Advisors whose clients want their college-aged children to have some skin in the game for their education may want to suggest a freelance work and subscription service that’s enabling students to earn money and graduate on time.

Toronto-based OneClass, established in 2010, hires freelance student note takers to post their class notes online and sells subscriptions that enable students to access class notes and study guides.

Students registered as official note takers (who are required to attend all classes and upload their notes within 24 hours after each class) can earn up to $470 per course, said Kevin Wu, the chief operating officer and a co-founder of OneClass. The highest earners, who concurrently take notes for four classes, earn close to $2,000 per semester.

Official note takers are paid weekly through PayPal. Other students who have “notes lying around and are looking for something to do with them,” he said, can earn $10 in cash or gift cards when they upload a semester’s worth of notes for a course.

Wu noted that close to 2.5 million students use OneClass, which has a presence at more than 400 universities in the U.S. and at universities in Canada and New Zealand. Approximately 90% of these students are consumers looking for content, he said, and 10% contribute notes and study guides. Some students wear both hats.

Content users can subscribe for a monthly fee ($40), a semester fee ($60) or a yearly fee ($120). The yearly plan, offering access to unlimited classes, is most popular, said Wu.

According to OneClass’s 2017-2018 user feedback survey, 83.6% of platform users say the platform has helped them earn better grades and 73.2% say it has helped them get into their current program. Most users either feel confident about graduating on time (93.3%) or said OneClass helped them graduate on time (93.9% of graduates)—which can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Andrea Silvera, a second-year applied mathematics major at the University of California, Davis, has been an official note taker for four classes since learning about OneClass through a Facebook group. She’s using her earnings to help pay for her tuition, she said, and it’s also made her a better student. Not only does she “need to show up and pay attention,” she said, but “creating notes in such a way that other students can understand has enhanced my own understanding of the subject matter.”

Students interested in becoming official note takers can visit “Quality is more important than quantity,” said Wu, who explained that OneClass uses machine-learning algorithms to score notes.

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