Written By - Bob Litt

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dixie Brown

The education landscape has transformed significantly, evolving from traditional on-campus learning to the dynamic realm of online and distance education. This shift, fueled by cutting-edge computing and digital tools integration, has redefined the learning experience. In the contemporary digital era, students engaging in online education require only an internet connection and a device—be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Recognizing the vital importance of providing essential tools, specific colleges have taken proactive steps. These institutions have implemented laptop programs, offering free or discounted laptops to online learners. 

This comprehensive guide explores the intricacies of these programs, providing valuable insights into device selection and presenting a detailed overview of online colleges that connect students and ensure they are well-equipped for success in their educational pursuits

online colleges with free laptops or tablets

Table Of Contents

Online Colleges with Free Laptops or Tablets

This comprehensive section presents a curated list of online colleges that generously provide free laptops or tablets. Explore these institutions to discover the added benefit of essential tools for your online education journey.

Featured Online Programs

This webpage may mention the possibility of free laptop programs offered by various educational institutions. However, please note that the inclusion of any school on this page does not guarantee or imply a free laptop offer. The availability and terms of free laptop programs are subject to change and may vary between institutions. For the most accurate information, please consult with schools directly.

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Choosing the Right Laptop for Online College

Choosing the right laptop for online college education is a critical decision, considering that it will likely become the primary tool for learning. College students should carefully assess their personal needs, program requirements, expected duration of laptop usage, and other pertinent factors before selecting.

The market offers a variety of laptops and tablets, including MacBook, Surface (Microsoft), Chromebook, and traditional Windows-based laptops. These devices, originating from different manufacturers, boast distinct software and hardware configurations. 

Here’s a brief overview of the various types of laptops available in the market today:

Common NameForm FactorManufacturerOperating System
MacBook (Air/Pro)LaptopApplemacOS
ChromebookLaptopGoogleChrome OS
Laptop (Generic)LaptopLenovo, HP, Acer, Dell, etc.Windows
iPad (Air/Pro)TabletAppleiPad
Dell XPSLaptopDellWindows
HP EnvyLaptopHPWindows
ASUS ZenBookLaptopASUSWindows
Acer AspireLaptopAcerWindows
Microsoft Surface GoTabletMicrosoftWindows
The Laptop: Dissected

Selecting the perfect laptop can be a perplexing and overwhelming task. With many models and intricate specifications, it’s easy to feel lost in decision-making. To simplify this journey, let’s explore essential components and specifications crucial for personal computers. 

This breakdown aims to provide clarity, making choosing the right laptop a more straightforward and informed experience.

Key Laptop Components and Recommendations

ProcessorThe brain behind the machine handles all computing tasks. Faster processors contribute to a quicker machine. (Note: directly impacts battery life.)At least: 10th gen Intel Core i3
MemoryKnown as RAM, it enables smooth processor functioning and multitasking.At least 4GB DDR4 RAM. Ideal: 8GB to 16GB for Windows Laptops & Chromebooks
StorageHDD or SSD stores software and data. SSDs are faster but costlier.At least*: 500GB HDD
DisplayModern laptops use TFT technology and LED backlit. Some displays are touch-enabled.At least 1366 x 768 pixels resolution, 250 nits brightness. Ideal: 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, 350 nits brightness.
GraphicsBuilt-in graphics processor for visual tasks. Discrete graphics may be needed for graphics-intensive software.At least: Intel HD Graphics

Crucial Components and Factors

When picking the perfect laptop, there’s more to explore than the processor, memory, storage, and display. Let’s simplify the laptop selection process by unraveling these critical considerations.


Laptops vary in size, including 13 inches, 14 inches, 15.6 inches, 16, and 17 inches. Size affects portability, weight, and battery power.

Battery Life:

Manufacturers specify usage time on a full charge rather than battery capacity. Larger laptops may offer fewer hours of use due to power requirements. A minimum of 4 hours of continuous use is generally sufficient.

Camera, Speakers & Microphone:

Essential for online lectures, a quality camera, balanced speakers, and effective microphones contribute to a good video conferencing experience.


Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity is crucial in today’s digital landscape. Current Wi-Fi standards include 802.11n, 802.11ac, and the recent addition, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

Operating System:

Acts as an interface between hardware and the user. Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS are popular options. Program requirements, software compatibility, and personal preferences play a role in choosing the right operating system.

Warranty & Repairability:

Warranty is essential for potential repairs. Microsoft, Windows, and Chrome-based laptops have varying warranty periods, while Apple laptops generally offer a 1-year warranty extendable for a fee. Repair costs differ between Windows and Apple laptops.


Each operating system has strengths and limitations. When choosing a laptop, consider ease of use, compatibility, stability, user interface, software availability, upgradability, personal preferences, and ecosystem. The decision may depend on individual needs and the ecosystem of the chosen operating system.

(Note: Apple fans can check if their desired college is an Apple Distinguished School.)

Key Considerations for Your Laptop Choice

Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into understanding laptops let’s narrow down the focus with some crucial questions to guide your decision:

  1. Processor Speed
    How fast does the laptop run?
  2. Memory (RAM) and Storage (HDD/SSD)
    How much power does it pack, and how spacious is its storage?
  3. Webcam, Speakers, and Microphone Quality
    Are these components up to the mark for online activities?
  4. Connectivity
    How well does the laptop sync with external devices, and what connectivity options does it offer?
  5. Battery Life
    What’s the duration of use on a single charge?
  6. Size and Weight
    Is it portable enough for your needs?
  7. Pre-installed Software
    What programs come ready to use?
  8. Warranty
    Does it come with a protection plan for unexpected issues?
  9. Student Discounts
    Are there any special deals for students from the laptop vendor?

Answering these questions will guide you toward the laptop that best suits your needs.

Online Colleges with Free Laptops – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do all online colleges offer free laptops?

No, not all online colleges offer free laptops. Free laptops are specific to certain institutions, typically as part of dedicated programs for new student enrollment.

What kinds of laptops do colleges offer for free?

Who is eligible for a free laptop?

Are the free laptops new?

Do I get to choose what laptop I get?

Can I upgrade my free laptop without permission?

What if the laptop malfunctions?

Do I have to return the laptop upon graduation or drop out?

Do online schools offer free laptop programs for undergraduates?

Are there hidden costs associated with free laptops?

Which colleges offer laptops for free?

Online Colleges with Free Laptops or Tablets – Details

To integrate technology into education, numerous online schools now provide students with complimentary laptops upon enrollment in their online programs. These institutions may extend the benefit of free or discounted laptops to facilitate academic pursuits. 

The following section outlines details about colleges with laptop programs, presenting information on institutions that offer laptops at no cost or reduced prices to college students, presented in alphabetical order.

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Bethel University is a private Christian university located in McKenzie, Tennessee. It is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence and Christian values and offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs. With a focus on providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment, Bethel University aims to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed for personal and professional success.

  • Graduate Tuition Fees – $460 per credit hour
  • Overall Graduation Rate – 71%

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Exploring Further Resources for Online College Students

Embarking on a master’s degree journey involves more than selecting a program that provides a free laptop. Navigating the vast educational opportunities can be overwhelming for students conducting a school search. To assist in this endeavor, OMC (Online Masters Colleges) offers a rich array of resources tailored for graduate students, empowering them to make informed decisions. Here are some valuable resources to kickstart your exploration:

  1. Best Financial Aid Guide Delve into the comprehensive world of college funding, covering everything from scholarships to grants and FAFSA. This financial aid guide serves as a roadmap, guiding students through every facet of financial assistance.
  2. Student Notebooks Choosing the right laptop is crucial for academic success. The Student Notebooks platform assists students in selecting the most suitable laptop that aligns with their educational needs, ensuring they are well-equipped for their coursework.
  3. Common App Simplify the college application process by utilizing the Common App. This platform enables students to apply to multiple colleges simultaneously. Explore our guide to understand the intricacies of this streamlined application procedure.
  4. Best Buy Back-to-School Deals Best Buy frequently presents enticing ‘Back to School’ deals, offering students opportunities to purchase laptops and tablets at discounted prices. Stay updated on these offers to make cost-effective choices for your academic tools.
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