Nowadays, we all rely heavily on electronic devices. Children use them for entertainment and cognitive development, adults use them for work, education, and all sorts of convenient apps, and seniors use such devices for collecting memories and staying in touch with loved ones. However, students may need a device that enables them to read and learn, write assignments, and access virtual classrooms most of all. As such, we are about to explore the options of getting free tablets for students in great depth. By the end of the article, you will know exactly what to do to get a free tablet for students. Stay tuned.
Why Are Free Tablets for Students Important?
Free tablets for students play a crucial role in modern education by providing numerous benefits and opportunities. Here are some reasons why free tablets for students are important:
- Tablets enable students to study, search for information, read, write assignments and homework, attend webinars and access virtual classrooms, stay organized, and much more.
- Tablets provide immediate access to a wealth of educational resources, such as online libraries and research materials, enhancing students’ learning experiences.
- They enable interactive and engaging digital learning through educational apps, e-books, videos, and games, catering to different learning styles and promoting active participation.
- Tablets develop crucial digital literacy skills, including navigation, research, collaboration, and productivity tools, preparing students for academic success and future careers.
- Personalized learning is facilitated, with customized materials, progress tracking, and immediate feedback, fostering individualized and self-paced learning.
- Tablets’ portability allows learning anytime and anywhere, accommodating flexible environments and diverse preferences.
- By providing tablets, the digital divide is bridged, granting equal technology access and reducing educational disparities for economically disadvantaged students.
- Tablets promote collaboration among students and teachers, encouraging teamwork, communication skills, and preparation for collaborative work settings.
Overall, free tablets empower students with digital tools, educational access, and personalized learning, fostering engagement, creativity, critical thinking, and essential skills for success in the digital age.
Best Programs That Offer Free Tablets for Students in 2023
If you are a student unable to purchase a tablet, you are most likely to receive such a device through one of the following options:
- Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP is a new government assistance program managed by the FCC that was launched during the pandemic when the need for a stable internet connection and a connecting device became clearer than ever. The program offers discounts of up to $30 or $75 for eligible Tribal households on monthly internet services. Moreover, it offers a one-time discount of up to $100 on connected devices (primarily tablets but also laptops and desktop computers). While receiving a free tablet from this government assistance program is safe, quick, and reliable, and it comes with other perks (free internet services), it also has its downsides. For starters, the tablet cannot be completely free of charge, as the government demands the customer to pay a mandatory fee of between $10 and $50 (depending on the providing company). Furthermore, not all students can receive a free tablet through ACP, as only eligible households can apply for the benefits.
- Non-profit Organizations. There are several non-profit organizations and charities that offer free tablets for students. The device you can expect to receive is usually refurbished and it may or may not be completely free of charge. Moreover, the student must qualify for the device, generally by proving that he or she comes from a household with limited resources that is unable to afford such a device.
- Schools, Libraries, and Churches. Students are also more likely to receive a free device from a school or library (perhaps even a church) than other people. Why? Simply because all of these institutions realize just how important it is for students to have a device that will help them get an education and build a better future.
In addition to these options that are most suitable for students from low-income households, there are also the following alternatives, which are available for all people in general, regardless of their age and income:
- Carrer/retailer’s promotional offers. Various companies, including Comcast, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, carriers, and specific tablet brands, frequently provide opportunities for free tablets. Note that these offers often come with certain requirements. These may include purchasing a costly plan, adding a new line, switching to their service, trading in an old device, or buying another device at full price.
- Online avenues to potentially obtain a free tablet. These can involve participating in surveys, contests, and giveaways, becoming a reviewer or marketing manager, or searching through online marketplaces for refurbished tablets. These methods may offer a chance to acquire a tablet without direct monetary expenditure.
A Guide to Getting Free Tablets for Students Through ACP in 2023
Getting a free tablet from the government through the ACP program is relatively straightforward, as long as you pass the first step (qualify for the assistance program). To get your own ACP device, follow these steps:
Step 1: Qualify for the ACP Program
To qualify for the ACP program and be eligible to receive a free tablet, there are specific criteria that must be fulfilled. These requirements include:
- Age: The applicant must be 18 years old or an emancipated minor. If the student is below 18, they can apply through a household member.
- Residency: The applicant must be a resident of a state where the selected provider offers their services.
- Household Limit: Only one person per household can receive the benefits.
In addition to these requirements, there are universal eligibility criteria established by the FCC. To be ACP-eligible, the household must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Income: The household’s annual income should be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, which vary based on the household size and state.
- Participation in Programs: A household member participates in one of the following programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Head Start (only for households meeting the income qualifying standard)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
- Federal Pell Grant: A household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
Meeting any of these eligibility criteria qualifies the household to participate in the ACP program and potentially receive a free tablet for students.
Step 2: See if You Can Prove Your Eligibility
Qualifying for the ACP program to receive a free tablet requires more than just claiming eligibility. You must provide evidence of your eligibility by submitting official documents containing essential information. Depending on the eligibility criteria, you may need to verify low income, participation in specific programs, and personal details. Here’s what you need to know:
- Proof of Low Income: You can provide official documents such as a Social Security statement of benefits, paycheck stubs, current income statement from your employer, child support award, divorce decree, prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, Unemployment or Worker’s compensation statement of benefits, or a Veterans administration statement of benefit. These documents should include your full name and income information.
- Verification of Program Participation: You may be required to submit an approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, statement of benefits, or school documentation to prove your participation in a specific program. The document should include your full name, the program’s name, the issuing institution’s name, and a future expiration date.
