Travis Gales (right) holds a tablet for June Baldwin (left), an NCCU junior benefitting from the Affordable Connectivity Program. Photo by Laila Jackson.

Alumnus helps NCCU students get free phones, tablets

January 29, 2024

Too few students know about the Affordable Connectivity Program. The $14.2 billion federal program is nationwide and helps eligible students and low-income families get free phones or tablets and internet service with unlimited data. Students only have until Feb. 7 to apply and get approved. The approval process can be accomplished in less than an hour. 

It’s been a goal of Travis Gales to get the word out about the program. Gales is a volunteer at WNCU 90.7 FM who hosts classic hits and grooves on Friday evenings. Gales is also a NCCU alumnus who works with service providers that work with the ACP. As an alumnus, he has helped raise scholarships and plan fundraisers for the university. 

“Not enough people are aware of this opportunity and I am pushing to spread awareness and provide tools to students that they may need,”  said Gales. “They provide phones and tablets that come with free internet, data, unlimited time and minutes.”  

To participate in the ACP, students must meet certain guidelines that prove need. 

“This program is paid for those that receive government benefits such as federal Pell Grants for College students, WIC for students that get free lunch, SSI, section 8 housing, Medicaid, and food stamps (SNAP EBT)” said Gales.

Eligible students can receive the tablet or phone at no cost if they can receive the electronic in person. When ordering online, there is a $10 activation fee.

Gales works with two ACP certified service providers: WHOOP Connect and Access Wireless. He brings the ACP benefits to eligible students. 

The free tablets are ‘one per household’ and can only be issued once. At this time, Gales can only offer phones to North Carolina residents with valid NC ID. 

According to Gales, the application is simple. 

“The information is already in federal databases. Students are already registered when they sign in for a federal Pell Grant. My job is just to verify that you are the person receiving these benefits. Your verification will give you a sim code and the tablet will be registered to the verified person which grants access to these benefits,” said Gales.

Students can apply here: https://getinternet.gov/apply?ln=RW5nbGlzaA%3D%3D

After receiving an enrollment ID, students can contact Gales to receive a tablet or phone.

Gales also said he’s interested in providing other opportunities to students, especially in marketing.

“I am looking to train students who are interested in being marketers. With this opportunity, I can help you become your very own independent agent for your community,” he said.

For more information about the ACP program or gaining marketing experience, contact Travis Gales at 919-408-7550. 

 

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Travis Gales (right) holds a tablet for June Baldwin (left), an NCCU junior benefitting from the Affordable Connectivity Program. Photo by Laila Jackson.
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Travis Gales (right) holds a tablet for June Baldwin (left), an NCCU junior benefitting from the Affordable Connectivity Program. Photo by Laila Jackson.
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