A lot of people in our country are low-income. They cannot afford the internet and are always left behind by those who have the opportunity to use the internet. These unfortunate low-income people are suffering at every step because they do not have the opportunity to keep pace with the modern world and technology. The government feels that the condition should be changed. So the government takes the initiative like Affordable Connectivity Program to provide low-income people with affordable internet service. To use the service they are also given tablets for almost free of cost.
A major part of our population is students. They are the future citizens of our country. So, the government wants to provide them with internet facilities and tablets to support their education. Eligible students can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program and get a tablet with a free internet package from a provider that is enrolled in the program.
The importance of a free tablet for students is significant in today’s digital age. Getting an online learning facility is an essential demand for our students. A tablet can be used as a tool to access digital textbooks, online resources, and educational apps. It also helps them to stay connected with their teachers and classmates, participate in virtual classrooms, and submit assignments online.
Low-income students who are unable to purchase a tablet on their own will be largely benefitted from this free tablet offer. The step taken by the government obviously helps them continue their studies successfully and with confidence.
Eligibility for Affordable Connectivity Program to Get Free Tablets For Students
A student may belong to a school, a college, or a university. The Affordable Connectivity Program is for persons over 18 years of age. So, if a student is 18 years or above, then he/she can directly apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program. If a student is below 18 years or a child, then he/she must be a member of a family or household. In that case, he/she cannot directly apply for the program but his family or household can. So, here we consider all students, nevertheless his age.
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program. If Maxsip Wireless is the provider, then the household should meet the eligibility criteria for Maxsip Wireless’s low-income internet program.
A person who participates in one of the following assistance programs is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program:
- The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits.
A person who participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. (FDPIR)
- Tribal Head Start (income based).
Qualify Through Your Child or Dependent
Your household can be eligible for the ACP even by your child. If your child or dependent participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, or school breakfast program, then your household qualifies for the Free ACP Benefit.
If You Already Receive Lifeline Benefits, you will also be qualified for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Lifeline is a government program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. An eligible person for the Lifeline program is also eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
If you are a qualified student and want to apply for a free tablet from the ACP, then you have to submit the following documents for Affordable Connectivity Program
If you participate in qualifying programs, provide a letter or official document as proof.
- Benefit award letter.
- Approval letter.
- School documentation.
- Benefit verification letter.
- Statement of benefits.
If you qualify through your income, you will need to provide a document that shows that your annual income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub.
- Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits.
- A Social Security statement of benefits.
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits.
- Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return.
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits.
- Divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income.
Identity Verification: You should prove your identity by submitting any of the following documents:
- Valid government, military, state, or Tribal ID.
- Birth Certificate.
- U.S. Driver’s license.
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization.
- Government assistance program document.
- Permanent Resident Card or Green Card.
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) document (does not need to include date of birth).
Address verification: To be approved by the Affordable Connectivity Program, you have to prove the validity of your address. To do so, you have to submit any of the following documents:
Document and Tips
- To apply online, you should use the online mapping tool in the application to help USAC find your address.
- To apply via mail, you may send a map that clearly shows your physical address or location, including latitude and longitude coordinates (coordinates are required if you live on Tribal lands).
- Driver’s license or other valid government, state, or Tribal ID.
- Utility bill.
- Most recent W-2 or tax return.
- Mortgage or lease statement.
If you live with another person who participates in the ACP, then you have to answer a few questions to find out if your household qualifies for more than one ACP benefit.
- A Completed Lifeline Household Worksheet if someone else at your address already gets Lifeline. Submit the following documents with your application.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program on your own. Unless you are an emancipated minor. If you are an emancipated minor, you can apply for the program by submitting the following documents:
- Court document.
- Certificate of emancipation
Documentation must include:
- Your first and last name.
- Confirmation of emancipated minor status.
Application Procedure to Get Free Tablet
You can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program online, via mail, or via a provider. The application processes are described below:
You can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program through FCC’s Website. Log into: “affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply”.
It will take you to ACP’s official website, from where you can directly fill up the FCC’s national verifier form.
Apply via Mail
To apply via mail you need to print out the application form and household worksheet from the FCC’s official website. Fill out both forms, then mail these along with proof documentation to:
ACP Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
You may print out the application form in English or Spanish Language. Read all the instructions carefully and fill out the forms. You may also print out the Household Worksheet in English or Spanish Language.
