What Is OneClass?

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff
Published on: Nov 30, 2017

With a community of more than 2.2 million university students, OneClass provides access to up-to-date documents like lecture notes, textbook summaries, video tutorials, and exam study guides from the best students in your class, which could help you achieve better grades in less time.

In fact, the website reports that 90 percent of all students who use their service improve their grade by at least one letter.

OneClass’ system is credit-based—students earn credits by contributing their own self-created documents, which can then be redeemed to unlock notes and other study materials, join contests, purchase gift cards to many popular retailers, and even for cash. To date, the company claims to have rewarded students with more than $500K.

This all sounds simple and straightforward, but is OneClass really the best source for notes and study guides? Is it legal? Will you have to complete a ton of notes for just a few credits?

In this article, we’ll explore—and help you find answers to—all of your important questions.

Is OneClass Legit? How It Works

According to their homepage, OneClass currently boasts more than 500,000 documents, which can be filtered by:

  • Country (U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
  • School
  • Course code
  • Document type (lecture notes, textbook notes, exam study guides)
  • Semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
  • Professor

A search bar at the top also allows you to manually enter a course code or keyword.

OneClass Home PageFrom the home page, users can filter or search among OneClass’ database of more than 500,000 pieces of content. Image credit: Notesolution, Inc.

On the right-hand side of the screen, you can also go directly to the Study Resources, Video Tutorials, Homework Help, Textbook Solutions, and Scholarships sections of the site.

After filtering or searching, users can click on any relevant results, which will redirect to a page where the document can be previewed, including details about who uploaded it, the semester, professor, and a short description. Here, you’ll also find related documents (if any).

If you want to unlock the document, you’ll have to sign up for an account by entering your email address (note: you must have a .edu email address in order to qualify), choosing a password, and then entering your first name and the school you attend. Then, you can either redeem credits or gain access by paying for an unlimited account.

According to their website, OneClass is a completely legitimate service that utilizes a “rigorous system to evaluate each set of notes that is uploaded to the platform.” Also, the community can flag documents they deem unrelated or irrelevant, while an internal audit team checks all documents on a daily basis.

However, they cannot accept:

“(1) copyright documents created by professors or instructors, including but not limited to: PowerPoint slides, assignment questions, past exams, textbooks, e-textbooks, published articles, journals; (2) homework, labs, assignments, essays; (3) duplicate documents; (4) single page documents with little or no information; (5) one full set of notes separated into multiple documents in order to gain additional credits.”

How Do You Become a OneClass Note Taker?

There aren’t a whole lot of specifics provided on the site regarding what it takes to become a OneClass Note Taker, although they emphasize that you’ll need to be neat, organized, and enrolled as a student, as well as motivated to help others in your school and upload notes weekly.

At the time of our research, the company was only accepting Note Takers for the Winter 2018 term—a little less than a year away. Keep this in mind if you’re looking to sign up and start earning money immediately.

For each approved uploaded document, Note Takers will earn 25 credits. Eventually, you can achieve the opportunity to be classified as an Elite Note Taker, which increases the per-document credits to 75.

OneClass notes that “we also have additional opportunities for Elite Note Takers to get paid more for what they do, and we will contact individuals personally for these opportunities.” We reached out to the company for additional details but hadn’t yet received a response at the time of publishing.

Similar to students who download notes, OneClass emphasizes that 68 percent of their Note Takers “have also seen a significant improvement in their grades after becoming a note taker – some as much as three grade points.”

How Much Does OneClass Cost?

OneClass is free to join. In addition to uploading documents, members can earn 500 credits if a friend upgrades their account, 100 credits if they become an Elite Note Taker, and 25 credits for earning badges.

At the time of our research, one document unlock was 300 credits, five unlocks was 750, and 10 unlocks was 1,000. Additionally, $10 gift cards to retailers like Sephora, Chipotle, Paypal, Google Play, Walmart, iTunes, Target, Visa, Starbucks, and Amazon were 1,200 credits each.

OneClass also offers paid memberships, which provide unlimited access (including direct downloads to your desktop) and are automatically renewed:

  • Monthly: $39.98
  • Semester $59.94
  • Yearly: $95.76

According to the site’s terms, all payments and credits are nonreturnable and nonrefundable. However, members will continue having access to the site through the end of their billing period after requesting cancellation.

In order to request a refund, you’ll need to reach out to customer support through the site’s contact form or send an email to info@oneclass.com.

Are There Any OneClass Customer Reviews?

Although OneClass has been in business since 2010, we didn’t encounter a whole lot of online customer feedback for the service during our research.

