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StudySoup Review: How to Turn Your Class Notes Into Cash

Last updated: September 25, 2020
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StudySoup is a unique marketplace that connects great note-takers to peers who need and are willing to pay for their help. Every semester of college can be partially paid for through this online job.

Pros

Low-effort earning opportunity
Great base payments for study guides
High commission rate for downloads

  • Becoming an Elite Notetaker is an opportunity for you to make a significant amount of money just by uploading the notes you already have.

Cons

Though $500 per course is possible, the payment structure and limitations set for Elite Notetakers make it difficult to achieve.

  • Potential for zero pay on class notes
  • Limited to two courses per semester
  • Scheduled training session required before starting
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With the price of tuition on the rise, your college experience can become more about paying off loans than about the campus life you’re actually paying for. Fortunately, there’s no need to spend hours working for minimum wage at your bookstore when you can make money just by attending class. StudySoup has the perfect side hustle for any student who wants to offset the cost of student loans and enjoy their journey to a degree.

When you’re already taking notes to excel in class — and soon, your career — sharing your study materials with StudySoup subscribers can be an effortless way to earn. All you need to do is provide your most helpful, detailed notes, and you could be making as much as $500 per course.

This article will guide you through what StudySoup is and how it can help you meet your financial and educational goals.

What Is StudySoup?

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StudySoup is a digital platform that allows college students to subscribe to a massive database of class notes and study guides provided by their peers. It’s a helpful resource for any student who has missed class or needs better notes ahead of midterms and finals. On the flip side, it’s also a great online job for students who have excellent notes but need extra money for college itself.

StudySoup founders Sieva Kozinsky and Jeff Silverman aptly call their company a “peer-to-peer learning marketplace.” Much like Studypool, StudySoup connects users and notetakers to a mutually beneficial platform, which supports the educational journey for everyone involved.

Available for students at hundreds of United States colleges and universities — as well as students preparing for the grad school entrance exams — this platform can help you put your note-taking skills to good use every semester.

How to Make Money Online With StudySoup

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If you want to start earning money by taking notes, StudySoup’s Elite Notetaker gig is the job you want. So, how does it work exactly?

Elite Notetakers are responsible for uploading two types of materials:

  • Class notes: These are uploaded once per week (for eight weeks of the semester) and curate the most important details from recent lectures and readings.
  • Study guides: On the weeks you’re not uploading class notes, you need to upload a study guide for an exam, midterm, unit test, or final. Three study guides are required per course. Each should summarize the must-knows for a major test and be uploaded a minimum of four days ahead.

For every set of notes or study guide you upload, you’ll receive 50% commission per download you receive. Each study guide additionally comes with a base pay of up to $60.

Though your exact earnings will depend on factors like how many students are in your class, StudySoup states that you can earn up to $500 per course for up to two courses per semester. Some top-performing Elite Notetakers have even reported getting bonuses at the end of a course. This means you can potentially make over $2,000 per academic year just by taking the extra step of uploading the notes you’re already taking to StudySoup.

While StudySoup doesn’t require a set format for notes, your notes will be screened for quality before they’re accepted. To get your notes approved, make sure you’re providing ample context, strong organization, and completely original content.

The company recommends uploading in PDF format, using templates like these, and uploading study materials that are over a page long. This will help you get the green light and successfully receive more downloads from your classmates.

Referral Program

While becoming an Elite Notetaker is the only true gig you can get on the platform, it never hurts to earn a little more to cover your college tuition and textbooks. StudySoup’s referral program can help you earn extra cash and meet your financial goals faster.

Once you’ve joined the platform, you’ll receive a referral code that you can share with your peers via email or Facebook. As soon as a friend uses your code to sign up and uploads their first class notes or study guide, you’ll both receive a $5 cash payment.

StudySoup doesn’t have a stated limit for how many friends you can refer, so you can actually earn quite a bit of money just by recommending the earning opportunity to your friends.

StudySoup Elite Notetaker Requirements

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You don’t need to be a top student to become an Elite Notetaker, but you do need to be currently enrolled in the courses you want to upload notes for. This ensures that you’re providing the most accurate information possible, as courses frequently change over time.

Each course you select must also meet these minimum requirements:

  • Have at least 50 students enrolled
  • Have at least three exams to meet your study guide requirement
  • Have regular lectures that allow you to upload weekly notes

While graduate students are welcome to upload notes for their classes, StudySoup does note that undergrads tend to be the most successful Elite Notetakers. This is because graduate classes rarely have large class sizes and are often filled with people who are already great note-takers, so there’s a chance you won’t get any note downloads at all.

In order to get paid, every Elite Notetaker must have a PayPal account or a bank account if you’re interested in direct deposit.

StudySoup Elite Notetaker Application Process

If you’re still interested in becoming an Elite Notetaker and have eligible classes to do so, you can complete the application process by following these simple steps:

First, head to studysoup.com/apply and complete the form with your school name, full name, email, and preferred password. Then, tap “Reserve my space now!”

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Next, type in your phone number in the space provided. Then, tap “Continue.”

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On the next page, you’ll see a calendar with available dates for a required 30-minute orientation. Select a date and time from the calendar that works for you and tap “Confirm.” You should get a Google Calendar invite soon. Make sure to take note of your selection so you don’t forget to attend.

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Once you reach the “Getting Started” page, tap “Sign Contract.” Read through the StudySoup Elite Notetaker Consulting Agreement in the pop-up, enter your name, and tap “Sign.”

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Back on the “Getting Started” page, tap “Add Class Schedule.” Search for the course number of the class you want to take notes for.

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You’ll then be asked to enter the dates of your midterm and finals. You can skip this for now if you’re unsure. However, if you already know your exam dates, enter them and tap “Save.”

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The last step before your orientation — in which you’ll receive more detailed information about the gig — is simply confirming your email. Head to your inbox, open the email titled “Activate Your StudySoup Account,” and tap “Activate Account.”

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Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to attend your orientation and then start earning with your note-taking skills.

Is StudySoup Legit?

StudySoup is a legitimate company with plenty of note-takers who have reported successful payouts. While some users do report low payments and waiting periods for payments, there’s no reason to believe the gig is a scam. The majority of Glassdoor reviews, which give StudySoup a four-star average rating, report positive experiences working on the platform.

Joining StudySoup shouldn’t get you into trouble with your school either. While there are inevitably some misconceptions about the platform, you won’t be breaking your college policy as long as you avoid plagiarism, which is also against StudySoup’s policy. The company doesn’t encourage cheating, and never publishes past exams or downloadable essays. So, you’ll only be asked to write guides that assist your peers in studying their way toward success.

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