Having a laptop has become a necessity for work-from-home employees and online students. With a good laptop, you can meet your daily targets at work and finish your college assignments. But how do you get a laptop if you cannot afford one.
Among the retail stores offering free laptops is Amazon, the number one online retailer in the U.S. While Amazon Doesn’t offer free laptops as an organization, it works through the federal government’s free or subsidized laptops program.
This article discusses how to get a free laptop from Amazon with the view of hooking you up with one. Please keep reading to learn how it works.
What Does It Mean to Get a Free Laptop
Getting a free laptop means just that – you get a laptop without paying for it! But who meets the cost of the laptop? That means that Amazon or the organization offering free laptops meets the cost of the computer so that you can have it free of charge.
Apart from Amazon, several organizations, including the government and non-governmental organizations, offer free laptops. People who qualify for free laptops come from low-income families and would, otherwise, have failed to get access to a laptop.
How to Get a Free Laptop from Amazon
As a disclaimer, Amazon does not always offer free laptops. At the time of writing this article, there were no free laptops on offer from Amazon. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot get a free laptop from the quintessential online retailer!
In 2020, Amazon donated 4,000 laptops to Advanced Placement (AP) computer science students who needed a device to study and take exams from home. The students got the opportunity to use the laptops during the Covid-19 pandemic and kept them for later use.
This year, Amazon has an offer similar to that in 2020, with students applying online by filling in a form at College Board. For 2022, the applications closed on April 24 for processing and award laptops to qualifying students before the AP exams begin.
Alternatives to a Free Laptop from Amazon
Given that Amazon doesn’t currently offer free laptops, the best option is to get an affordable computer instead. The online platform has lots of refurbished laptops, which come at affordable prices.
Besides, there are several organizations that offer free laptops throughout the year. You can qualify one if you’re a student, an unemployed youth, or you come from a low-income family. First check if you meet the eligibility criteria before applying for a free laptop via any of these alternatives.
How to Get a Free Laptop Computer from Places Other Than Amazon
If you cannot get a free laptop from Amazon, why don’t you look elsewhere? The following are some of the programs and organizations from which you can get a free laptop if you qualify:
1. Computers for Kids
Computers for Kids (CFKid) is a nonprofitable organization specializing in providing laptops to K-12 students. They receive computer donations from individuals and businesses, get them refurbished, and donate to students, schools, and other nonprofitable organizations.
In the case of schools and nonprofitable organizations, the purpose of making donations is to help in building computer labs. Consequently, students have it easy in their education and research. So far, it has donated computers to thousands of students countrywide.
The organization was established in 2002 and has distributed over 50k refurbished fully-equipped computers to groups and individuals. However, you wouldn’t automatically get a computer from the organization. You can to meet a certain criterion to qualify.
2. The OnIt Foundation
The other name for the OnIt Foundation is Opportunities Necessary to Increase Technology (OnIt) is a nonprofit organization offering a free laptop for individuals on Food Stamps. It targets student in the K-12 category.
Low-income families with a K-12 kid can apply for a refurbished computer or laptop through the program. The affected student must be enrolled in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or subsidized school lunch.
The program has stringent criteria that applicants must meet to get a free computer or laptop. Once you qualify, the organization awards you can available computer. If there’s none, it puts you on a waiting list. So far, it has given away over 2,000 laptops.
3. Computers with Causes
The nonprofit organization Computers with Causes offers free computers and laptops to those in need. Like most of the other nonprofit organizations, it gets used computers and laptops from donors, gets them refurbished, before donating to the needy.
Individuals donating laptops, tablets, computers, and other gadgets to the organizations can enjoy tax deductions. It donates free laptops to disabled veterans, foster homes, and learning programs across the nation.
Applicants to the program should meet the organization’s criteria. If you qualify, you may get a laptop immediately or go to a waiting list. In case of the latter, don’t be in a hurry! The organization reaches out to qualifying applicants within 30 days.
4. PCs for People
The nonprofit PCs for People has the reputation for refurbishing computers and laptops before distributing them for free to deserving individuals. As a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, the organization offers a 90-day guarantee on its machines.
It offers free laptops to individuals from low-income families with an income of up to 200% of the prevailing federal poverty guidelines. Applicants should also be beneficiaries of an income-based government assistance program such as Head Start, SNAP, Medicaid, free or reduced school lunch.
The application process involves you walking into their offices with a photo ID and a verification document for eligibility not more than six months old. PCs for People has stores in Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland, and Colorado.
They sell their computers for $0 to $150, depending on who qualifies for the free machine. If you live far off, you can purchase a laptop online and attach a photo ID and eligibility evidence. You’ll get your laptop delivered for free.
5. Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR)
AFTRR or Alliance for Technology Refurbishing & Reuse is a consortium of nonprofit organization involved in refurbishing computers and laptops before offering them for free. On their website, you can enter you ZIP code, city, or state to see the local nonprofit recylers and refurbishers. It lists more than 80 organizations nationwide.
While some of the organizations do not offer free laptops, they avail them at discounted prices. The group is backed by the National Cristina Foundation, a private organization concerned with promoting digital inclusion. They mainly raise awareness on the need to reuse computers, laptops, and other electronics.
6. PCs for People (PCP)
PCP or PCs for People is another nonprofit organization assisting the less-fortunate get free laptops. Applicants for free laptops must meet the low-income criteria by the federal government. You of one of your family members should be in a government assistance program.
For instance, your household income should be up to 200% of prevailing federal poverty lines. Additionally, at least one of your family members should be working as a social worker, social welfare agency, or live with a disability.
7. World Computer Exchange
You could also try world Computer Exchange for a free laptop. The organization targets the youth with free computers and internet services. It works with political parties, the government, libraries, NGOs, and schools to reach low-income families with free devices.
The organization has partners all over the United States. Those looking for a laptop only need to contact the partner organization to complete an application. Fill out an application for a free government laptop and submit it to the organization. It will assess your application and grant you a free laptop.
How to Get an Affordable Refurbished Laptop
You may not always get a free laptop? What do you do when you really need one? The best option is to purchase a refurbished laptop at an affordable price. Here are some of the places where you can get an affordable refurbished laptop:
Amazon is the perfect place for people to access a low-price refurbished laptop. The online marketplace has second-hand laptops from on brands and makes at affordable prices. This is better than wrecking your mind about: how to get a free laptop from Amazon for free. By the time the online retailer offers laptops free of charge, you would already be using your device.
Notably, you can buy an affordable laptop from Amazon without necessarily meeting a government low-income criterion. You don’t have to be on a government assistance program either.
Using the Amazon trade-in program, you can exchange the items you no longer use for new ones. Exchangeable items include old DVDs, books, etc. for an Amazon gift card. Using the gift card, you can get a refurbished laptop at a subsidized price.
2. Everyone On
Everyone On is a nonprofit organization that aims to hook people with affordable laptops and internet services. So far, the organization has hooked over 600 people to the internet at affordable rates.
They operate on the premise that it is possible for the unemployed to get employed 25% faster with an internet connection. So, they want to hook as many people as possible to subsidized internet.
As such, the organization isn’t out to make money but to impact society by hooking up people with affordable devices and internet services. On top of that, you get a discounted computer or laptop for your educational and social needs. You may ask if the company can give you a free laptop before you make up your mind to buy one.
3. Jump OnIt Foundation
Jump OnIt Foundation is related to the OnIt foundation, whose details appear in the former part of the article. Sometimes, the OnIt foundation might not have laptops to provide free of charge to those who need them. so, they buy used laptops, refurbish them, and sell through the Jump OnIt Foundation.
Eligible buyers have to be qualified for a free OnIt Foundation laptop. With the Jump OnIt option, you get highly-discounted laptops. Most of their laptops are available for $99 or less.
You can qualify for Jump OnIt if you meet the following conditions:
- An annual household income below $23,400
- At least one child qualifying for free or subsidized lunch or members of the household receiving assistance through SSI, GA-U, TANF, or DSHS.
If you meet that criteria, you’ll qualify for a free laptop. However, if the free laptop isn’t available, you can get one at a fair price.
Free Government Laptops for Low-Income Families
If you’re in a low-income family, you can get a free laptop or tablet from the government. However, beneficiaries of the government free laptops have to meet strict criteria. You can qualify for a free laptop if you or one of your family members participate in any of the following programs:
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Tribal-Specific programs like Tribally-Administered Temporary Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
You can also qualify for the program if you come from a household with an income up to 130% of prevailing federal poverty regulations. However, there’s no guarantee that you would get a laptop after qualifying. The government only grants laptops to qualifying individuals.
How to Get a Free Government Laptop
The federal government funds the free laptops program and lets several NGOs do the distribution. Here is the procedure of applying for a free laptop from the government:
- Step 1: Obtain an application form from the government agency responsible for free laptops.
- Step 2: Fill out the form, providing all the relevant information. Students should obtain permission from the school, college, or university before applying for a free laptop.
- Step 3: Provide copies of all the required proof documents, not forgetting your ID. Submit the application to the responsible government agency online or hard copy.
- Step 4: If you get approved for a free laptop, you can get your device from an NGO near you.
The Bottom Line
By now you know how to get a free laptop from Amazon. You already know that’s only possible if and when the online retailers have offers for free laptops. If you can’t get a free laptop from Amazon, simply buy a refurbished machine at an affordable price. Alternatively, you can get a free laptop from the government or organization offering them. You only need to be open-minded.