A Broke Girl's Guide To Passing Class Without Buying Books
Start writing a post
Student Life

A Broke Girl's Guide To Passing Class Without Buying Books

Just don't buy them. Save $500+ every year, and still get an A++ in all your classes.

A Broke Girl's Guide To Passing Class Without Buying Books
daizuoxin / 123RF Stock Photo

So, you got into school (yay!), you ignored the price tag of your education and you're about to move into your new university. First - year students; in the hype of being away from your parents in this ridiculously expensive 4+ year vacation, you'll be swept away by the wonderful world of college. You might also get overwhelmed by all of the books required this semester. Don’t be a fool though. You don’t have to spend $200+ on move in day at the college bookstore. Instead save that money for club t-shirts, sorority dues, and drunchies.

DISCLAIMER: Not buying books doesn't mean not studying. If you want to stay at school then you have to study. There’s no way around that. People do drop out of school. It’s not just a scary ghost story your mom tells you. You can still get an A++ by studying smartly, and not break the bank buying textbooks.

"So Dana, how do I pass all my classes with an A++ without buying the textbooks? I didn’t know such a feat was possible!"

Here's how:

The best thing to do is to start by not buying them.

When you get your syllabus, be really honest with yourself. Are you going to do all these readings? Can you pass this class without them? (This might be something that a more seasoned college pro would know about themselves. But think about it.)

If you attend lecture, which you should if you want to get an A in the class, then for most general education classes they go over the same information in class as the readings.

If you attend a big school, and are taking a class that everyone has to take, check Quizlet to see the study resources that people who have taken the class before you have made. Not only is it free information, but the study guide is already made.

Do you have a friend/roommate/sorority sister in the same class who already bought the book? Great. Mooch off them.

Is there someone in your class who bought the book and will likely post their study guides on the class Facebook page? Yeah? Cool! You don’t have to buy the book.

Is there someone in the class who bought the book but hates to attend lecture? Good thing you love to attend lecture. Trade your lecture notes for the notes they made from the readings.

Make a class Facebook group. Act like you have your shit together. Rent study rooms and bring cookies. Invite classmates that pay attention and have the book. Mooch off their book notes.

Is the book at the reserve section of the library? Talk to the librarians. Usually they have all the books available for 1-2 hour check out periods. (And you get to make friends with the librarians because you come in every day to do your readings!)

Does your Sorority/Fraternity house have a study room with old books from sisters of the past? Is this book in said study room? Yes? Yay! Go read it there.

Wait, are you in an English class? You definitely don’t need to buy those books

Is it a book that is on spark notes or has convenient video summaries on YouTube? Go watch those instead.

Is the book in the public domain? Any book written before 1923 (hello Shakespeare!) is free online. Thank - you, Project Gutenberg.

Is this a book that’s for free at the library?

Is this a bestselling book that you possibly have at home or at one of your friend’s houses that you can borrow?

Is it for free download on Nook or Amazon? Can you easily find a PDF of it online for free. (Be careful of viruses! Don’t do anything illegal.)

"But Dana, the teacher said that I need to get the 2015 Pelican version of this popular/public domain book that I already own but it’s not the ISBN 00000000123!"

Yeah, that doesn’t matter. The only reason that teachers say you need that book is so they can say “flip to page 7,” and you'll on be on the same page. If you’re not a complete lazy-laze, then spend 15 seconds finding the right part.

"But Dana, this book is specifically written for this class from the professor, and I need it in order to turn in the homework."

Can you photo copy pages of the work sheets off someone else’s book and turn those in? Can you print off assignments from Compass instead? Talk to your teacher. They probably don’t care. If not, then maybe you need to bite the bullet and buy it. But if you don't talk to your professor then you'll never know.

"But Dana, this is an online book that I have to buy through my university account and read only on this special university website because my university sucks and wants to steal all my money."

Do you have to buy it? Do you really need to read it? Talk to someone who took the class before and see if it’s even necessary. Talk to your professor.

"So Dana, does this mean I don't have to buy any books at all and can save 200+ every semester?"

Not really. There are still some books you will probably have to buy. or could benefit from buying and keeping. But it will be okay because you saved so much money from not buying the other books.

Some examples are:

The book is ACTUALLY required to do your homework. Examples: Lab notebook you write your labs in and turn in for credit. Math books that come with a software that is mandatory for taking tests or doing homework. Software that without you would not be able to get a grade in the class.

If you’re going to use the book for multiple years and many classes. This is a book that you may refer to in your career and are not going to throw out.

This is a book in your major that looks really helpful, inspiring, and is only $15, and you’ll probably read it every year around the holidays to be like, “Yeah, I’m a secure adult who’s totally on the right track to get a job and will be super successful forever.”

So with all these money saving deals in mind, good luck, study hard, don't party too hard, and get your A++!

Disclaimer: You may not get an A++. That depends on study habits, professors, test grades, general smartness, and how much you want to get an A++.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America

For the first time since 1994 the United States will host a world cup (for men's soccer)

2026: the year the Fifa World Cup Returns to North America
Skylar Meyers

The FIFA World Cup is coming to North American in 2026!

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.


Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Up Your Room

This holiday break is the perfect time to get away from the materialistic frenzy of the world and turn your room into a decluttered sanctuary.


Cleaning isn’t just for spring. In fact, I find school’s holiday break to be a very effective time for decluttering. You’re already being bombarded by the materialistically-infatuated frenzy of society’s version of Christmas, Hanukah, etc. It’s nice to get out of the claustrophobic avarice of the world and come home to a clean, fresh, and tidy room. While stacking up old books, CDs, and shoes may seem like no big deal, it can become a dangerous habit. The longer you hang onto something, whether it be for sentimental value or simply routine, it becomes much harder to let go of. Starting the process of decluttering can be the hardest part. To make it a little easier, get out three boxes and label them Donate, Storage, and Trash. I'm in the middle of the process right now, and while it is quite time consuming, it is also so relieving and calming to see how much you don't have to deal with anymore. Use these six questions below to help decide where an item gets sorted or if it obtains the value to stay out in your precious sanctuary from the world.

Keep Reading... Show less

Why I Don't Write (Or Read) An "Open Letter To My Future Husband/Wife"

Because inflated expectations and having marriage as your only goal are overrated.

Urban Intellectuals

Although I have since changed my major I remember the feverish hysteria of applying to nursing school--refreshing your email repeatedly, asking friends, and frantically calculating your GPA at ungodly hours of the night. When my acceptance came in I announced the news to friends and family with all the candor of your average collegiate. I was met with well wishes, congratulations, and interrogations on the program's rank, size, etc. Then, unexpectedly, I was met with something else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Meet the creators making their voices heard on Odyssey.

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week
Why I Write On Odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Last week, our response writers sparked some great conversations right here on our homepage. Here are the top three response articles:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments