Many people might not know that they can get a laptop free or heavily discounted without being scammed. Computers are important to any household and they help in many ways especially with school work but unfortunately, not everyone can afford a decent laptop.

Students from low-income households can benefit from the following ways to get free of discounted laptops for school, work, and personal use.

Enroll in Colleges That Offer Free Laptops

Many online colleges offer free laptops to students who enroll to study with them. One can research and find a few colleges even in their zip code that will give them a free laptop for school as soon as they enroll for college.

This is to encourage new students to apply and study with them. Many reputable colleges offer this service once you pay for tuition. This will save you money to buy books and more.

Apart from online colleges, some reputable colleges like Seton Hill, Wake Forest, Southern New Hampshire University and Purdue University also provide laptops after registration. However, some of the colleges might ask for the computer back once you graduate but it is still a huge save from having to buy one.

Go ahead and do proper research on the colleges in your area or online colleges and find one that will give you a computer so that you only have to pay for tuition, books, and other necessary costs.

Government Programs

This may not seem possible to most people but it is. You might want to check your local programs and find out which ones are offering free laptops, especially to low-income households.

Much local government like the Web Innovation Technology services in Missouri, and Benefits.gov, give complimentary laptops. These organizations also provide food stamps, Medicaid, and job training to encourage citizens to be empowered with the technology they need so that they can be productive in today’s labor market.

So you can check out the organizations near you and apply for one. Start by checking out the local or state department of human services.

Non-profit organizations

Several non-profit organizations have come in to help people from low-income households get a free laptop because they understand how vital one is in this fast-moving world. It is very easy to apply for a laptop from the foundations. Here are some foundations that you might want to check out:

The On It Foundation

The Opportunity Necessary to Increase Technology foundation (The On It Foundation) helps kids with complimentary computers and internet access. The kids who qualify for the program will also get reduced or free lunches at the public schools they attend.

This organization is funded partly by its discounted computer program, the program sells refurbished computers.


This is another non-profit that helps the community access the internet. Their mission is to support social and economic development and help more people find low-cost computers. This project has helped many people so you might want to visit their site and get help.

You will find out how to get low-cost computers for use after you put in your zip code and answer a few questions to establish your qualifications. If you are in need, you do not have to worry because you will always get help.

Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse

This organization has locations all over the United States and it is a network that has been associated with a big educational mission to refurbish and provide computers to those in need. They also provide the computers at low-cost to those who qualify.

Use this site to select the pin closest to your location and find out which organization will be of most help to you in your area. This is a network of several non-profits and it is easy to find one that will help you out so you do need to feel like you have nowhere else to turn to.

Computers with Causes

Now, this is a non-profit that especially supports veterans and heads of foster homes. You will need to answer a few questions to determine if you qualify for the program. The applicants will be assessed and after background checks and reference calls, one can qualify.

Individuals who do not have any other means of getting aid in institutional programs, so go ahead and apply for aid and you might just get that computer you need for school or other uses. See their application for more details.

How to Find Low Cost or Free Laptops


In some cases, most of the pop-ups and links you get are not real but you might also get a computer by following the searches. You, however, need to specify that it is a free computer you need because some just offer free computer shipping. Be careful and do not be in a hurry because you might end up getting confused and choose the wrong link

Your Local Computer Shops

Try searching where you can buy refurbished or recycled computers near you and you might be surprised at how many local computer shops offer low-cost computers. Ensure that the refurbished computer you buy however affordable has a warranty so that you can be confident on the laptop you are getting.

Some pawnshops also have computers for sale so do a little footwork and visit a few reputable and reliable pawn shops in your area and ask if they might have a low-cost computer to sell you.

Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

You probably spend a few minutes a day on social media and especially Facebook and craigslist. If you have seen the free section then you need to click on it next time, here you may sometimes get lucky and get a deal that could save you a few bucks.

At times, these may not be real, but a quick search around the cities will show you several sites that sell deeply discounted and used laptops. There are people online who might also want to give out their used computers when they no longer need them or if they are planning to upgrade.

You, however, must be wary of craigslist scams because there are a lot of people who would like to prey on the innocent and unload their old junk on the unsuspecting individuals.

