- Be a senior citizen
- Have a disability
Once you’re ready with the documents, you can visit their website, and apply for the program.
3. The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR)
The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR) is a group of non-profits and refurbishers who have come together to help people in need of affordable and free technology. It collaborates with electronic recyclers and resellers to supply underprivileged areas with low-cost and no-cost electronic equipment.
They have a limited stock that they can provide to the people in need. When they don’t have a free computer to give, they connect people with local charities that may be able to provide a free PC. You can visit their website and apply for a free laptop if your annual income is low.
4. The ON IT Foundation:
The ON IT Foundation offers a program that helps students from low-income families to get a free laptop. Their scheme is open for children from grades K through XII. For context, ON IT is an abbreviation for “Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology.
You must meet the following requirements to get a laptop from the ON IT Foundation:
- Low-income status
- Child or children in grades K to 12
- Children must attend a public school in the US
- Participate in a free or reduced lunch program
If you’re eligible, you can write a letter requesting a free laptop for your child. It should include the student’s name, age, grade, name of the school, address, and phone number, and the parent/ guardian’s name, address, and phone number. The letter must be posted to the following address
The On It Foundation ATTN: Free Computer Application 18520 NW 67th Avenue Ste. 186 Miami FL, 33015
Make sure that the parent or guardian must sign the letter. They also have to send a copy of the letter from the school. The school’s letter should be on letterhead and clearly state the child’s eligibility for free or reduced lunch. For more information, you can visit the official website.
5. PCs For People:
PCs For People, also known as PCP, is another non-profit program that provides free laptops to people who can’t afford them. This NGO has a set of regulations that you must comply with to get a free PC for work. To qualify, you must be poorer than 200% of the poverty line, have a disabled family member, work for a social welfare agency, be a social worker, or have enrolled in an income-based government assistance scheme.
If you think you’re eligible, you can either visit their nearby store and submit your application with valid documents or apply online by submitting your papers on their website. Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a free laptop and other essential pieces of equipment.
SmartRiverside is another government-backed program that offers free laptops, tablets, and desktops to low-income families. It’s available in several states and provides no-cost or low-cost gadgets based on your income. However, the eligibility criteria may vary from one state to another.
This program not only provides free computers but also works to enhance computer learning among people who can’t access it. Their mission is to reduce the digital divide and help everyone get access to the modern digital world without any discrimination.
7. World Computer Exchange:
World Computer Exchange is another free program that provides free laptops to people in need. They collaborate with NGOs, schools, libraries, political parties, and the government to offer technology equipment to low-income families to help them have access to the recent digital evolution.
They have standard eligibility criteria that you can find on their website. If you meet that, you can submit an application and get a free computer. However, you will only get the device if they approve your application.
Freecycle is a network that connects people who have spare computers to individuals who desperately need one but can’t afford it. It’s a non-profit organization that encourages recycling and reusing items. If you really want a free laptop, you can visit their website, and find someone looking to donate one in your area.
You can browse boards of people donating computers near your location. Once you find someone, you can ask them and pick the free computer. However, you must follow basic safety precautions while dealing with strangers in your area. You should also ensure that the PC you receive is fully wiped of any personal data.
Adaptive.org is an organization that helps low-income households get free laptops and computers. Their program is specially focused on children and students. If there is a child in your house of age 5 or more, you can apply for a free laptop for them on their website.
They also help senior citizens and people with disabilities to get free access to personal computers. You can call them at 1-800-763-3097 to get more information about the program.
10. Laptops For Learning:
Laptops For Learning is a non-profit that aims to provide used and refurbished computers to children coming from low-income households. The organization collects secondhand computer equipment, reassembles and refurbishes them, and then provides them to the needful.
You must prove your low-income status and the need for a computer in your application to boost your chances of getting approved. You can also apply again in case you don’t hear back from them in a month. It is focused on providing free laptops to students and war veterans.
Interconnection is another charity that provides low-cost computers to individuals who need them. This organization is based in the Seattle area but operates throughout the United States. You can find laptops and desktops from various top brands like Dell, Lenovo, HP, Apple, etc, on their online store.
You must have valid documents that prove your citizenship, income, and student status to get laptops at the lowest prices with Interconnection. They even organize giveaways where you can get laptops for free.
12. Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is a major non-profit organization in the U.S. that offers free laptops to low-income families. They also offer other charity services such as low-cost food, shelter, clothing, medicines, and other essentials. You can get approval from them to access a wide range of benefits.
This NGO collaborates with many thrift stores that specialize in various fields. If you’re someone from a low-income family who urgently needs a laptop but can’t afford it, you can seek help from them. They’ll surely help you if your case is genuine.
Other Ways to Get Free or Discounted Laptops
Apart from government-backed programs and NGO-run schemes, there are some other ways that you can try to get a free laptop. These are useful for people who don’t have valid documents to prove their low-income status, people who can’t wait for months to hear back on their applications, and people who urgently need a PC to complete their work.
The first one is to visit local libraries as they allow people to use their computers for free. Some of them even lend their laptops for a nominal fee. It’s a wise choice if you only need a laptop temporarily. Another way is to request your school or office to lend you a laptop for work.
Many companies and institutes offer loaner laptops for business and education. You can also try your luck in laptop giveaways and contests where laptops are in the prize pool. You can also ask for them as gifts from your loved ones on Thanksgiving, Christmas, your birthday, or any other occasion.
One more method is to find the right grant program for yourself. There are several grant programs that help low-income families, students, veterans, disabled folks, and other people in need. The E-Rate program, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, Rural Utilities Services, etc, are some examples of that.
Having a laptop is necessary these days and if you don’t have one, you might face a lot of hurdles in your work and studies. These are some of the best ways to get a free laptop if you’re from a low-income family, or if you’re a student, veteran, or someone with a disability.
These programs are focused on helping people in need. You should only seek help from them if you really can’t afford to buy a PC. Once you work hard and change your status, you shouldn’t forget the roots and give back to the community that helped you reach your destination.
That’s all for this guide. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to use the comment box.
Frequently asked questions
1. How can I get a laptop for free?
2. Does Google give free laptops?Yes, Google has a program that offers free laptops or low-cost computer equipment to students and schools. They provide them to people who need them in exchange for feedback on Google products. You can apply for the program online and wait for their approval.
3. Can I get a loan to buy a laptop?
I’m Olivia Smith, a writer who works in a Government Assistance Program. I love helping people and making a difference. When I’m not working, I enjoy reading books, watching rugby, and traveling to new places. Exploring the world and meeting different people inspires me. I’m passionate about supporting those in need and often write about my experiences and thoughts on various blogs.