Textbooks are expensive. And let’s face it, the added costs of tutoring and supplemental resources are no help when you’re not doing very well in a class. Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up some great alternative options.

The list below includes places where you can find both course materials and books for free online.


Coursera offers thousands of courses from over a hundred different schools. If you go to a big-name university, you might be able to find entire classes from your schedule, complete with readings, lectures and quizzes. If not, many intro classes are available, which are similar at most schools.


Open Stax is in the business of providing free textbooks. Many schools and instructors already use their standard texts, but some students may be able to use their books in place of those recommended by their professors. For those who don’t like reading textbooks online, Open Stax will ship you a print edition of select volumes for a small fee.


Like Coursera, edX offers courses with the cooperation of colleges and universities. EdX also has a program that allows you to get credit for your freshman year by taking their online classes.


If you’re a visual or auditory learner, TedEd can help you get a better grasp of specific elements of your coursework. TedEd is also a great place to find inspiration for your next paper, presentation or project.


This one seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re missing a textbook or want to search within a text, it can be especially useful. Google Books has large parts of even copyrighted books scanned into its publicly accessible database.

If you’re struggling with an individual subject or searching for blogs, study guides or flash cards for a course, this is another way to find the specific answers you need.