Online Colleges that Offer Laptops in Illinois

Our team could not find an online colleges located in Illinois that provide laptops but several online colleges offer laptops to students in Illinois.

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Disclosure: 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.

In today’s digital age, online colleges provide students with the flexibility and convenience to earn a degree from anywhere.

A major challenge for many students is the high cost of essential technology, such as laptops.

Recognizing these financial obstacles, several online schools offer programs that provide free or discounted laptops to their students.

These laptop programs can significantly reduce the overall costs associated with online learning. With top-choice laptops for college students often exceeding $2,200, these programs help ensure that students have the necessary tools for success without straining their budgets.

Exploring such options is critical for anyone considering an online degree.

Key Takeaways

  • Several online colleges offer free or discounted laptops to their students.
  • Reducing technology costs can make online learning more affordable.
  • Conduct thorough research to find the best laptop programs available.

Where Can I Get a Free Laptop for College?

Bethel University

Bethel University provides all incoming undergraduate students with either a free laptop or Chromebook. Students need to pick up their device during their first semester. In addition, Bethel offers technical support through their help desk. If students need laptops for in-library use, they can also check out devices from the school's library.

Dakota State University

At Dakota State University, new full-time, first-year students receive Dell Latitude 7440 two-in-one laptops. These laptops come equipped with licensed software. Students can access replacement batteries and warranty protection. DSU also provides on-campus help desk services and laptop repairs.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University offers access to specific devices, including laptops, through Project LaunchBox. The cost of Project LaunchBox kits is included in tuition, which may be covered by financial aid. This ensures that students can afford the technology necessary for their courses.

Moravian University

Moravian University gives all incoming students MacBook Pro laptops and iPads. Their IT staff assists learners in setting up their devices. The MacBooks come preinstalled with an app for accessing campus resources and software like Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. AppleCare+ warranties cover most issues except accidental damage.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University gives actively enrolled students the option to request a loaner Microsoft Surface or iPad. Students must return or renew these devices each semester. In addition, discounted laptops are available for purchase through OSU's Tech Hub for those who need them.

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University offers full-time undergraduate students free laptops through their Mobile Computing Program. These laptops come with software like Canvas and Microsoft Office. The school's Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center provides free training on how to use these programs. Students also benefit from free technical support, available both online and in person.

University of Arkansas Grantham

New and returning degree-seeking students at the University of Arkansas Grantham can receive a Lenovo laptop within the first few weeks of classes. Students must follow the instructions provided by the school to order these laptops. However, students with full scholarships might not be eligible for free laptops.

University of Minnesota Crookston

Since 1993, the University of Minnesota Crookston has provided laptops to on-campus students and faculty. The school offers HP Elitebook x360 two-in-one devices, suitable for both laptop and tablet use. The Campus Notebook Program ensures students receive these laptops at the start of each semester. If students withdraw from the university, they must return the laptops or face fees.

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University offers students discounted laptops through the WakeWare program. Financial aid recipients may qualify for technology grants. Additionally, students have access to free academic software such as Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud through the school's software download hub. WakeWare laptops also come with extended four-year warranties and insurance, including protection against accidental damage.

Featured Online Colleges

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Laptop

Purpose and Usage

When selecting a laptop for college, it's essential to understand your intended use. Different majors may require specific software and hardware capabilities. For instance, a student studying computer science might need a powerful CPU to run resource-intensive programs. Always check with your school to know the technical requirements specific to your field of study.

Price and Warranty

Laptop prices vary greatly and generally reflect performance specs and capabilities. Brand reputation can influence cost, with premium brands like Apple and Microsoft often commanding higher prices. Additionally, consider the warranty programs offered by different manufacturers. Some companies provide more comprehensive and hassle-free warranty services, which can save you money in the long run.

Memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM) is crucial as it processes data to run applications, stream media, and browse the internet. More RAM usually means better performance, but it also comes with a higher price. For online learning, it's recommended to have a laptop with 8-16 GB of RAM. Investing in a high-performance device ensures it remains useful throughout your years of schooling as technology advances.

Storage Capacity

Storage is another vital factor. According to ASUS, college students should look for laptops with at least 512 GB of storage. If you plan to store all your files locally rather than using cloud services, you might need a laptop with 1 TB of storage. Fields that use media-rich formats, like videos and interactive content, require higher storage capacities or the option for later upgrades.

