Tablets may be the perfect combination between a smartphone and a laptop. And Apple’s iPads are considered the best tablets. iPads are popular because they offer a seamless combination of powerful hardware, a user-friendly interface, a vast selection of apps, and a premium build quality. They are versatile, suitable for work and entertainment, have excellent displays, and long battery life, and are part of the Apple ecosystem, ensuring seamless integration with other Apple devices. Due to their popularity and high price, it’s hard to imagine receiving an iPad completely free of charge, but we’re here to tell you that it’s absolutely possible. In this article, we’ll explore how to receive an ACP free iPad, the requirements, and more.
What is an ACP Free iPad?
In case you’re wondering what an ACP free iPad is in the first place, let’s break it down. ACP is not the name of an iPad model or the name of a company that offers free iPads. Instead, ACP stands for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is a government assistance program offering financial assistance for low-income households who struggle to afford basic internet connectivity.
ACP is funded by the government and managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It offers a discount of up to $30 a month (or even $75 a month for households residing on recognized Tribal lands) on broadband services and a one-time discount of up to $100 on a device that can connect to the internet (companies usually offer tablets, however, it’s also possible to get a laptop or desktop). To receive the device discount, eligible customers must pay a mandatory fee of between $10 and $50.
These benefits are available in all US states and territories and they are distributed by numerous wireless companies that choose to participate in the ACP program and receive the government funds to offer qualifying customers the benefits. However, not all ACP providers offer the exact same benefits. Some only offer discounts on monthly internet plans, while others offer both discounted plans and devices. Companies that also offer ACP devices generally offer free mid-range Android tablets and they often don’t reveal which device model a customer may receive in advance, as the offer tends to depend on availability, location, and other factors.
Nonetheless, there are some ACP companies that offer ACP free iPads. Currently, such companies are not that common. Still, they do exist, which means that you may have a chance of receiving an ACP free iPad. But before you do, you will have to take some vital steps, all of which are explained in the following sections.
Do I Qualify for an ACP Free iPad?
To be eligible for a free government iPad through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Income-based eligibility: Your household’s income should be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Keep in mind that income limits vary by state, household size, and the year of application. You can find the exact income limit for your state and household size in 2023 on the ACP’s official website.
- Government assistance program participation: If you participate in specific government assistance programs, you are eligible for a free government iPad through the ACP. These programs include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pensions and Survivors Benefit, and the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program (including USDA Community Eligibility Provision schools). You are also eligible if you have received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year. Simply provide proof of your participation in these programs to receive your free device.
- Tribal program participation: If you are part of specific tribal programs like the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, you qualify for a free government iPad through ACP.
- Lifeline benefits: Being a beneficiary of the government’s Lifeline program automatically makes you eligible for a free government iPad from ACP. Lifeline, a program by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), offers free or low-cost communication services to eligible low-income households.
- Through a child or dependent: If any member of your household, including a child or dependent, participates in or receives assistance from the above-mentioned tribal or federal government assistance programs, you can also qualify for a free ACP iPad.
In addition to one of these criteria, you must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and you must reside in one of the states where the selected country operates. Also, keep in mind that normally, only one ACP benefit is allowed per eligible household, however, you can apply for an exception.
How Do I Prove My ACP Free iPad Eligibility?
To demonstrate your eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program (and thus an ACP free tablet), you must provide specific documents to the agency administering the program. Here are the types of documents you can present to prove your participation in an assistance program:
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Benefit verification letter
If your eligibility is based on low income, there are several documents you can use for verification, including:
- Previous year’s federal, state, or Tribal tax return
- Most recent income statement from your current employer or a paycheck stub
- Federal/Tribal notice letter confirming participation in General Assistance
- Child support award, divorce decree, or any official document with income details
- Statement of benefits from Unemployment/Workers’ compensation
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
Whether you qualify through income or an assistance program, you’ll need to provide at least one of these documents. Additionally, you should have on hand your Social Security Number, physical address, proof of life, date of birth, and identification documents. You may be asked to verify your identity, age, address, emancipation, and other information.
How Do I Apply for an ACP Free iPad?
To obtain a free government iPad through the ACP program, you need to submit an application. There are several methods to apply, and you can choose the one that suits you best:
- Method 1: Apply Online Through the National Verifier: Visit https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply and complete the online application form. Simply click ‘Next’ at the end of each page and submit the form. This method could provide you with immediate approval within minutes.
