How to Get Free Laptops for College Students

Looking for a free laptop for college students? While programs do exist that offer free laptops for students, many of them come with strings attached, or the laptops never arrive at all. Know what you're agreeing to before you get involved in a free laptop program.

Some free laptop programs require you to apply for credit.
Some of the free laptop programs that you find on the web require you to apply for credit, loans or other financial products. These laptops aren't really free at all; the companies just advertise them as free for the sake of drawing interest. If a program requires you to apply for credit or a financial product, don't sign up; keep looking elsewhere. These programs can ruin your credit, and you might find yourself stuck making monthly payments for a laptop you thought you were getting for free.

Beware of "incentive programs."
Other free laptop programs offer you laptops as an "incentive" for completing certain promotional offers. You may have to buy or sell magazine subscriptions or electronic products, or you may need to meet other qualification requirements before you're "eligible" for your free laptop. In most cases, the cost of these requirements is equal to or even more than buying a laptop outright.

Beware of programs that offer laptops as an "incentive"; know what you're agreeing to before you join any program that offers a laptop as a prize. Research these programs before you join. A quick Web search can uncover any keywords relating to scams and let you know whether you're dealing with a legitimate offer.

Use an educational grant to buy a laptop.
Many students receive educational grants as part of school scholarship packages. If you get a grant as part of your financial aid, or if you get an independent grant from a third-party organization, look into the grant requirements and permissible uses. Many educational grants also cover expenses for school supplies, and a laptop may count as a school supply under the terms of your grant. Grant money does not have to be repaid, so this is another, legitimate method you can use to get a free laptop.

Be on the lookout for raffles and want-ads.
Your college campus may have raffles or giveaways for free laptops, so keep your eyes peeled for these types of programs. Raffles may require you to invest in a few tickets, but as long as the tickets are inexpensive, it could be a worthwhile investment. Your chances of winning a drawing for a free laptop on your campus might be slim, but they have the added bonus of not requiring you to join any programs or apply for credit that can ultimately have dire financial repercussions.

Some online schools include a laptop in tuition.
If you're taking classes online or attending an online school, your school might offer a free laptop as part of tuition. While these programs vary from organization to organization, some online schools "rent" you a laptop using part of your overall tuition fee. You don't pay a separate fee for the laptop; it's billed as a part of tuition. When you complete the degree or online courses, you may be eligible to keep your laptop. In this way, the cost for the laptop is built into your education; you don't pay extra for it, but it's not exactly "free."

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