Online Colleges That Provide Computers: Save Money on Tech 2023

The good news is there are online colleges out there that provide students with computers and tech tools needed for class at little to no cost. No need to budget a few grand for a new laptop or tablet.

These schools get that technology is key to taking online courses, so they make sure you have the essentials before the first day of class.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top online colleges that will set you up with the tech you need to succeed in your program.

You’ll be able to earn that degree and launch your new career without the burden of expensive equipment fees dragging you down. Staying on budget never felt so good!

Online Colleges That Provide Computers

Several online colleges provide students with laptops or tablets as part of their enrollment. This allows you to complete your coursework without having to invest in your own device.

Western Governors University provides students with a laptop, software, and access to their online library and resources. The laptop is yours to keep after you graduate.

Southern New Hampshire University and Colorado State University Global also provide students with laptops that are included in your tuition and fees.

Some schools like Purdue University Global and Penn State World Campus offer device stipends you can put toward the purchase of a laptop or tablet.

The stipend amount will depend on your program of study. These schools may have recommended specs for the devices to ensure you have a system that can handle your coursework.

A handful of schools like Arizona State University and Oregon State University Ecampus offer device loans or rentals for those who need a temporary solution.

You borrow a laptop for a semester or year, then return it once you’ve completed your courses or purchased your own system.

Having a computer provided or stipend offered can save you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per year in expenses. And with less to pay upfront, you can focus your funds on just your tuition and materials.

When evaluating online schools, be sure to ask about their technology offerings to find a college that fits your needs and your budget.


Why Online Colleges Provide Computers

Online colleges know that for many students, affording a computer can be tough. That’s why many provide free or low-cost computers and tech resources.

Financial Assistance

Some online colleges offer computers and tablets at a reduced cost or even free as part of your financial aid package. They may provide a laptop, tablet or desktop computer for you to use, often with the option to keep it after you graduate.

Certain colleges also offer technology grants and scholarships specifically for computer equipment and Internet access.

Tech Support

With your computer, you’ll receive tech support to help set it up, ensure proper connectivity, and troubleshoot any issues. Some colleges even provide Internet stipends to help pay for Wi-Fi.

Having a dedicated support team means you can focus on your studies rather than technical difficulties.

Software and Resources

The computers often come pre-loaded with everything you need for your courses like an office suite, antivirus software, and other academic resources.

You’ll have access to things like the college library database, tutoring centers, counseling services and more right from your new computer.

Upgrade and Replacements

Some colleges offer free upgrades to newer equipment after a certain period of time, like 2-3 years. They may replace broken or malfunctioning components, or provide a replacement computer if needed.

This helps ensure you have a computer that can handle all your needs as a student for the duration of your program.

With these tech resources and support in place, you can start your online college experience off right and avoid extra costs.

Check with schools you’re interested in to see what computers and aid may be available to help make higher education more accessible.


Top Online Colleges That Offer Laptops or Tablets

When considering an online college, the cost of a laptop or tablet is an important factor for many students. Several top online colleges provide students with computers or tablets as part of their program.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) provides students with a laptop, software and e-textbooks as part of their affordable tuition. WGU aims to remove barriers for students by providing technology and resources needed to complete their degree.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an iPad and Apple Pencil for some online programs. The iPad allows students to access ebooks, take notes, join video calls and more. SNHU aims to provide students with tools to enhance their learning experience.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University (GCU) provides select online students with a Microsoft Surface Go 2, keyboard and stylus. The Surface Go allows students to access GCU’s learning management system, ebooks, video content and Microsoft Office tools.

For some programs, GCU provides additional software and resources to set students up for success in their degree program.

Choosing an online college that provides a laptop, tablet or other technology can help reduce costs and ensure you have the tools needed to complete your program.

Be sure to check with the schools you’re interested in to see if they offer devices or additional resources for their online students.


How to Get a Free Computer Through Financial Aid

Many online colleges offer free computers and technology for students as part of their financial aid packages. Here are some ways you can score a computer without paying out of pocket:

Apply for need-based aid

Fill out the FAFSA form to determine your eligibility for need-based federal grants like the Pell Grant.

Some schools use this info to provide technology grants and laptop loans for students with financial need. Ask your school about technology aid programs they offer.

Look for tech scholarships

Some online schools offer technology scholarships that provide funds specifically for buying a laptop or tablet.

Do some searching on your school’s website for “technology scholarships” or “computer scholarships.” Many are available based on both merit and need.

Check for laptop loan programs

If you’re unable to get a free computer through other means, look into laptop loan programs. Some schools offer affordable laptop rentals or loans where you can borrow a laptop for a semester or school year and pay a small rental fee. When you return the laptop, the fee may be refunded.

Buy a refurbished model

As a last resort, you can consider buying an affordable refurbished laptop. Look for models that will suit your basic needs as a student like a Chromebook or Windows laptop.

Refurbished laptops are pre-owned models that have been inspected and restored to like-new condition so you can often find good deals.

With many options for scoring a free or low-cost computer, there’s no need to pay expensive prices for technology. Do some research on your school’s financial aid opportunities and you’ll be learning online in no time!


Why do some online colleges provide computers to students?

To attract students in today’s competitive higher education market, some online colleges provide computers and tech bundles as a benefit. By offering the necessary tools for remote learning, these schools aim to:

Make learning more accessible.

