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Free Laptops For Low-Income Families

Written by: John Crawford
Last updated: May 14, 2024

Many government programs, non-profit organizations, and local groups offer free broken laptops for low-income families.


Different programs have different requirements, including income requirements, citizenship, and other program participation.


Adults living in households earning less than $30,000 a year are almost twice as likely as those in higher-income households to report not using the internet (14% vs. 8%)[1].


For every 10 percentage point increase in high-speed internet connections, economic growth can increase by 1.3 percentage points[2].


Studies have shown that Lifeline improves access to emergency services, employment opportunities, and health services for low-income individuals[3].


Regular use of laptops helps students develop essential digital literacy skills, which are crucial for success in the modern workforce[4].

In today's world, technology plays a key role in education, employment, and staying connected.

Yet, access to technology can be a challenge for low-income families. The cost of laptops and internet service can create a digital divide for these families.

The good news is that many programs provide free laptops for low-income families. This includes:

  • Government programs
  • Local Library or community center
  • Non-profit organization
  • Manufacturer refurbished programs

In this article, let's discuss the available options in detail.

Where to Find Free Laptops For Low-Income Families

Several programs and organizations offer free or low-cost laptops to low-income families. Here are some of the options to explore:

Government Programs

The Federal Lifeline program offers a discount on monthly phone or internet service. Eligible families can use them to connect a laptop to the internet.

Local Library or Community Center

Where to Find Free Laptops For Low-Income Families

Check with your local library or community center. Many libraries offer free computer access and might have laptop donation programs.

Non-Profit Organizations

Many non-profit organizations specialize in providing technology access to low-income communities. Here are a few to consider:

These organizations need applicants to meet certain eligibility requirements. This includes proof of income or participation in government assistance programs.

Manufacturer Refurbished Programs

Several computer manufacturers offer refurbished laptops at a fraction of the original price. These laptops are pre-owned but inspected and repaired to ensure proper functionality.

They are not free but a cost-effective laptop option.

Applying for Free Laptops

The application process for free laptops will vary depending on the program or organization. Some general steps include:

  • Review the program's requirements to see if your family qualifies. This usually requires income verification.
  • Complete the application form. This will include basic information about your family and your need for a laptop.
  • Gather necessary documents. This includes proof of income, address verification, or a referral letter.
  • There might be a waiting list for the laptop to be received, depending on availability.

Additional Considerations

While acquiring a free laptop is a significant step, there are other factors to consider:

  • Having a laptop is only half the equation. Families will need affordable internet access to use the laptop.
  • Free laptops may not come with extended warranties. Consider basic computer courses or find free online resources to troubleshoot technical issues.
  • You may need to pay extra for essential software compatible with your free laptop. Also, factor in the cost of basic maintenance, like battery replacements, over time.

Final Thoughts: Closing the Digital Divide

Technology access is vital for bridging gaps in our tech-savvy community. Utilize the available resources to ensure your success in today's digital world. Once you have a laptop, leverage it to your advantage. For instance, you can use it to search for job opportunities, as mentioned earlier, and earn money over time. Explore various work-from-home jobs that can be done on a laptop. Read our next guide to learn where to get affordable internet services for your new laptop.

John Crawford
John Crawford is a dedicated researcher who has devoted his career to studying the intricacies of government benefits programs and their impact on individuals and communities. Armed with a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a strong analytical mind, John has contributed valuable insights through his extensive research projects. His work informs policymakers, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve social care programs. John's commitment to evidence-based research has made him a respected figure in the field, advocating for more equitable and effective government benefit policies.
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