When answering the question ‘is OneClass worth it,’ some Redditors felt the notes helped them pass a class or improve their grades, while others indicated students could obtain similar notes for free by joining study groups. And while none reported that they got rich from being a Note Taker, many felt it was a good way to earn extra spending money.

Outside of this, TechGeek.com.au felt OneClass inadvertently helps slackers take the easy way out. They also reported that the company’s spammy approach to Facebook advertising was less than stellar.

From a company perspective, Notesolution, Inc. is based out of Toronto, ON and was co-founded by CEO Jack Tai, COO Kevin Wu, Chief of International Jackey Li, and Maggie Peng, Chief Design Officer.

Are There Other Ways to Obtain Online College Notes Like OneClass?

While we didn’t encounter any other identical sites like OneClass, perhaps the most similar was StudySoup, which also distinguishes between regular and Elite Note Takers, who can earn up to $450 and receive payment via direct deposit or PayPal.

Nexus Notes offers many of the same materials for Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, and U.S. students, while note takers only earn a 50 percent commission once their notes sell. Payments are made directly through PayPal.

The company says they “review uploaders’ notes and academic transcripts to ensure our notes are written by students who receive HDs and Ds only.” If customers aren’t satisfied, they’re backed by a 100 percent money back guarantee.

ClassFeed.ca also offers access to lecture, tutorial, midterm, and finals notes and offers a satisfaction guarantee, although they only support Canadian universities. Uploaders are also only paid once a sale is made and will earn $2-$9 each time, depending on whether they’re Class, Tutorial, Midterm, or Finals notes.

Other popular search options include:

  • StudyBlue – Provides unlimited access to 400 million pieces of content, including those for high school and college. Uploaders can earn credit by sharing their content, while a membership costs $7-$19 per month.
  • ULoop – Offers free access to hundreds of thousands of documents, which can be rated by other users.
  • StuDocu – Provides access to documents and books and offers free (uploaders can earn the ability to access Premium documents after contributing to a community), or paid memberships. A commission is only earned when someone purchases your notes.
  • KarmaNotes – This is a free service, although their database only contained 5,100+ notes at the time of our research.

Our Final Thoughts About OneClass

Which of these is right for you? Despite all of the information we’ve covered here, if you’re looking to download university notes, we think the most appropriate option largely boils down to two questions: Do they provide documents for your specific class? Do you have the funds to pay?

If you’re looking to upload documents, there are a couple more questions you’ll want to keep in mind: Do you want to get paid as soon as you upload, or only when someone purchases your notes? Do you prefer to get paid directly, or through alternatives like gift cards? Do you want to earn cash or credits?

Speaking of which, since OneClass was the only credit-based option we encountered, we thought it would be helpful to quickly point out that, as a beginning Note Taker, you’d have to upload 48 documents before earning enough credits for a $10 gift card (1,200 / 25)—or, a little less than $0.21 per document.

Even once you reach Elite status, this only increases to about $0.63 per document, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the time and effort.

Pro tip: While OneClass emphasizes that their service is legal and legit, the Penny Hoarder recommends checking with your “school’s honor code — which addressed important issues like plagiarism and cheating,” before uploading notes.

See Also: 33 Genius Ways to Save With Your Student ID

Another important factor to consider is that OneClass is the only top paid online college notes site that doesn’t offer a refund on paid memberships. As such, you might want to start by signing up on a month-to-month basis and upgrading from there if you find their documents useful.

In the meantime, we reached out to the company to learn more about how they verify the accuracy of uploaded notes, how they if verify their notes are uploaded by “top university students” (i.e., do they verify grades?), as well as a general idea of the “additional opportunities” potentially available to Elite Note Takers.

Be sure to bookmark this page, and we’ll update as soon as a response is received.


Read 29 OneClass Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  25
Bottom Line: 14% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 29
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Copyright issues galore

    • British Columbia, Canada,
    • Sep 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used to teach at a university and have found my notes on this site. When I asked them to take down my notes, they sent me this page on copyright laws. They basically said that I would be going after the student who uploaded my notes and the company who ALSO makes money off of my work is kept safe. I'm guessing the student signs a copyright waiver prior to uploading? Do you really want to take that risk for pennies on the dollar? This company makes money off of your risk on an ongoing basis. Even the derivative of the work is an issue. Be careful with regards to publishing your notes online.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    How can they stay open?

    • bm102311@gmail.com,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Oh my goodness this company is a joke and scam. I subscribe, but it's really not worth it because so few notes and help on the site for me, and the notes on site are not good. So I want refund, right? But they wouldn't let me! I try to call their customer service line like a normal company but this company doesn't even have phone! Email, message, try all, no response, until finally I get a response with typos and rude language about how a refund cannot be processed.

