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Nancy Drew On Campus Series

In 1995, a spin-off paperback series debuted on the market, Nancy Drew On Campus. The premise was sending Nancy, Bess, and George off to Wilder University. Frankly, it was time for Nancy Drew to grow up.

This series was so different from the classic series and the Files spin-off series, that it did not fare well with fans.

The Files series modernized Nancy and incorporated more romance to appeal to modern teenage readers. What made the now out of print Files series more successful, was the tried and true mystery format, which was still an integral part of each story.

The On Campus series however, missed the boat. The classic Nancy Drew sleuth became Nancy Drew co-ed, growing up and growing apart from chums Bess and George and boyfriend Ned Nickerson. The mystery in each story was but a brief sub-plot. While many fans may have desired to see Nancy grow up and go out on her own, they did not want to see it happen at the expense of close friendships and certainly not without a baffling mystery to solve. Nancy’s baffling mysteries of yesteryear became the baffling mystery of living life on her own away from the comfort of home and far away from the comfort of Ned.

The first volume, New Lives, New Loves, tackles issues of partying, drugs, near-date rape, love interests, student loan and registration hassles, and roommate strife–all a part of college life for many. Reading the first volume as the chums head off to Wilder, brings back memories of setting off for college and making our way in life and ultimately making mistakes and learning from them. These are real growing experiences that now Nancy, Bess, and George are going through unlike their more fantasy like existence in the classic series. Gone is the Nancy who loves the chance to solve a mystery and in her place is a Nancy just trying to survive the pressures and fears of for once being on her own.

In the back of the first book, readers were invited to call an 800 number to vote on whether Nancy should stay with or break up with Ned. Apparently, those who called in axed poor Ned. For Ned fans, this did not bode well.

The series was short-lived and consisted of only 25 volumes in the 3 years it was on the market.


  • 1 New Lives, New Loves
  • 2 On Her Own
  • 3 Don’t Look Back
  • 4 Tell Me the Truth
  • 5 Secret Rules
  • 6 It’s Your Move
  • 7 False Friends
  • 8 Getting Closer
  • 9 Broken Promises
  • 10 Party Weekend
  • 11 In the Name of Love
  • 12 Just the Two of Us
  • 13 Campus Exposures
  • 14 Hard to Get
  • 15 Loving and Losing
  • 16 Going Home
  • 17 New Beginnings
  • 18 Keeping Secrets
  • 19 Love On-Line
  • 20 Jealous Feelings
  • 21 Love and Betrayal
  • 22 In and Out of Love
  • 23 Otherwise Engaged
  • 24 In the Spotlight
  • 25 Snowbound

Although out of print, there are still some in stock at online bookstores like Barnes & Noble or or you can find them in used bookstores or online at eBay!

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