Apply Through a Provider
Choose a provider that meets your need and is suitable for you. You should select one that is nearer to your location so that you can contact them easily if any issue arises. You should select a plan from the provider also.
Tablet Models That are Available for Free for Student
You may get the following tablet models for almost free (You have to pay$10.01):
- Samsung Galaxy Tab E
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
- Apple iPad 3
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad 4
- Alcatel Joy Tab
- Alcatel Joy Tab 2
- Konnect ONE Moxee Tablet
Activation Process of A Tablet
If you have received a new tablet through the Affordable Connectivity Program and want to start using it, then you have to go through a simple activation process. The process is described below:
- Prepare the tablet: After getting the tablet, the first thing you need to do is charge it to its full.
- Turn on the tablet: The next step is to turn on the tablet by pressing and holding the power button.
- Connect it to Wi-Fi: After turning it on, connect the tablet to a WiFi network. To connect to a secure connection, use the user name and password.
- Sign in to your Google account: The next thing you should do is sign in to your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, then please create one and sign in.
- Update the software: After signing in to your Google account, you should update the software to use your tablet. So, update the software.
- Install necessary apps: The tablet comes with some pre-installed apps, you may download and install other necessary apps as your requirement from the play store and use them.
That is the whole process. Now your tablet is ready to go.
Carriers or MVNOs that Offer Tablets for Students
Airtalk Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides affordable and reliable wireless services to low-income people in our country. A low-income household or an individual (maybe a student) can get a free tablet with a free internet package under the Affordable Connectivity Program, offered by AirTalk Wireless. With the free internet package, a student can get up to 8 GB of high-speed data, which can be a great support for him/her to continue with his/her study. Website: “airtalkwireless.com”.
Cintex Wireless participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program and tries to bridge the digital divide in our country. The program aims to help students of colleges and universities to get a free tablet with which they can easily continue their studies and access the internet. Many students are living in college hostels or on their campuses. So, the tablet, which is preloaded with apps like Skype, zoom, etc can help them to contact their parents and family members by video conference and thus stay connected with them. Website: “cintexwireless.com/qualify”.
SanoConnect is a company that provides the affordable connectivity Program and particularly focuses on bridging the digital divide in our country. The company offers free tablets for students who are above 18 years of age. Students also get free data in a free internet package. They can use these data to access the vast world of educational resources and learn many interesting things. A tablet provided by Sano Connect can be a good companion for a student. Website: “sanoconnect.com”, Contact: 1 (866) 970-7299
QLink Wireless is a telecommunications company that offers affordable wireless services to low-income households including students through its Affordable Connectivity Program. QLink Wireless offers free tablets to its customers and the tablets come equipped with high-speed internet access and camera for video conferencing and access to a variety of educational and entertainment apps. Students can contact their teachers, parents, family members, and other people of interest by using this tablet. Website: “qlinkwireless.com”.
Maxsip Wireless provides affordable internet for those who are in need of it. The demand for the Internet is increasing and a lot of people including students are unable to afford it. To help these people, Maxsip Wireless comes with the Affordable Connectivity Program in which they offer affordable internet with a free tablet. Website: “maxsipconnects.com”. Contact: +1 (866) 629-7471
Easy Wireless is a telecommunications company that offers wireless internet services to low-income people, including students in our country. The company plays a vital role in providing affordable connectivity with free internet to those who need it most.
Easy Wireless realizes the importance of the Internet in the life of the students. So, they provide free tablets with free internet under the Affordable Connectivity Programs for students and low-income people. The tablet comes preloaded with educational content and useful applications that can help students and other people access the internet and get the most out of it. Website: “myeasywireless.com/how-to-sign-up”. Contact: +1 (877) 476-3451
Stand Up Wireless
Stand Up Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator that has taken up the initiative to bridge the digital divide by offering a free tablet with free internet along with its Affordable Connectivity Program. The Affordable Connectivity Program provides affordable internet and wireless services to low-income families and individuals (including students) who do not have access to such services. The free tablet offered by Stand Up Wireless is equipped with all the necessary apps and features that one needs to stay connected in today’s digital world. Website: “standupwireless.com/apply-now”, Contact: 888-225-5322
Le Wireless USA
With its Affordable Connectivity Program, Le Wireless USA has taken a brave step to bridge the digital divide in our country. With the program, the company provides affordable internet to low-income people across the country. Still, there are a lot of low-income people in our country who are left behind due to a lack of access to the Internet. But now, after getting a free tablet with free internet from Le Wireless USA, they can apply for jobs, access online resources, and make many things possible that seems to be impossible in the past. Website: “lewirelessusa.com”.