    I should read the reviews here and on Google and Glassdoor before purchasing with this company: this company has one of the worst reputations in the industry. Who is in charge here? They should feel ashamed to scam students. Company will bankrupt very soon.

    Stay away from this scam company!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Unlimited billing

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Jun 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    TL;DR: Absurd pricing, anti-consumer cancellation process, and unethical (NO REFUNDS) refund policy. When a service charges $40 a month just to access one or two class's notes, it's a SCAM.

    I purchased a monthly subscription for the "unlimited" account (the only available plan) from OneClass in order to view notes for one class that I missed the last few weeks leading up to finals due to health issues. Seeing as the monthly price was an absurd $40 per month, I planned on canceling the subscription shortly after my class ended. $40 for one class's notes in an emergency seems a fair deal.

    It's not. The process to cancel the subscription is convoluted and confusing. You are forced to go through several pages, scroll down to the bottom of each, and click on subsequent buttons all to just cancel a subscription. I thought I canceled my subscription less than halfway through my first, but I was wrong.

    Upon asking their customer service for a refund on the second month, explaining I thought I already canceled it, I was met with a lengthy, combative email detailing how I never made it through the entire cancelation process. A good, honest company would see I never logged onto the service again after attempting to cancel the subscription and give at least a partial refund. This company is neither good nor honest.

    You'd have better results buying notes off Classmates than these scumbags.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Terribly run and awful customer service. Use other online services.

    • Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jun 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    If I could give a zero star rating to OneClass, I would. For starters, I graduated from a large university (you would think there would be plenty of notes available), and any documents that related to courses I took were outdated and basically useless. I wanted to use them as an alternative to my own notes...yet it took more time to even distinguish what was useable than to actually study.

    Now, on to the customer service. I received a single OneClass email when I purchased a years subscription (mind you, in no regard is it cheap - it cost me $119 Canadian)...until a year later, when I was charged it again and notified of the charge. No warning, no spam email, nothing. Of course I forgot about it, I barely even looked at it when I first got it, and then hadn’t in probably 10 months.

    I attempted to call...well, they don’t have a phone number. I sent an email about this, asking of the charge (and a refund) and received one back 2-3 days later stating they canceled my subscription and all was well. But did I get a refund? It seemed so...I mean, what kind of company would do that, but I figured I’d ask anyway since the email was far from clear. As you can likely see with my frustration, I did not receive a refund, only a rude email in return. So here I am, warning you to stay away from this trash company. Spend a few extra hours looking at your own notes, this is a waste of time and money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    SCAM

    • Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
    • May 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    About a year ago, I complained to OneClass that they took two months of membership ($80) when I canceled before those ones. Safe to say I was furious as they refused to refund my money, canceled right then and there. Fast forward 12 months later I notice that OneClass took $40 out of my account this month, I go to my one class account and noticed that they have been charging me the LAST TWELVE MONTHS! $480 were stolen from me after canceling my subscription. Awaiting a reply from their support team, but my hopes are extremely low. Completely takes advantage of students.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Stay away

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Apr 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Horrible company. The notes are not useful and they mislead you with pricing. Many of their notes border on illegal due to copyright issues. Talked to customer service to get a refund because they charged me for a year subscription (which they led me to believe was monthly) and they were patronizing, argumentative, and rigid. They do not care about their customers and I really think the only way they make money is by those poor souls who forget to cancel their free trial. A predatory company that clearly doesn't care about their reputation or the true value they offer to their customers.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Awful services

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Apr 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company charged me $120 by misconduct and refused to refund my money. They mentioned according to company policy I can't get a refund but they can downgrade the plan and get partial money back. However, this downgrade option is contradicted with their company policy. I am like you kidding me? Anyway, avoid this company at all cost. I am thinking to complain about this company to the government and even going to a lawsuit against them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Worst website EVER

    • California,
    • Apr 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    So they charged me $120 and I couldn't find any resources for my classes (which did not show at all). Then I tried to contact them and there was no number to call. So I was like, okay, I will take my own mistake. However, THEY CHARGED ME AGAIN with that freaking $120! I am graduating in two months, what is the point of me getting another year of that shit. I really don't know what to say, just don't even bother to try. WORST EVER.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    SCAM! Do not use!

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Mar 31, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    SCAM! Do not use this website!

    I tried signing up for a free trial. How the free trial works is that you have to put in your credit card info, and once the 7-day free trial is over you are charged a yearly subscription unless you cancel before.

