What Is OneClass?
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)
- Course code
- Document type (lecture notes, textbook notes, exam study guides)
- Semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
A search bar at the top also allows you to manually enter a course code or keyword.
From 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.