Providing a laptop, headset, and any required software eliminates barriers for students who can’t afford their own equipment. This allows more people the opportunity to earn a degree from anywhere.

Enhance the learning experience.

With a high-performance laptop and specialized software, students can fully participate in interactive or hands-on learning activities from their home. This leads to a more engaging experience that rivals face-to-face instruction.

Reduce tech problems.

By providing standard equipment and software, colleges can offer dedicated tech support tailored to their systems.

This minimizes issues that could disrupt learning and ensures all students have a consistent, supported experience.

Stay up-to-date.

Regular tech refreshes allow colleges to provide students with the latest laptops, software, and learning tools.

This future-proofs the education and skills students gain, preparing them for an increasingly digital workforce.

While not all online colleges provide computers, those that do aim to eliminate barriers, foster an engaging learning environment, minimize technical difficulties, and offer state-of-the-art education for students.

For many, included tech is a worthwhile investment in accessible, high-quality distance learning.


How to connect with technical support for computers from online colleges?

When you receive a computer from an online college, it’s important to know how to get technical support in case anything goes wrong. Many schools provide 24/7 help for issues with your school-provided laptop or desktop.

Contact Technical Support

The first step is to locate your school’s technical support contact information. This is usually found on the school’s website, student portal, or in the materials that came with your computer.

Call or chat with a technical support representative to report your issue. Be prepared to provide details about the make and model of your computer, as well as specifics about the problem you’re experiencing.


For common issues, the technical support team may first walk you through some basic troubleshooting steps over the phone or via chat. This could include:

  • Restarting your computer
  • Checking that all cables are properly connected
  • Ensuring your wifi or Ethernet connection is working
  • Updating software or drivers

If the issue continues, they may need to take remote access to your computer or schedule an in-person appointment to resolve the problem. Provide any login information requested and follow all instructions carefully.

Scheduling Repairs

For hardware issues or more complex software problems, an in-person repair or replacement of parts may be needed. Work with the technical support team to schedule a convenient time for a technician to come to you.

Or, you may need to take the computer to an authorized service center. All repairs and replacements should be covered under the warranty provided with your school-issued computer.

Staying in contact with your school’s technical support team is the key to keeping your computer up and running smoothly. Report any issues right away and provide as much detail as possible to get back online and back to your classes.


How does computer access enhance online education?

Having access to a computer is crucial for success in online education. Here are a few reasons why:


Taking classes online means you can learn anywhere, anytime—as long as you have a computer. Not being tied to a physical classroom gives you flexibility to study when and where you want.

You can even participate in live lectures or discussions remotely using video conferencing tools like Zoom or Webex.

Access to Resources

Your computer is your portal to all course materials, assignments, grades, and communication with instructors and classmates. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Most schools also provide additional resources through online libraries and resource centers.

Develop Technical Skills

Using technology is an integral part of online learning. You’ll get comfortable with platforms like learning management systems, web conferencing software, and other digital tools.

These technical skills will benefit you far beyond any individual course.

Interacting with course interfaces and materials on a regular basis helps build your digital literacy and confidence working with technology, valuable skills for life and career today.

While adjusting to the technology may take some time, with practice, it can become second nature.

Staying Connected

A computer enables you to connect with your instructors and classmates through messaging, discussion forums, and live sessions.

This ability to connect and engage with others is important for learning, motivation, and a sense of community. Strong connections can help combat feelings of isolation that some students experience with online education.

In summary, having your own computer—or reliable access to one—is essential for an engaging, productive online learning experience.

The benefits to your education and development of lifelong skills make the investment in technology worth it.


What are the advantages of attending online colleges with computer provisions?

Attending an online college that provides computers offers several advantages.

Cost Savings

By providing the necessary technology, these schools spare you the cost of purchasing your own laptop or desktop computer to complete coursework. This can save you $500 to $1500 or more,

depending on the type of machine you need. The colleges often provide financial aid and scholarships to help make attending more affordable.


With a computer provided, you have one less thing to worry about when starting your program. The device will come ready with all the software and security needed for your courses.

Technical support is also usually available if you have any issues with the computer. This convenience allows you to focus on your studies rather than dealing with technology problems.

Learning Resources

The computers frequently come pre-loaded with helpful software and resources for students. This may include the full Microsoft Office suite, adaptive learning tools, virtual libraries, and more.

The schools want you to have all the digital resources you need to succeed in your classes.

Lifelong Skills

Using the provided technology helps build valuable digital literacy skills that will benefit you beyond just your college courses.

You’ll become proficient with the hardware, software, learning management systems, and other tools that many employers now expect candidates to know. These lifelong technical and digital skills will open up more career opportunities.

In summary, attending an online college that provides computers and technology can save you money, offer convenience, access to learning resources, and help build skills that translate to the workplace.

With less to worry about, you’re free to focus on your education and taking advantage of all your program has to offer.



So there you have it, a few options to consider if you want to save some cash on tech while earning your degree. Online colleges that provide computers and tech for students are out there if you know where to look.

Do some research, compare programs and costs, and find an option that suits your needs and budget. An investment in your education will pay off down the road, even if it means a little less money out of your pocket upfront for a laptop or tablet.

Take advantage of the resources available and make the most of your time as a student. Before you know it, you’ll be graduating with a shiny new degree and hopefully without the burden of expensive tech debt. Best of luck in your program and in your search for the perfect tech-enabled school!

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