Everything you need to know about making money with Stuvia

Written by Emma Kansiz

Published 2022-07-05 / 4 min read

Are you a meticulous note-taker? Are you super attentive and involved in your college classes? Want to capitalize on your study skill and fastidiousness? With Stuvia you can share your knowledge with the world and make passive income while doing so!

What is Stuvia?

Stuvia is a technological take on the note swapping days of old! Stuvia allows you to share your college notes with other students online. Over 2 million documents have been purchased on the platform since they began in 2010. All you have to do is upload your class notes, study guides, essays, summaries, or flashcards, set the price and wait for other students to purchase them. Be aware that you cannot sell powerpoint presentations, old exams, published articles, or scanned textbooks or teacher-generated materials.

We love that Stuvia allows you to share your hard work and knowledge with a captive audience. It helps students save money if they don’t want to purchase textbooks or if they don’t have the time to read a book or academic article. It allows you to make money on something you would have been doing anyways, and might even help you research and learn in a new and elevated way. Win.

How does Stuvia's earning structure work?

You will earn money from each document you sell on Stuvia. Some documents sell hundreds of times, while others will only sell a handful of times. This depends on the popularity of the course and how comprehensive your notes are. There is not necessarily a cap on how much any one of your notes can net you, but there are limits to how many notes you can upload because naturally, there are only so many classes you can take. 

Stuvia is a great asset to have in your passive income arsenal but keep in mind that over time you will simply be relying on the documents you’ve already uploaded, and you won’t always have new material to contribute. This could happen when you graduate or run out of material from courses you’ve taken. That being said, if you have a passion for learning, you can definitely keep making money post-grad, or when you are out in the working world. If you love summarizing books or textbooks, and think you can offer useful insights and observations to learners, then this could be an ongoing hustle for you. 

Stuvia allows you to set your own rates, with a minimum fee of $2.50 per note. You can also create bundles of your notes under a certain subject or course and entice students with special prices. You can also increase or decrease prices as you see fit. If you have a popular set of notes, why not raise the price a bit? You are allowed to offer your notes for free on Stuvia but consider charging, because you put in all that effort and deserve compensation!

Stuvia takes a 30% cut from all sales so keep that in mind when you set your rates. You will get paid once a week, once you’ve accrued more than $10 in your account. They pay out via Tipalti every Monday but it can take 3 business days for you to receive the money in your bank account if you are located in the States or Canada. 

Here are some stats directly from Stuvia. They claim that the average user earns about $100 per month, and earns on average $8.90 for each document sold on the site. The average user sells 12 documents per month. It takes on average 3 days to make your first sale on the site. These metrics are super helpful in exposing how lucrative Stuvia will be for you. As demonstrated, it won’t make you rich, nor will it replace other streams of income you may have. But for passive income that doesn’t require constant time or maintenance, this is pretty cruisy. If you can earn $1000 a year through Stuvia you can go on a great trip, pay off debt, or beef up your savings account.

What is the time commitment for Stuvia?

By its very nature, Stuvia requires you to dedicate time to attending classes and to taking detailed, intelligent notes. But you would be doing that anyways, right? If you have reams of notes from past classes (including high school classes) sitting around unused, why not upload them and help future students gain insights? If you are long graduated but still want to capitalize on this platform you can create textbook summaries or construct flash cards for a subject you are intimately familiar with.

You may have to type out your handwritten notes as digital notes sell much better because they are neater and easier to customize and organize. Many students struggle to read even the neater handwritten notes because they are accustomed to reading everything on a computer. This will be an upfront time commitment you might need to factor in.  

We like Stuvia because it is designed to be more of a passive income stream. It requires more of an upfront commitment of time in terms of compiling, organizing and uploading the documents but once they are on the platform you can earn money in perpetuity. You can earn money for notes you took 5+ years ago, for instance. We love that you can set it and forget it in a sense and have money slowly accumulate in your account for years to come. You don’t even have to actively monitor it or market yourself on the platform to get consistent sales over time.

How to get started with Stuvia?

Stuvia boasts a significantly easier signup process than a lot of other side gigs. You don’t need to submit loads of documents nor do you need a background check. Easy. Simply create an account on the site with your name and contact information. 

Once you are on your dashboard you can upload your notes. We recommend browsing the top selling notes in different categories to gain a sense of what is popular and what high quality notes look like. Browse through Stuvia’s [Copyright Checklist.]( You might have to go back and edit and cite your notes properly to make sure you aren’t running afoul of their guidelines.  

