College students should know that dozens of online platforms are vying for your labor. If you need cash to pay rent or for the sort of day-to-day extras that neither financial aid nor Mom and Dad are willing to finance, you have options. Better yet, a handful of college gigs pay you to do things that are likely to pay off in both cash and better grades.
Consider StudySoup. The site courts good students to take notes in their classes — something a good student is going to be doing anyway — and promises to pay between $25 and $50 for each upload. Given the contract students get at the beginning of the semester, it would be reasonable to expect earnings ranging from $300 to $600 per class, per semester. But they’ll only accept notes from a single student for a maximum of three classes per semester.
Another site, NexusNotes, provides a potentially more tempting deal. NexusNotes doesn’t buy your notes outright. Instead, it gives you the ability to sell them to other students through the platform. Since notes are typically listed for $35 and Nexus takes a 50% commission, you could make $17.50 for each and every person who uploads your notes. If you’re providing notes for a big class that doesn’t change a lot from year to year, that could provide pocket money for years to come.
Top students who are willing to share academic transcripts with the site, get a special designation showing that the site has verified your grades. That may help boost your sales.
Notably, a third site called OneClass purports to offer much the same opportunity. But instead of getting $25 per set of notes, you get 25 “credits.” What’s a credit worth? Less than a penny a piece, according to the editors at SideHusl.com, who give OneClass the site’s lowest Husl$core for both offering rotten pay and for presenting their pay formula in a misleading way. That said, taking notes that are good enough to sell, is still likely to get you better grades.
You should know, however, that you may not need an online platform to sell your class notes.
Many schools hire students to take notes in class as an accommodation to disabled students. The pay varies, and is set by the school’s Disability Services department. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for instance, recently advertised for student notetakers, promising a $200 stipend per class. Boston University promised student notetakers $110 per class. University of Southern California pays “up to $100” per class. The precise pay will depend on the quality of the notes, according to USC’s advertisement.
Will taking notes for a platform pay more than taking notes directly through your college? The only way to know is to check with your school’s disability services department and see what they offer.
Not interested in taking notes? Consider taking a part-time job as a tutor. If you’re at college level in any specialty, from language to math, there’s a good chance that you know enough to teach high school and grammar school students. If you’re truly a whiz, you can tutor other college students too.
Several sites allow you to offer your services as a tutor either on an hourly basis, or where you answer questions for a fee. The best of these options is offered by a site called Wyzant, which allows tutors to set their own rates and availability. The site simply takes a commission after you get paid from a client.
Chegg Study promises tutors a $20 hourly rate, but the catch is that clients are billed in 5 minute increments, so you might get paid for just a few minutes. Still, Chegg Study offers a better deal than Course Hero, another site looking for tutors. The trouble with Course Hero? Dozens of former workers maintain that the site not only pays rotten wages, it is likely to kick you off the platform right before you’re able to cash out, which makes it impossible to collect the pay that you earned previously. (“Class, who would like to define ‘wage-theft’?”)
Another option: post your tutoring availability on a free local website, such as Nextdoor.
Fun with facts
If you’re funny, you might also want to consider writing for Cracked. Cracked is a comedy-oriented website that loves listicles that present true facts in a sometimes profane but amusing way. Some examples: 5 Dumb Questions with Surprisingly Interesting Answers,” and “5 People Whose Corpses Got Desecrated in Crazy Ways.”
Since almost every student has had at least one class where the teacher dives into deep detail on a seemingly arcane person or event, this is a way to turn your boredom into cold, hard cash. Cracked pays $150 per story — more if you write for them frequently. And, to make your story really compelling, you’re probably going to learn more deep details about the topic than even your professor knows.