- Method 2: Apply via Mail Through the National Verifier: Print out a paper application form from https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf and, optionally, a Household Worksheet from https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Fill out both forms, attach physical copies of your supporting documents, and send the package to ACP Support Center, PO Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773.
- Method 3: Apply Through a Chosen ACP Provider: Certain ACP companies may allow you to apply directly through them, bypassing the National Verifier application. To do this, you must identify a provider offering free government iPads in your area. You can search for all providers in your state at https://cnm.universalservice.org/. Keep in mind that not all of them offer device discounts, particularly iPads. You can find a list of ACP companies offering free iPads in the following section.
List of Top ACP Free iPad Providers
The only three companies that have so far confirmed to offer ACP free iPads are AirTalk Wireless and its affiliate companies Cintex and NewPhone. They stand out among ACP providers by being transparent about their offers and allowing eligible customers to choose their preferred tablet.
- AirTalk Wireless offers not only free service plans with monthly talk, text, and high-speed data but also free smartphones and government tablets, including iPads. You can view their selection of discounted tablets at https://airtalkwireless.com/tablet. To apply, visit https://airtalkwireless.com/apply, enter your ZIP code, select a plan, and follow the application instructions. Please note that eligibility is limited to specific states.
- Cintex Wireless, similar to AirTalk, provides free monthly service plans, phones (including flip phones, Android smartphones, and iPhones), and government iPads and other tablets. Their tablet prices start at $10.01, and you can explore their current tablet options at https://cintexwireless.com/tablet. Start your application process by visiting https://cintexwireless.com/apply, entering your ZIP code, and following the on-screen instructions. Eligibility is restricted to certain states.
- NewPhone Wireless also offers free unlimited plans, cellular phones, and ACP tablets from reputable brands like Samsung and Apple. To see their current tablet selection, visit https://newphone.com/. To enroll in their government assistance program, go to https://newphone.com/apply, enter your ZIP code, and click ‘Apply now’. Keep in mind that only specific states are currently eligible.
There are other ACP providers like Q Link Wireless, StandUp Wireless, Easy Wireless, Maxsip Telecom, etc. that offer free government tablets, although they do not specify tablet models in advance. Thus, the tablet you receive may be an iPad or an Android device.
What to Expect After Applying for an ACP Free iPad?
After applying, the company will review your application and let you know whether or not you qualify. If your application gets rejected, you can check it for any mistakes and reapply.
If your application gets approved, you will receive your iPad via mail within a few days. You will also receive other benefits, such as a free SIM card, free monthly talk minutes, text messages, and data, and perhaps even a free phone, depending on your qualifications.
Is the ACP Free iPad Completely Free?
As mentioned before, receiving the ACP device discount and the device will require you to pay a one-time fee. The prices vary between providers and tablet models. They range from $10 and $50. Prices for iPads in particular range between $10.01 and $49.99.
Which ACP Free iPad Model Can I Get?
AirTalk currently offers the most generous selection of ACP iPads. The company momentarily offers the following models:
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Apple iPad 6
- Apple iPad Air
- Apple iPad Mini 2
- Apple iPad 3
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad Mini 3
ACP Free iPad-Related FAQ
Is it Possible to Replace an ACP Free iPad?
It depends on the provider, however, most providers offer a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and will replace any malfunctioning devices that develop issues within a year. Providers usually don’t cover out-of-warranty issues, physical damage, loss, or theft.
Is it Possible to Upgrade an ACP Free iPad?
Usually, ACP providers don’t offer upgrade options for free iPads, but you can inquire with their customer support to confirm. If upgrades are available, they tend to be significantly more expensive than the original discounted tablet.
How Long Does it Take to Receive an ACP Free iPad?
It may take 7 to 10 business days after your application gets approved.
How Can I Maximize the Chances of Receiving an ACP Free iPad?
Maximize your chances of getting a free government iPad by living in the United States, residing in a state where your ACP carrier operates, meeting income criteria, participating in government assistance programs, providing accurate information, submitting clear documents, and ensuring that no one in your household is already benefiting from ACP.
Can I Get an ACP Free iPad From Apple?
Apple usually doesn’t offer free iPads.
How Can I Get a Free iPad If I Don’t Qualify for ACP?
You can try your luck through a charity or non-profit organization, giveaway contests, online programs, and promotional deals from carriers and resellers.
Is it Possible to Get Both an ACP Free iPad And an iPhone?
Yes, the three providers listed above offer both iPads and iPhones. You can only receive both if you qualify for the Lifeline & ACP Combo plan.