The advancement of technology has made it possible for individuals from all walks of life to access information, communicate, and learn from the comfort of their homes. Nonetheless, only a few possess the financial strength to procure these indispensable gadgets.
For low-income families, owning a tablet like an iPad can seem like an impossible dream. Today, we will discuss ways to obtain a free iPad for low-income families, breaking down different programs and initiatives that come with this opportunity.
By the end of this article, families who were previously unable to access this technology will be able to take advantage of the many benefits that come with owning an iPad.
- How To Get Free iPad For Low-Income Families
How To Get Free iPad For Low-Income Families
Currently, different types of organizations offer free technologies to people unable to afford them. You have government initiatives for people from all walks of life, non-profit organizations with specific categories, and School programs for students.
Government Programs for Low-Income Families
With the Covid pandemic, when jobs and education are moving online, the government is trying to keep low-income people in demand. Thus, multiple government programs offer free laptops, free Tablet with Medicaid, and mobile phones. Let’s have a look at a few of them –
The E-Rate program is a government program that helps schools and libraries get affordable access to the internet. The government gives these institutions discounts on internet services for better access to technology and information. This includes free iPads, internet access, and other educational technology resources.
How it works: Schools and libraries that qualify for the program submit a application for the internet services they need. The government then reviews the request and provides qualified institutions with a discount on the cost of the internet services and resources they need.
Lifeline is a federal assistance program in the US that provides discounted phone and internet services to low-income households. Besides discount internet prices, they also offer a one-time discount on any eligible device you purchase, that includes iPad.
Here’s how it works:
Eligibility: To qualify for Lifeline, one must participate in federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and so on, or have a household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty line.
Enrollment: Qualified consumers need to contact an eligible telecommunications company participating in the Lifeline program and provide proof of eligibility.
Discounts: Once enrolled, the household will receive discounts on their monthly phone or internet bill. The discount rate fluctuates depending on the location and the service supplier. Besides, eligible consumers also receive a one-time discount on modern devices, like – mobile phones, laptops, computers, and tablets.
Usage: You can use the service for voice, text, and data services, and the household can choose either a standalone phone or a bundled internet and phone package.
Affordable Connectivity Program
With the start of Covid-19, the government has initiated an Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB program. However, even after the pandemic, the program continued under a different name, the Affordable Connectivity Program.
The program aims to provide affordable internet access to individuals and communities who otherwise may not have access due to financial or other constraints, similar to the Lifeline program.
It works by partnering with internet service providers and local organizations to offer discounted or subsidized internet plans to eligible households. The eligibility criteria, such as income level or location, may vary based on the specific program.
Eligible households can get discounts of up to $30 per month on internet services with participating providers or free assistance with one of 20 government-partnered providers offering 100 Mb per second download speeds for $30 or less per month.
To qualify, households must have income below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines, and at least one household member must be participating in a federal assistance program or a low-income internet program. You can sign up online, by mail, or through their Lifeline or low-income broadband provider.
1. Little Bear Gives
Little Bear Gives is a non-profit organization that provides free iPads to needy children. The organization provides iPads to children who are facing financial hardship, have a disability, or are in foster care.
The iPads are pre-loaded with educational and therapeutic apps, allowing children to access educational resources, communicate with their families and carers, and engage in therapeutic activities.
It also provides support and training to families and carers to help them make the most of the technology. Little Bear Gives relies on donations from individuals, businesses, and other organizations to fund its work and provide iPads to needy children.
2. Different Needz Foundation
The Different Needz Foundation provides individuals with disabilities and special needs with technology and assistive devices to enhance their quality of life. They offer free iPads as part of their assistive technology program to help individuals with disabilities stay connected and access educational and entertainment resources.
The foundation is dedicated to making technology accessible, regardless of financial or physical limitations. It provides ongoing support and training to ensure the devices are used to their full potential.
