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Cash for Going to Class: OneClass offers paid note-taking opportunities, real lecture notes for university students


Looking to make some extra cash or bolster your studying?

You’ll want to make note of OneClass, an online content platform that not only provides undergrad students access to course notes but rewards them for contributing.

While students have a lot of options for seeking resources outside of classes – virtual flashcards, blogs, the almighty Google – OneClass stands apart from the rest by focusing on relevancy and impact.

According to the site, 90 percent of users were able to raise their grade at least one letter higher.

Since COO and co-founder Kevin Wu started the company in 2010, OneClass has paid over $1 million to contributors and passed 2.5 million student users.

While the co-founders were recently included in Forbes’ 2018 education edition of “30 Under 30,” it wasn’t that long ago that Wu and his co-founders were in the same shoes as many of the site’s users after moving from a different city to the University of Toronto.

“In the first year… I think everyone is a little bit shy, so not being able to access the content that we needed in order to study to pass the exams, we really felt that,” Wu says.

Their experience – and nearly two semesters of poor grades – inspired them to seek a solution to help future students.

For every complete set of notes uploaded – around 12 lectures and a few study guides – contributors earn $10, which they can receive in cash or a gift card. Submissions are anonymous by default; however, uploaders can elect to show a display name.

It’s an ideal side gig for a student who may contribute once or twice a semester or for former students who have retained previous work.

Regular contributors to the site can be invited to work note-taking positions and be assigned a course at their university to attend and take weekly notes, earning a pay check that totals nearly $470 per course.

OneClass follows up to ensure that note-takers are uploading within 24 hours of a class session; as typically 10 to 20 students depend on notes from assigned note-takers.

It’s a “win-win” for diligent students like Andrea Silvera, a second-year applied mathematics student at UC Davis.

Currently, Silvera is a weekly note-taker for a course that she’s enrolled in, which ties in perfectly with her academic responsibilities.

“By studying my notes (for OneClass), I’m also studying for my upcoming exams as well and am able to do the homework assignments more successfully,” Silvera says. “It gives me an incentive to study.”

Note-takers can also be assigned to cover courses in which they aren’t enrolled; Silvera recently covered a microeconomics course and says she learned a lot.

“Oftentimes it can be interesting to learn the subject matter without the responsibility of taking the midterm or doing the homework assignments for the class,” she says.

But what does it take to be a good note-taker?

Silvera says she engages with every lecture, pays special attention to details that professors do not write on the board or include in Powerpoint presentations and tries to infer a lesson’s main details.

While there have been a few professors who have opposed the platform’s concept, Wu says that for the most part, it’s been embraced by universities.

“There are a lot of really good teachers and instructors out there, but we still see a gap between a student’s understanding of the course and what’s actually being taught in class,” he says.

“We want to be the ones to help bridge the gap and help all the students succeed and graduate on time.”

ASU students can purchase access to notes for current sections of courses like Econ 212, Psychology 101 and Sociology 101, at prices ranging from $19.98 to $39.98 per month, depending on subscription duration.

Notes and study guides from previous upper division courses in classes like Management and Communication are also available.

Students looking to contribute can do so at any time and OneNote hires for note-taker positions at the beginning of every semester.

For more information on resources and note-taker positions, visit oneclass.com.


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