Once you have begun to upload documents, ensure you are giving them catchy and compelling titles so students can find them! Include relevant info (course, subject, textbook name) and add some adjectives in for good measure. The higher the quality of your notes the more likely you are to get good reviews, and hence more customers. Be detailed in the descriptions, too. Students want clarity when they are browsing through the notes on offer. 

Stuvia offers a list of their 250 most requested textbook summaries. These summaries are almost guaranteed to be consistent sellers as students are searching the titles constantly on Stuvia. The list is [here.](

Stuvia requirements

Required Resources

High quality notes are the bread and butter of Stuvia. They need to be clear, neat, and comprehensive. Students are buying notes on Stuvia to supplement their own understanding and they want to have access to other people’s ideas and thought processes. Scrawled, one word bullet points are not sufficient. Think about what you would value if you were to purchase notes to help guide you through a tough semester.

You must have a computer, and ideally a phone. Depending on what you are writing notes for, you may need textbooks or course materials relevant to your notes. You may have to use a scanner to upload your notes but remember that typed notes do better on the site.  

Required Skills

Being an organized and diligent notetaker is paramount to your success on this platform. Students have the chance to rate study materials and high ratings generate more sales on the site. So it is in your best interest to upload detailed, meticulous notes to the platform. Putting in effort on the front end will allow you to earn dividends through the platform over time.

Having a way with words is valuable, but you don’t need to be a vocabulary wizard to sell your materials on the site. But clean, concise writing and minimal grammatical errors will make your notes look more professional and will drive higher ratings.   

Aptitude in the subject(s) you are selling notes for goes without saying. You don’t need to be a master in the subject but at the end of the day you are a point of contact for someone who is looking to educate themselves. They want to buy notes from people they trust, who have a conceptual understanding of the topics and subject matter they are selling. If your notes miss the mark or don’t provide tangible value then students can and will give your material a low rating. 

Required Documents

Your study notes! These can be from class or they can be textbook or book summaries. You can also upload study guides for a specific subject or theme. You must check them for typos and grammatical errors and ensure that they aren’t plagiarized. 

You don’t need to provide any ID or any accreditations or certifications, making the sign-up process pretty seamless. 

Other important details

You still own the rights to your notes and can upload them on other study sites but if you upload flashcards to the site or create them using the site then Stuvia claims intellectual copyright over them. This might put some people off, particularly if they want to sell their flashcards on other sites to maximize earnings. But if you don’t care either way, flash cards are popular sellers and are easier to construct than writing a textbook summary from scratch.

Some schools explicitly ban the selling of notes. Check your university’s policy before uploading any notes to Stuvia. Some schools will actually expel you for violating these terms as they consider them in line with plagiarism. This also goes for the handout material that you receive in class. All of the professor’s notes, powerpoint slides or study guides are their property and you run the risk of getting in trouble by promoting those as your own on Stuvia. The site is designed for you to sell your own notes, not someone else’s notes.

Stuvia recommends trying to gain sales by advertising on study related Facebook groups. If you are in any coursewide Whatsapp groups, or student forums, it might be a good idea to plug your courses to gain traction on the site. The more sales and reviews the better! As mentioned, they will categorize your notes based on your description and title so you don’t have to actively seek out potential buyers on the platform.

Our review

We love what Stuvia is all about - knowledge acquisition and sharing! It is a fair, honest, and trustworthy source for selling and buying study materials and it has helped make countless student’s lives easier. We love it because it is truly a passive income source once it is up and running. When it comes to side gigs, it is hard to find something that is actually passive. DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft - these all require constant outlays of time and effort in order to generate income. But Stuvia actually allows you to make steady profits over time without lifting a finger.

One of the drawbacks of Stuvia is that not everyone is a viable candidate for earning money on the site. It is generally a resource for those who attended post-secondary school or college, and for those who took detailed, comprehensive notes. Scrawled bullet points just won’t do on this site. So the barrier for entry in terms of actually earning money is pretty high. But if you meet the qualifications then you can have a blast uploading your documents and watching the money roll in over time. We like that Stuvia does all the search engine optimization and categorization on its end, enabling more students to find your notes and material. 

Stuvia will never replace income from other sources but if you have notes and free time to organize and upload them, you won’t regret it. You can earn money consistently without putting any subsequent effort into the process. This can be a relaxed way to put your knowledge to use and help make a difference in other students' lives.