Grade Buddy offers students money for their notes

Esmie Tseng

“Become a NoteTaker at UMKC and earn up to $500 per class.”

The email in my box last week was succinct: “GradeBuddy is opening up applications at UMKC for note-taking positions and we need your help. Take notes for your classes and earn up to $500 per class. The position is simple and easy: Create lecture notes for your class, and make a study guide for every exam.”

I take pretty good notes, I guess, so I was mildly interested and perfunctorily filled out the online form. I promptly forgot about it until I received a call last Monday night. The caller asked me questions about my note-taking techniques, which I have never had to discuss and worried about sounding conscientious. After about 10 minutes on the phone, he offered me a position to take notes for each lecture and make a study guide for each exam for my History 102 class and to just make a study guide for each exam for my Marketing 324 class.

For the spring semester, my history note-taking work will earn me $350. The Marketing study guides, $70.

Payment comes in the form of a check halfway and at the end of the semester. I’m not paying any major bills earning $420 in four months, but I’m a part-time working student. Money is money, and that’s almost a month’s rent. Or two prized copies of my Accounting 210 textbook for last semester.

To get started, I watched a few tutorials on the website about uploading files and such. The site is easy to navigate. There’s a template for lecture notes and study guides, which just follow the old format we learned in middle school and high school: big Roman numeral, capital “A,” lowercase “a,” etc.

Lecture notes are to be typed and uploaded within 48 hours after the lecture to the Management Dashboard. The study guide is to be typed and submitted two days before the exam. No scanning in photos of a notebook page — everything is in a Word or other text document.

It’s more work than I’m used to putting in to lecture notes, which are typically scribbles with arrows. I must adjust to using sentences that aren’t necessarily complete, but more than vague, cryptic phrases. I benefit from going through my notes and reorganizing them into something coherent enough for another person.

The amount you can earn working for GradeBuddy seems contingent on your classes. I was not offered anything for my Communication 308 class, Introduction to Human Communication, perhaps because it is so major-specific. Starting early in your college career may be the way to earn the most money, while you’re still filling up on the general education requirements.