Battery Life

Battery life can range from 3-10 hours on a single charge, depending on various factors like the device's size, weight, and performance settings. Different applications may drain your battery at different rates. For online learning, a longer battery life makes a laptop more reliable, reducing the need to constantly search for power outlets during classes or study sessions.


The ability to learn from any location is one of the main advantages of online education. Therefore, the laptop's portability is vital. Smaller and lighter laptops are easier to carry around. Laptop screens typically range from 11 to 17 inches. While a larger screen can enhance the learning experience by providing a clearer and more expansive view, it also adds to the laptop's weight and size.

Summary of Recommended Laptop Models:

Laptop TypeBest Model
Best MacBookMacBook Air M2
Best Windows LaptopSurface Pro 9
Best Budget LaptopAcer Aspire 5
Best 2-in-1 LaptopLenovo Yoga 9i
Best ChromebookHP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

When choosing a laptop, considerations should include purpose, price, memory, storage, battery life, and portability. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in ensuring that the device meets your academic needs effectively and efficiently.

Other Programs for Free or Low-Cost College Laptops

Computers With Causes

Computers With Causes provides refurbished laptops for free to students in need. This organization does not have strict eligibility requirements. To apply, students just need to fill out an application form explaining their situation.

Dell Scholars

The Dell Scholars program gives 500 scholarships every year. This includes $20,000 in aid, $2,000 for textbooks, and a free Dell laptop. To be eligible, students need at least a 2.4 GPA and must qualify for a Pell Grant in their first year of college.

On It Foundation

The On It Foundation offers free laptops to graduating high school seniors from low-income families. As a registered nonprofit, it helps K-12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with the technology they need.


Compudot donates refurbished computers to families that lack a working computer at home. This program aims to ensure that every household has access to essential technology.

FAFSA and Pell Grants

Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help students receive Pell Grants, which can be used to purchase a laptop. When students submit their FAFSA form, they automatically get considered for the Pell Grant, which can provide funds to buy necessary educational tools, including computers.

FAQ - Online Colleges That Provide Laptops in Illinois

Can Online Colleges Provide Students with Laptops?

Many online colleges offer free laptops to their students. Some institutions grant laptops to all enrolled students, while others have specific eligibility requirements. Full-time enrollment might automatically qualify a student at some schools. In other cases, only those with financial aid may qualify. It’s important to check with your chosen institution for specific details.

Are Laptops Kept After Graduation by Students?

Whether students can keep the laptop after graduation varies by institution. Some colleges allow graduating students to retain their laptops as a gift. Others require students to return the laptops so they can be refurbished and given to new students.

What Happens if the Laptop is Damaged or Stolen?

Laptops provided by online colleges are usually considered the school's property while students use them. This means the laptops are often covered by the school's insurance. However, the specifics of these insurance policies can differ among institutions. Students should ask about their school's rules and guidelines when they receive the laptop.

Is it Possible to Get a Free Laptop from the Government?

Eligible students can get a free laptop from the government primarily through the federal Pell Grant program. This grant can be used to purchase a new laptop. The federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program previously offered free laptops to qualified applicants, but it stopped accepting applications in February 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for receiving a laptop from an online college in Illinois?

Eligibility requirements vary by institution. Generally, students must be enrolled full-time and maintain good academic standing. Some colleges also require students to be in specific programs or meet certain financial need criteria.

Can I receive a laptop from an Illinois online college if I am an out-of-state student?

Yes, many Illinois-based online colleges offer laptop programs to out-of-state students. However, it's essential to check the specific policies of each college as some may have different requirements for non-resident students.

How do I apply for a laptop program through an Illinois-based online college?

To apply, students typically need to fill out a form provided by the college’s technology services or student affairs office. This form may require proof of enrollment and occasionally, additional documentation such as financial need verification.

Are there any additional costs for students when receiving laptops from online schools?

Some colleges provide laptops for free, while others might charge a nominal fee or require a refundable deposit. It's important to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand any potential costs.

Which accredited online colleges in Illinois provide laptops to students as part of their enrollment?

Several accredited online colleges in Illinois offer laptops to students, including:

What types of laptops do Illinois online colleges offer to their students?

The types of laptops vary by institution. Some provide Windows-based laptops like Dell, while others might offer Apple MacBooks. The specific model and brand can depend on the college's agreements with technology providers.

Featured Online Colleges

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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