Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 10 Places to Download Free College Resources

By Alan Shin (references Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest Post by David Boyd of

College can be an exciting time of your life. Your college years are a time for both self-discovery and for learning about the world around you. Although not all the learning you will do in college takes place in a classroom, mastering the material covered in your college courses will help you become a better thinker and a more rounded individual. Additionally, doing well in your classes can open up many opportunities for internships and jobs. Fortunately, there are many downloadable resources available that can help you ace your college classes. Here are ten of the best places to download free college resources.

1. OWL At Purdue

If you are struggling in a composition course, or you need help writing a research paper for a class, there are plenty of helpful resources at the online writing labs website run by Purdue University. In addition to the many helpful guides that offer advice on a variety of writing topics, you can also download the Purdue OWL podcasts that cover everything from Aristotelian appeals to invention and prewriting.

2. Massachusetts Institute Of Technology Open Courseware

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free course materials for over 2000 different classes. You can download lecture notes and course videos that can provide valuable supplemental instruction. If you are having difficulty understanding a particular professor, these materials can help clarify any troublesome points. You can even download exams so that you can see how much of the course material you are actually retaining. Although you might associate MIT with science courses, you can find course materials for classes across many academic disciplines.

3. Utah State University

Utah State University offers great resources for students struggling with technological projects and concepts. This website offers course materials for a variety of technology courses. You can even download sample projects to help you brainstorm ideas for your own.

4. Project Gutenberg

Instead of spending money on a book for class, check to see if the novel you are assigned is available on Project Gutenberg. This website offers downloadable versions of many books in the public domain. You can even download audio versions of some titles.

5. Wikipedia

While most instructors are hesitant to let students cite Wikipedia directly, this collaborative website can be a great starting point for any research project. Although you are probably familiar with this engrossing website, you might not be aware of one of the most recent ways that you can take advantage of this website. Wikipedia now offers a book creator feature where you can specify which articles you want and download them all for free in a PDF file. You can then do some research on the go. Wikipedia's help guide offers clear instructions on how to use this feature.

6. University of California Irvine

University of California Irvine offers free downloadable course information for many of its classes. Many of their classes teach very specific skill sets, such as learning musical pitch or learning to understand your personal finances. Additionally, some of the courses are available in Spanish.

7. Open Yale

If you want an Ivy League education but do not have the grade point average required for admission, check out the Open Yale courses available online for free. Real Yale courses have been recorded so that you can experience the same high quality education as enrolled Yale students.

8. The Oxford Text Archive

The Oxford Text Archive houses many rare and useful humanities texts. Although access to some materials is restricted, the vast majority of the materials are available to the public.

9. iTunes Podcasts

If you have an iPod, you can access tons of free educational material through the iTunes store. In addition to the many podcasts produced by universities, you can find independent podcasts on a variety of topics that can be an excellent supplement to the material from your coursework. Free educational videos are also available.

10. Check Your University's Offerings

Although the resources vary widely from institution to institution, many universities have arrangements with major software companies that give students access to software that would otherwise be out of their price range. Check with your college's technological center to see what software is available to you for free or at a deeply discounted price.

This guest post was written by David Boyd who reviews high interest saving accounts for a leading Australian comparison service called