    The thing is, I was never able to sign up, period. There was always constant error messages saying "error: unable to sign up," so I assumed it was just a technical issue. I tried a few times with different emails to see if that would work but it still did not work. I eventually just gave up and stopped trying to sign up, as it did not work at all.

    A week later I happen to check my credit card statement and see that I was charged THREE TIMES the yearly subscription by this company ($119.76 x3, a total of $359.38). I was shocked that I had been charged without any notice for a service I did not get. Still, I assumed it must have been a technical issue from when I had tried signing up and assumed that I would obviously get refunded.

    I sent them an email explaining the situation. To this day I have yet to receive an answer. They have no phone number to contact them (big red flag). I began looking online at reviews and saw that so many other students have been scammed by them. At this point I got really angry and stressed that I would not get my money back.

    I was only able to contact them through their official Facebook page on their messenger. I explained everything. They said they were going to refund me only two of the three charges. Also, that those two refunds were a big exception as they normally would never do this. They stole my money and tried to make me feel that they were doing me a favor my refunding some of the stolen money. I knew right away I was being scammed and that these people gave not one care in the world about what they were doing.

    I asked why they would only refund two charges and not all three, to which they responded that I had signed up for the trial and "forgot" to cancel so I could not be refunded, so it was essentially my mistake. I was FURIOUS. They literally made that up. I could NOT ONCE sign up for their stupid free trial that does not exist. I was not even given any notice that I was charged. They tried to turn this on me to keep $119.76 that they stole. Even after being confronted, they try to keep up the scamming. They have no shame.

    These people refused to give me back the money they stole from me. I was charged for a service I never even got access to. Never got emails conforming sign ups or payments. I kept going back and forth with them for days and they kept either ignoring me or refusing the third refund.

    I had to threaten them with legal action, and then out of nowhere they accept to fully refund me. Ha.

    However, they obviously could not be professional or apologetic about it. After saying they would fully refund me, they still tried to make it sound as if all this was my fault. They said I was supposed to contact them when the sign ups didn’t work to make sure I was not being charged. What? If one cannot sign up for a service, one is not charged for it. One should not assume they are in fact being scammed and charged behind their backs. Ridiculous. They also once again kept saying that they are making a special exception by refunding me and they normally do not do this.

    These people STOLE MY MONEY and made it sound as if it was my fault and that they did not owe it back to me! When you scam people, you and your disgusting company are responsible! Not the person you stole money from!

    Such a disgusting company. I truly cannot understand how they are in still in business. They take advantage of students who don’t have a lot of money. The reviews says it all. DO NOT use this website. I was one of the very few who was able to get their money back, but from what I read no one else ever gets refunded after being scammed. People need to know what this shady company is doing to students.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Apr 2, 2019

      Company Response from NOTESOLUTION INC.

      Hi Sarah, we appreciate your insightful feedback and we strive to always improve as a company. For this particular issue, there were 3 accounts that were created using different emails. Each time that you signed up for a subscription, a charge was processed. As some users may opt to create multiple accounts using different emails, we are unable to prevent users from doing so. Upon receiving your messages, we promptly refunded the charges, and the issue was resolved on March 26th as per our customer success team. We were extremely glad to see that you had sent us the following message "Thank you. I appreciate it." when we were able to resolve the issue for you. Thank you so much again for your feedback


  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Frustrated

    • Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
    • Mar 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up for a free trial for OneClass in order to check it all out. After about a couple of days, I realized OneClass wasn’t for me, specifically after I saw that it would charge me $119 for a yearly subscription just a couple days after I signed up. I attempted to cancel my subscription on March 4th, a day before the charge was said to be due, but clearly something went wrong as I was charged the full yearly subscription price on March 6th. I was unable to afford this and it sent my bank account into overdraft (one of the main reasons I tried to cancel in the first place). I contacted their customer service the only way I could through submitting a ticket. I submitted one last Wednesday and on the site it says it would take them up to 48 hours to respond. I have yet to receive a response, and it is now the following Wednesday. I am very frustrated and disappointed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Scam - stay away

    • Ontario, Canada,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a total scam. Notes are not helpful, and it is impossible to cancel the subscription. The only way out is to close the credit card.

    STAY AWAY from giving these people your hard-earned money!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 14, 2019

      Company Response from NOTESOLUTION INC.

      We attempted to reach out to this user multiple times to assist them with their issues, but we did not receive any response from them after multiple attempts. We provide a straight-forward and simple self-serve cancellation process for all of our users, and we provide instructions on how to do so within every email receipt.


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