Computers are no longer luxury items. Students and educators depend on them to communicate with one another, complete assignments and stay informed. While many of our students have access to a home computer, a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce suggests that fewer students have access to this technology than we may think. According to the report:
- 23 percent of American homes did not own a computer in 2010
- 46 percent of homes with incomes under $25,000 do not own a computer or have Internet access
We believe that all students should have access to a home computer—and so do the five nonprofit organizations we’ve listed below!
5 Places Offering Free, or Nearly-Free, Computers for Students
Computers for Learning (CFL) doesn’t offer a lot of information, but we can tell you this:
- CFL is a federally funded nonprofit
- You can register for free computers by filling out an online application here
- Schools are only eligible if they can provide a National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) number issued by the U.S. Department of Education
If you have more specific questions, call (866) 472-9161.
While the computers offered through Computers for Students aren’t free, they are cheap: Desktop computers cost $80 and laptops are $150.
Students can apply for discounted computers by completing this application form. Once they are reviewed and approved, a voucher will be mailed to the student. If students are located in the Arlington, Virginia area, they can pick up the system in person. If not, Computers for Students will deliver or ship at an extra fee.
Computer Recycling Center offers two free systems:
Sys # 1301nw: Core 2 Duo / Duo Core desktop, 1 GB memory, 160+ gig HDD.
Sys # 1304nw: Laptop, 1.0 GB memory, 80+ GB HDD, AC adaptor.
Requests for computers must be submitted on letterhead with the following information:
- The CRC system# of the computer you want
- The software programs you intend to run on the computer
- How you will use the computer in your program
- Who will benefit from this computer
Applicants will receive a response within 30 days. If approved, the applicant pays the cost of shipping.
To qualify for a free computer from The On It Foundation applicants must:
- Be in grades K-12
- Receive a free or reduced school lunch
- Attend a public school
- Reside within the United States
If computers are not available, the applicant’s name will be placed on a waiting list. The student’s parent/guardian must write to The On It Foundation requesting a free computer. Information in the letter must provide the following:
- Student’s name, age, grade, school name, school address and school phone number
- Parent/guardian name, address, phone number
- Proof from the school (on its letterhead) that the student qualifies for free or reduced school lunch