TruConnect Wireless is offering a free tablet to students who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program is designed to provide affordable internet access and devices to families that may not be able to afford it otherwise. In many families, students cannot afford a tablet or internet. They have to prepare assignments, homework, etc, and make personal notes by using online resources. For these reasons, they need a tablet. Students also need tablets for recreation. They can watch movies, listen to music, participate in online contests, and also make their own presentations. Considering all these, TruConnect manages a tablet with free internet for students and low-income people under the Affordable Connectivity Program. Website: “truconnect.com”, Contact: (800)430-0443
Tips for Maximizing Chances of Getting a Free Tablet for Students
Here are some tips for maximizing your chances of getting a free tablet as a student:
- Check with your college or university: As you are a student of a school, college, or university, first check with your institution. Many schools, colleges, and universities have programs that provide free tablets to their students. So, check with your school to see if they offer any such program. You have a good possibility to get a tablet from your school.
- Do enough research and then apply: There are many organizations and programs that offer free tablets to students based on different criteria. You can do vast research to reveal all information about these organizations and their programs. This can help you to increase your possibility of getting a free tablet from these organizations.
- Keep an eye on promotions and giveaways: Always keep an eye on the websites of tech companies and social media platforms, because many of them offer tablets as giveaways and promotions. This will maximize your chances of getting a free tablet.
- You may consider refurbished or used tablets: Many online marketplaces offer refurbished tablets for a very low price. Sometimes you can trade in with many retailers by giving them a used electronic device and get a refurbished tablet for free or at a very low price. This practice can help to increase your chances of getting a tablet for free or discounted price.
- Always be prepared to demonstrate need: Some programs may require you to demonstrate need in order to qualify for a free tablet. So, always be prepared to provide documentation that shows your financial condition. This step also helps to increase the chances of getting a free tablet.
- Keep patience and be persistent: Getting a free tablet may require persistence and patience. Keep looking for opportunities and applying to programs with much patience and never give up.
- You may ask for donations: If you are in a student organization or community group, then you can ask for donations from local businesses or individuals for tablets. You will be surprised to observe that a lot of people are willing to donate happily.
- Stay organized and keep track of deadlines: When applying for free tablet programs, organize everything perfectly and keep track of the deadlines of each program. If needed, create a spreadsheet or use a planner to keep track of important dates, deadlines, and other requirements.
- Widen your network: Always try to widen your network and connections. To explore greater opportunities for getting a tablet, talk to your friends, family, and teachers about it. This will increase your possibility to get a free tablet.
- Consider work-study programs: Some colleges and universities offer work-study programs. In these programs, students get a tablet in exchange for working for the well-being of the college or university.
- Be aware of scams: Unfortunately, there are some scams out there that may promise free tablets in exchange for personal information or payment. Be cautious about these scams and always do enough research before giving any personal information to someone or making payments.
- Don’t be afraid or hesitate to ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling to find a free tablet, don’t hesitate to ask your teachers, counselors, or any other support staff at your school. It is possible that they cannot help directly to get you a tablet, but they can give you suggestions, and pieces of advice or at least connect you with resources that can help.
Always remember that there are so many different ways to get a free tablet. So, never give up, try in different ways, and always keep an open mind to try acquiring a free tablet.
Alternative Ways to Get Free Tablet for Students
If you are unable to obtain a tablet through the Affordable Connectivity Program, there are a few alternative ways to get a free tablet as a student:
- Contact local charities or non-profit organizations: Some charities and non-profit organizations provide free tablets or laptops to students in need. Some organizations are – PCs For People, Kids In Need Foundation, EveryoneOn, Net Literacy, etc. You may visit their website or visit these institutes in person to know details about their programs and what facilities they provide for students.
