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Online Colleges with Free Laptops

Online Colleges with Free Laptops - African American student reading an e-mail on laptop

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education, online colleges have become a popular choice for students seeking flexibility and convenience. However, the need for a reliable computer is crucial for online learning.

Laptops have emerged as essential tools that empower college students to complete their coursework from anywhere with an internet connection.

This article explores the significance of laptops in online education and provides insights on how to choose the right laptop for college.

Laptop Necessity for Online Learning

As technology continues to play a significant role in education, the demand for laptops has increased. According to the National Association of College Stores, spending on technology surpassed that of other course materials in the previous academic year.

Many students face the challenge of not having access to campus computers or the financial means to purchase a laptop.

Recognizing this, some online schools have taken steps to address this need by offering free laptops for college students or implementing laptop loaner programs.

Online Colleges with Free Laptops

Here are a few online colleges that offer laptops in 2023:

  1. Dakota State University (DSU): DSU has been providing new laptops to full-time, first-year students since 2004. These laptops are configured to accommodate DSU academic programs and come with licensed software, access to secure campus networks, replacement batteries, and warranty protection.
  2. Full Sail University: Full Sail offers an Apple MacBook Pro through Apple’s Project LaunchBox for enrolled students pursuing software development, game development, or simulation and visualization degrees. Students in other programs receive HP laptops, with specific software and hardware varying by program.
  3. Moravian University: Moravian provides incoming students with MacBook Pro laptops and iPads. IT staff assist learners in setting up these devices, which come with pre-installed apps for accessing software and campus resources. AppleCare+ warranties cover hardware and software.
  4. University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC): UMC has been providing laptops to on-campus students and faculty since 1993. The school issues 14-inch HP Elitebooks that can function as both laptops and tablets. Enrollees receive these university-owned laptops at the start of each semester and must return them if they withdraw from the university.
  5. Wake Forest University: Wake Forest offers a discounted laptop program called WakeWare. Financial aid recipients qualify for a technology grant that covers standard WakeWare laptop costs. These laptops include free academic software, extended warranties, and insurance for accidental damage.

When choosing a laptop for college, there are several factors to consider, such as price, processor, RAM, storage, battery life, and size. It’s important to determine your budget, the specific requirements of your program, and how you plan to use the device.

Comparing prices, exploring used-device options, and considering online colleges that offer laptops in 2023 can help you find an affordable option.

If you’re unable to get a laptop through your school, there are other resources available.

Programs like the Dell Scholars Program, PCs for People, Laptops 4 Learning (L4L), and the Affordable Connectivity Program offer free or low-cost laptops to students in need.

Additionally, financial aid and grants, such as the FAFSA and Pell Grants, can be used to cover the cost of a laptop.

The Benefits of Laptops in Online Education

Providing students with laptops not only reduces their stress but also enhances their overall performance.

By offering laptops, colleges empower learners to succeed in their programs. Access to a personal computer enables students to engage in online discussions, submit assignments, and collaborate with peers.

Moreover, laptops facilitate research, access to digital resources, and the utilization of specialized software relevant to various academic disciplines.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Laptop

Selecting the right laptop for college is crucial to ensure a seamless online learning experience. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Processor and RAM: Non-computer-related majors typically require laptops for basic tasks, such as word processing and running academic software. It’s important to choose a laptop with a suitable processor and an adequate amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) to ensure smooth performance.
  2. Storage: Laptops offer different storage options, including hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), or hybrid drives. Consider your storage needs based on your major. While 256GB-512GB storage is usually sufficient for many disciplines, majors like art, engineering, and computer science may require larger storage capacities.
  3. Battery Life: Battery life is a crucial consideration, especially for students who need to work on the go or in locations without readily available power outlets. Smaller laptops generally have longer battery life due to lower-voltage processors, while larger laptops may have shorter battery life.
  4. Size: Laptop size affects price, battery life, and mobility. Smaller laptops are more affordable, lightweight, and portable. Larger laptops offer more power and are better suited for majors that require intensive computing tasks.
  5. Budget and Comparisons: Consider your budget and compare prices across different brands and models. Exploring used-device options can also provide cost-effective alternatives. Additionally, researching online colleges that offer laptops in 2023 can be a viable option for acquire a laptop.

Colleges with Free Laptop Programs Overview

Laptops have become indispensable tools for college students engaged in online learning. They provide the means to complete coursework, access digital resources, and collaborate with peers. By offering free laptops or implementing loaner programs, online colleges are addressing the financial barriers faced by students. When choosing a laptop, factors such as processor, RAM, storage, battery life, and size should be carefully considered to ensure an optimal learning experience.

In cases where acquiring a laptop through educational institutions is not possible, various programs and resources exist to provide free or low-cost laptops to students in need. The Dell Scholars Program, PCs for People, Laptops 4 Learning, the Affordable Connectivity Program, and utilizing financial aid and grants are among the available options.

Investing in a reliable laptop equips students with the tools they need to thrive in their educational journey. As technology advances, laptops will remain essential assets for college students pursuing online education.


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