Use the craigslist email relay to communicate and avoid giving out personal information. Meet people in public places and not after dark. You might also want to bring someone along when meeting strangers.

Websites That Offer Laptops at Heavily Discounted Rates

Do a quick search and find websites where you can buy cheap laptops with warranties. Some of the websites that might be useful to you are:

Gazelle: they buy used devices and refurbish them for sale on their site. It is possible to get an Amazon gift card and use it to pay your laptop. Here you will get MacBooks, I Pads, iPhones and much more. As time goes by, they acquire more and grow their inventory to include PC’s

Newegg: here you will find deals on the best laptop for any use you might need either new or refurbished. Every time you visit the website, you will find deals that will help you get affordable laptops for school and other personal and work use.


Chromebooks are not that different from Windows laptops. They run on a different operating system called the chrome OS that is built on Google chrome browser and they have been designed to be used with internet connections.

This will enable you to access the internet for any research you need and they are much cheaper than the windows computers. So check them out and you will find one that will be of use to you because they are basic and still very efficient.

They are a good alternative to the normal traditional computer but still give you your everyday functions.

Green & Upcycling Initiatives

There are, many groups and organizations that are dedicated to green and upcycling initiatives and they are found in every state. Some of these groups put their focus on computers and some of them are government-run programs.

In an effort to reduce waste and encourage recycling, the groups reward volunteers with free refurbished computers. Check out any of these organizations in your area and get yourself a free computer.

Free Laptops for People with Disabilities

If you know someone who is disabled or if you are disabled, you can get the many opportunities available for people with disabilities. The people with disabilities fall into the group of low-income individuals and are eligible to apply for the different aids that are available.

Many programs all over the country offer differently-abled individuals with computers for free so you can check with any of the organizations and see if you qualify. One of these organizations is the Jim Mullen Foundation.

You can always check from the local authorities about any of the organizations that will offer you or a differently-abled computer since they are available in many areas.

Beware of Scammers!

As much as you might require a laptop for your school, work or personal usage, you need to be extremely careful so that you do not get scammed in the process.

Verify each site that offers you a free laptop and ensure that they are genuine so that you do not fall into prey to the very many scams out there because the scammers will go to a lot of lengths to assure you that they are legit.

Any contest that needs to download programs might be a scam and might be a virus or programs that might be meant to hack you. Ensure that you properly research before giving out personal information to any website.

A link that is hosted by a reputable site is ok, but if they are ending in strange addresses then be careful and also if you got them from junk mail.

Ask questions before entering online contests and sweepstakes. Get knowledge on the sponsors and if your instincts are telling you that it is too good to be true then it might just be.

Read the reviews about a site or an organization carefully and get to hear other people’s stories before you apply for any of the free computers.

Do not give out personal information like social security numbers, date of births, and any other sensitive information before checking and verifying that they are legit. Read all the terms and conditions provided carefully before you sign up and apply for any of the free computer sites and organizations.

What to watch out for when looking for a free laptop

So that you avoid being scammed, there are some things you need to be careful about because there are so many scammers out there. So that you do not fall prey to any of the many scams, you need to beware of the following:

  • People who ask you to meet after dark or constantly change meeting locations
  • Meeting in private places and people homes
  • Anyone who asks you for money before you meet them and see the computer that is on sale
  • Anyone using broken or weird English
  • Sites that are found in junk mail and pop-ups
  • Sites that require you to download unknown apps
  • Anyone asking for your social security number
  • Anyone asking for your password and any sensitive information

Getting a Low Cost or Free Laptop is Possible

In conclusion, it is very possible to get a free or heavily discounted laptop for school, work or personal use. You must be careful, however, not to get scammed and be wary of hidden costs. Trust your instincts.

Colleges that give out free laptops might be able to do this because the tuition is high. Compare the tuition prices and see if it is worth paying just to get a new laptop that you might have to return on graduation. Take your time and get the best deal as you get your computer.

Remember to recycle your old appliances to other organizations so that they can be helpful to others just like they helped you and always remember that anything that sounds like they might be too good a deal, might not be as good as you might think. Research well so that you get a good computer. just because it is free should not mean that it should be of poor quality.

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