3. iTaalk Foundation
The iTaalk Foundation offers accessible technology, including iPads, to children with disabilities from low-income families. With the aim of promoting equal access to technology and education and enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, the organization runs in every sector.
The foundation works with schools, therapy centers, and other organizations to provide technology resources to those who need them most. The iTaalk Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities and helping them reach their full potential through technology.
AbleNet has built a reputation for their unceasing efforts in developing and providing assistive technology solutions that cater to the needs of individuals with disabilities. It offers a range of products, including switches, communication devices, and computer access products, to help people with disabilities participate fully in their communities.
AbleNet not only offers assistive technology solutions for individuals with disabilities but also provides comprehensive training and support services to help them maximize their potential.
Its ultimate goal is to foster a society where people with disabilities can fully participate in education, employment, and daily living activities with the same level of independence as those without disabilities.
5. Computers with Causes
The non-profit organization, Computers with Causes also provides laptops, computers, and tablets to college students in need, and it is possible to get a free iPad. It assists students in furthering their education by providing access to technology, which is essential for many college degree programs.
The computers are donated and may have otherwise ended up in landfills, helping to reduce waste. By accepting the generous donation, students are also helping someone else fulfill their desire to give.
High Intent Marketing runs the Computers with Causes, and no governmental entity has any involvement. You can also get financial support if necessary.
TechSoup aims to empower communities through technology. This initiative offers gifted technology and associated assets to eligible charities, non-governmental organizations, and libraries. You can get full-version software licenses, hardware, and other technology-related resources to its beneficiaries from the organization.
Organizations must first register with TechSoup Canada to receive these donations and go through the qualification process. The organization’s staff can guide beneficiaries through the process and help them understand the unique donation criteria of different IT companies. The goal of TechSoup Canada is to help organizations like Lynne’s that are in need of up-to-date technology to serve their communities better.
There aren’t many school programs that specifically provide iPad, but you can get something from them –
Wake Forest University: You can purchase a laptop, computer, or tablet from Wake Forest Universities WakeWare program at a negotiable price. Moreover, you will also receive insurance and protection against damage. Technology Grants are available for undergraduate students to assist with purchasing costs.
Northwest Missouri State University: Students taking at least 12 credits for undergrad and 9 credits for graduate will receive a laptop or tablet in their tuition. But, you must return the tablet upon graduation. According to the University website, this program has saved students over $6,800 in four years. However, online students aren’t allowed to enjoy this facility.
Bethel University: Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Professional Studies are entitled to a complimentary Google Chromebook. The web-based system makes it convenient for faculty and offers students more sharing and collaboration options.
Centenary College: Incoming, on-campus undergraduates can choose between a Toshiba Satellite or MacBook Pro laptop. And the authority said to increase the number of options. Only full-time students get these free stuffs. Devices are given upon enrollment and must return upon graduation.
Widener University: Widner University offers a Laptop Scholarship for School undergraduate students of engineering. Students must meet a few requirements to get a free laptop or tablet. Furthermore, there are numerous alternatives available.
Full Sail University: Full Sail partners with Apple to provide students with a MacBook Pro or MSI laptop (depending on major) through Project Launchbox. Students with a GPA over 1.0 receive a scholarship to cover the $3,000 cost.
Indiana State University: Students admitted and Pell-eligible can receive a Microsoft Surface Laptop Pro through the Sycamore Technology Award. Newly enrolled first-year students are automatically qualified for the program, while students transferring from another institution must submit an application.
University of Minnesota-Crookston: All on-campus university students receive a free HP laptop. This program was the first of its kind, and hundreds of other universities have followed suit. Students must return laptops upon graduation.
Various options exist for low-income families to obtain a free iPad, such as through government assistance programs, non-profit organizations, and educational initiatives. By taking advantage of these opportunities, families can access the benefits of technology, including online learning and communication tools, without the added financial burden. I recommend thoroughly researching each option and considering eligibility criteria before applying.