StudySoup or StudyScam?

Information on whether StudySoup is a scam or a trustworthy platform

By on January 29, 2019

Photo illustration by Morgan Tencza
Several Quinnipiac students have received an ad on social media sites such as Snapchat and Instagram telling them how they can make money without altering their schedule.

“I find that it [StudySoup] helped me with my time management skills,” sophomore radiological sciences major Samantha Markham said.

This digital learning marketplace allows students to make money for the classes they are already paying for. Markham has been working for StudySoup for about a semester and is currently working her way up to make more money.

Students can think of StudySoup as a big study group that offers help to other students who are unable to understand their professor’s teaching styles.

“I was searching for study guides and help with one of my school subjects [including biology], and I came across the site and had used it personally for study help but then it turned out you can be a notetaker for them and I started with that,” Markham said.

Sophomore business management major Caroline Carter has also successfully used StudySoup since this past fall.

“In the beginning I was making $250 per class and I was doing two classes so $500 and now I am more aware of all that they offer so I do extra things to get end of the semester bonuses,” Carter said.

This educational platform was founded in 2014 and is used by 150 schools including the University of Florida, New York University, University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University according to StudySoup’s website.

StudySoup has been able to raise $1.7 million to help students buy and sell class notes, according to TechCrunch, an online publisher of technology industry news.

“The company works as an online study group where students can sell or purchase class notes and study guides,” TechCrunch said.

Markham also gives an example to help students understand how StudySoup does not require people to enroll in different classes to earn money.

“If [for example], you say ‘oh okay I’m taking Bio 101 at Quinnipiac University,’ you’d only have to upload things for that [specific] class,” Markham said.

She goes further in depth of how StudySoup works and is currently recruiting Quinnipiac students to join her.

“It’s super easy, you can apply for it but almost everyone gets accepted to be a notetaker. You’ll go through the steps once you look into it more,” Markham said.

Markham has not been working for StudySoup for very long but has already been really pleased with how the system works. She was not notified by the ads that have been appearing on social media lately.

She encourages Quinnipiac individuals to sign up and make some extra cash on the side. It does not take any more effort than it does taking notes for an upcoming exam. StudySoup provides an easy application process.

“It was a form that you fill out about who you are, where you go to school and some other personal info,” Markham said. “You’ll go through a little training session and then you can start working,”

Carter agrees with Markham that working for StudySoup revolves around the student’s schedule.

“I would encourage other students to be a part of it, it’s super easy and it’s on your own time,” Carter said.

Markham explains how the platform works and clarifies that students do not need to write their materials for every class they are enrolled in.

“You can upload just your class notes,” Markham said. “If you take notes in class, you can just upload that and you can do that weekly. And then they have you create study guides for those exams. It’s kind of like a combination of study guides and notes on different kinds of topics you could be learning,”

Students do not have to worry about prioritizing their exams over StudySoup responsibilities. StudySoup gives their clients time to upload study guides for exams a few days or weeks early so they themselves can take the time to study.

“Also, I find that it helped me with my time management skills because it would have me upload most materials two or three days before the actual exams,” Markham said. “By then I would have all my study guides done and I wasn’t scrambling to make a study guide or flashcards the day before the test.”

Markham clarifies the signup process and proves that it is no different than a normal job application.

Carter and Markham both enjoy being apart of the student-run platform and recommend that Quinnipiac students take the opportunity to sign up and join the community of full-time students making money with minimal effort. Students can search StudySoup online and click the “sign up” button in the top right hand corner. 

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