- Look for free tablet programs offered by companies: Many students in our country do not have the financial ability to manage a laptop or tablet while studying in universities. Understanding their condition, many well-known and big companies offer free tablet programs to students as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. You can check if any company or institution offers such programs in your area.
- Seek assistance from your school or college: Some schools or colleges provide free tablets to students who are in need of a tablet. You can contact your school’s administration or student services department to see if they offer any such programs.
- Look for local tech recycling programs: Some cities and towns have tech recycling programs. They recycle many tech products including tablets. For this, they refurbish and donate tablets to students who are in need of a tablet or laptop. You can search for such programs in your city or town and inquire about their donation process.
- Reach out to community organizations: Many community organizations such as churches, youth groups, or local service clubs may have programs in place to provide free tablets or laptops to students in need. You can visit their website or go to their office in person and ask them if they offer any such programs.
- Look for crowdfunding campaigns: As you are a student and do not have the ability to buy a tablet, you can use crowdfunding websites to raise money for a tablet. You may create a campaign on websites like GoFundMe and share it with your friends and family members to seek support.
- Participate in online contests: Many websites and social media platforms arrange contests and giveaways all year round. You may participate in these contests and giveaways and win free tablets or laptops. It is a golden opportunity for students, because they are always involved in learning and thus their chance to win a prize is more than the other competitors.
- Look for academic scholarships: Many universities have an academic scholarship that provides students with a free tablet or laptop as a part of the scholarship award. You can take this opportunity by applying for such scholarship programs.
- Consider bartering or trading: You can sell your service for a free tablet. For this, you can barter or trade with individuals or businesses who may be willing to exchange a tablet for a service or item you can provide. For example, you can clean someone’s yard or room and for this service claim a tablet.
- Check with your school district: Some school districts provide free tablets to students who attend schools within their district and need tablets. You can check with your school district’s administration to see if they have any such programs.
- Consider refurbished tablets: Refurbished tablets are often available at a much lower cost than brand-new ones. You can check online marketplaces, such as eBay or Amazon for refurbished tablets that meet your needs.
- Check with your employer: Many students work besides studies in our country. If you work part-time or full-time while attending university, your employer may have programs in place to provide free or discounted tablets to employees who are also students. You can inquire about such programs with your employer.
- Consider leasing a tablet: Some electronic stores offer leasing options for tablets. This can be a more affordable option for some students. This leasing option allows you to pay a monthly fee instead of purchasing the tablet outright.
- Check with your school’s IT department: Many schools have an IT department. These departments may have programs to provide free or discounted tablets to help those students who are in need of a tablet. So, you can inquire about such programs with your school’s IT department.
Benefits of Free Tablet for Students
Free tablets for students can provide numerous benefits for both students and educators. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Students have a more enjoyable and enhanced learning experience: In the past when a tablet was not available, the students are mainly dependent on printed paper books and their notebooks. But after getting a tablet, the scenario is changed. Now tablets can provide access to a wide range of educational resources, like e-books, educational apps, and interactive learning tools. With these resources, a student can now enhance his /her learning experience and he/she can engage himself/ herself in the study with more fun and enjoyment.
- A tablet improves Collaboration: In the past, collaboration between students remained limited. They can collaborate but to a very limited extent. But now after getting a tablet, a student can collaborate more effectively on his/her group projects and assignments. With features, like cloud-based file sharing and video conferencing, now tablets can make it easier for students to work together, even when they are not present in the same location.
- It increases the efficiency of a student: When there were no tablets or digital learning aids, students were fully dependent on textbooks and some other notebooks. They cannot access information easily. But now the condition is changed. A student of today has the opportunity to access a vast world of information with only a tap on their tablets. They can take notes, complete assignments and conduct research more effectively and efficiently now.
- A Tablet is cost-saving: Tablets are cost-saving. In the past, parents are bound to buy a lot of books and educational materials. It would be a burden for many families. Now a student needs a tablet and that’s all. So, we can say that nowadays, a tablet is a cost-saving tool for students.
- It improves access to resources: Nowadays, with a tablet, all students, regardless of their economic background, have access to the same educational resources. Now they can access any library in the world and read any book from there. A tablet opens this opportunity in front of them. In this way, a tablet enhances and improves access to vast resources.
