Give Your Students a Free Laptop or Tablet and Watch Your Enrollment Rise

Are you looking for new ways to attract students to your higher education program? Colleges around the world are trying something that sounds a little crazy, but it’s helping them increase enrollment and serve students better—giving students a free laptop or tablet.

It’s easy to see why this increases enrollment. Students love the idea of getting a free, brand new laptop or tablet. On a limited budget, these items can be costly for students. Yet most students buy laptops anyway, because they know they need it to succeed. Instead of asking students to stretch their already-tight budgets to buy their own device, colleges should be giving away laptops to every new student.

Many college administrators immediately assume that giving students a free laptop or tablet will break their budget. After all, these devices aren’t cheap. But giving students their own laptop can actually increase enrollment enough to offset the costs.

Students know that they’re going to need a laptop when they start college. Seeing that one school offers a free laptop or tablet, while others don’t, makes it that much easier for students to decide where they want to go. Drawing in more students equals more tuition money. In the future, more students mean a bigger alumni network with more connections—that can also lead to more donations to your college.

But there’s more to it than just increasing enrollment. Students who have access to technology are going to be better students. They can more easily do research, write papers, and complete online assignments. They can stay in touch with professors and other students.

When instructors know that every student has a laptop or tablet, they’re free to use technology in their teaching more. Students have no excuse not to complete online assignments. Plus, if every student has the same type of device, it’s easier to connect with one another. Instructors don’t have to worry about whether students have a Mac, PC, or mobile device.

Programs that give students a free laptop or tablet also create good publicity for colleges and universities. It’s harder for students to complain about the cost of college when they get a free device, and other colleges are sure to take notice. This, in turn, can increase enrollment further, as more potential students hear about the opportunity to get a laptop or tablet.

Does your higher education institution offer any tech-related perks to students? Have you considered giving out free laptops or tablets to new students? Tell us about your experiences.

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