- Personal Information Verification: You might need to verify your identity, age, address, proof of life, proof of emancipation, and other relevant details. To do so, you can provide a copy of a valid ID, birth certificate, driver’s license, utility bill, emancipation certificate, etc.
Remember to prepare clear copies of the necessary documents in advance and avoid sending originals.
Step 3: Find a Provider That Offers Free Tablets for Students in Your Area
ACP program participating wireless companies that offer ACP benefits can be found in all states, territories, Commonwealth, and Tribal lands. Locating such a company in your area should not be a problem. However, while all ACP companies offer discounts on monthly internet services, not all of them provide discounts on connected devices. Some may offer laptops or desktops instead of free tablets.
To find a suitable ACP provider in your area, go to https://cnm.universalservice.org/. Enter your location and select the ACP program. The tool will generate a list of companies operating in your area. Make a note of which companies offer discounted devices. Contact each of them to inquire about the specific offers they have available (contact information is included in the list).
Here is a list of reputable ACP companies that offer free tablets for students and other eligible customers:
- AirTalk Wireless (visit https://airtalkwireless.com/)
- Cintex Wireless (visit https://cintexwireless.com/)
- Easy Wireless (visit https://myeasywireless.com/)
- Excess Telecom (visit https://www.excesstelecom.com/)
- Go Technology Management (visit https://goknows.com/)
- Maxsip Telecom (visit https://maxsipconnects.com/)
- Moolah Wireless (visit https://moolahwireless.com/)
- My Tablet ACP (visit https://www.mytabletacp.com/)
- NewPhone Wireless (visit https://newphone.com/)
- Q Link Wireless (visit https://qlinkwireless.com/)
- StandUp Wireless (visit https://standupwireless.com/)
- Stimulus (visit https://stimulustabletjobs.com/)
- Torch Wireless (visit https://torchwireless.com/)
- TruConnect (visit https://www.truconnect.com/)
- Unity Wireless (https://apply.gounitywireless.com/ACP/)
- USA Phone (visit https://usaphone.org/)
For more information and to enroll in the ACP program, please visit the respective websites provided.
Step 4: Apply for the Benefits
To apply for the benefits through an ACP provider, follow these steps:
- Find an ACP company that offers free tablets in your area and visit its website.
- Enter your ZIP code.
- Choose a plan and other benefits if prompted.
- When redirected to the company’s online application form, fill it out by providing all the required information and documentation.
- Review all of the provided information/documentation to make sure there are no errors.
- Submit the application and wait for the company to contact you.
- If approved, you will receive a free tablet, free monthly internet services, access to a nationwide network, and perhaps some other benefits.
If the company will require you to also apply through the National Verifier, you can do so by following similar steps at https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply.
A Guide to Getting Free Tablets for Students Through Non-Profits in 2023
Getting a free tablet for students through a non-profit organization is a valid alternative for students from low-income families. Organizations that offer free tablets (or laptops) for students include:
- Accelerate School Program (https://acceleratedschools.org/contact)
- Adaptive.Org (1-800-763-3097)
- Alliance for Technology (https://aftrr.org/)
- Cfy.org (https://powermylearning.org/signup)
- Computers With Causes (https://www.computerswithcauses.org/application/)
- Everyone On (https://www.everyoneon.org/lowcost-offers)
- Freecycle (https://www.freecycle.org/browse/US)
- Human I-T (https://www.human-i-t.org/acp/)
- Komputers for Kids (https://www.komputers4rkids.com/)
- Microsoft Registered Refurbishers (https://devicepartner.microsoft.com/en-us/communications/comm-microsoft-refurbisher-programs)
- National Cristina Foundation (https://cristina.org/what-we-do/)
- PCs for People (https://acp.pcsrefurbished.com/acp)
- Smart Riverside (http://www.smartriverside.org/ or [email protected])
- Technology for the Future (https://technologyforthefuture.org/contact-us/)
- The On It Foundation (The On It Foundation, ATTN: Free Computer Application. 18520 NW 67th Avenue Ste. 186, Miami FL 33015)
- With Causes (https://www.withcauses.org/askforhelp.htm)
- World Computer Exchange (https://worldcomputerexchange.org/get-involved/get-computers/)
To get a free tablet or laptop from any of these organizations, contact them using the contact information provided above and ask what your options are. The representative will tell you whether or not any free devices are currently available in your area and what requirements you need to meet in order to qualify for the device. They will also guide you through the application process, which may involve you providing some personal information, submitting documents that prove your low income and student status, and filling out an online application form.
A Guide to Getting Free Tablets for Students From Schools/Libraries/Churches in 2023
In order to obtain a free tablet from a school/library/church, you should contact your local schools, libraries, and churches, and ask what the chances of them providing you with a suitable device are. Simply make a list of all the schools, libraries, and churches in your area and find their contact information online. Call each institution to ask if they currently offer any free or discounted tablets for students. Keep in mind that you are most likely to receive such a device from your own school/library/church, as these institutions don’t have many such offers and are more likely to help out their own students or regular visitors.
List of Free Tablets for Students in 2023
Non-profit organizations, schools, libraries, and churches tend to offer used or refurbished tablets (or laptops). The brand and model depend on current availability, however, you should not expect to receive the newest and most advanced model.
ACP companies also tend to not reveal the available tablet models in advance. However, those that do currently offer the following refurbished or new models:
- Alcatel Joy Tab
- Alcatel Joy Tab 2
- Apple iPad 3
- Apple iPad 6
- Apple iPad Air
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad Mini 2
- Apple iPad Mini 3
- KonnectONE Moxee Tablet
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Tab E
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
- Sky Elite T8 Plus
- Sky Pad 8