- A tablet increases digital literacy: A student can improve his /her skills and gets digital literacy by using a tablet. Increased digital literacy is very important in today’s competitive world. A tablet can serve the purpose and help a student to make himself/herself enriched in Technological knowledge.
- It improves communication: A tablet improves communication between parents, teachers, and also students. Teachers can send reminders, provide feedback, and answer questions, while students can ask questions, submit assignments and also collaborate with each other. Parents can get feedback about their sons or daughters from time to time by contacting the teachers. Thus a tablet improves communication.
- A tablet is eco-friendly: In the past, we cut off trees for manufacturing papers and also use a lot of chemicals to produce ink, pens, and other materials used for educational purposes. But now a single tablet can save a lot. It saves our trees, and decreases chemical waste, and also paper waste. In other words, tablets save our environment and it is eco-friendly. Now, students can access digital textbooks, take notes electronically, and submit assignments online, which saves us from paper waste and chemical waste.
- It improves attendance rate: Tablet helps students to access their school work from anywhere, which improves attendance rates. Students who are unable to attend school /university in person can still participate in class and complete their assignments remotely.
- It ensures Parental Involvement: Tablets help facilitate parental involvement in their children’s education. Now parents can track their children’s location, monitor their progress, etc, and also can contact teachers whenever they require. This increases the involvement of parents in their children’s education.
- A tablet improves test scores: Research has shown that the use of technology in education can improve the total educational environment and also the academic achievement of the students. Tablets can help to engage students in the learning process and make them curious about the subjects they study, which improves their performance and test scores.
- It reduces physical strain: Some years ago, a little student has to carry all the heavy books and notebooks in a school bag and carry them with a big effort to his/her school. Nowadays, when a tablet is available, the physical strain is almost gone, because a tablet is lightweight and compact, a student can solve most of his study assignments with this tablet. He/she can easily take a tablet to his /her school, instead of a heavy bag, which reduces his/her physical strain.
- It increases student engagement: In today’s world, virtual reality, interactive learning, etc give our educational lessons life and make their learning more fun. Now students can stay motivated and focused, using these blessings of technology.
- A tablet supports customizable learning: Now students can customize their learning experience, using a tablet. For example, students can adjust the font size from big to small according to their vision, they can choose their preferred reading mode and access online resources as their preference.
- It improves Organization: With a tablet, a student can easily set digital calendars, reminders, to-do lists, and much more. With these features, a student can organize his/her work properly and manage his/her time more effectively.
- A tablet has greater accessibility for the disabled: Tablets can provide more accessibility for students with disabilities. Students with visual impairments can use screen readers, while students with mobility impairments can use voice recognition software to navigate their devices. Now disability is not a barrier to using and accessing online resources. The only thing the disabled person needs is a tablet.
- It gives real-time feedback: Tablets can provide students with real-time feedback on their performance, allowing them to identify areas where they need improvement and make adjustments accordingly. This can help the students to evaluate the exact condition of their knowledge and this can help them to accelerate their learning process.
- A tablet helps remote learning: In the time of the pandemic and still now, tablets can be used as great tools for remote learning. With a tablet and an internet connection, students can attend virtual classes, complete assignments, and interact with their teachers and peers from anywhere in the world.
Overall, free tablets for students can provide a wide range of benefits that can enhance the learning experience, promote academic achievement, and prepare students for success in the modern world.
How long does it take to receive a free tablet after applying?
From applying for a free tablet to get it in hand is not a very short process. It will take time. But the exact time required for the process is not certain. It takes from several days to several weeks. You have to wait with patience. The time period depends on the availability of the tablet, the ship date, and also the state from where you collect the tablet.
Can international students also apply for free tablets?
No. International students cannot apply for free tablets under Affordable Connectivity Program, because the program is only for US citizens.
What do I do if my free tablet stops working?
If your tablet stops working, then you have to inform the relevant department of the government about the problem. They will take the next steps as required.
Are there any hidden costs or fees associated with free tablets for students?
No, there are no hidden costs or fees associated with free tabs, you have to pay only a one-time payment of $10.01, and that is all.
Can I apply for multiple free tablets at once?
No, you cannot apply for multiple free tablets at once. The FCC‘s Affordable Connectivity Program allows only one tablet per household. So if you belong to a household or an individual, you will get only one tablet from the government.