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Course Hero: Reviews, How It Works & What It Costs

Feeling overwhelmed with homework? Not quite grasping key concepts? Course Hero might be the answer you need to get back on track. Here’s how Course Hero works, plus pricing and reviews to help you decide if Course Hero is for you.

Find more ways to get help in our ultimate homework help guide

How Course Hero works

Course Hero features four ways to help you study:

24/7 Homework Help

Post a question and get a detailed, step-by-step answer from a Course Hero subject expert in as little as 15 minutes. The service automatically matches you to a tutor by subject, from accounting and math to biology, engineering, history, physics, psychology and writing.

Study Resources

Course Hero puts more than 40 million study materials at your fingertips, including study guides, class notes, essays, infographics and answered tutor questions.

The service is unique in that you’re able to get documents specific to the classes you’re taking right now. Select your school, department and course to find the study resources you need.

You can also search for literature study guides by title and author, plus browse literature infographics that visually break down plot points, characters and themes.

Course Hero additionally offers subject study guides, which are essentially mini courses that cover subjects like business and accounting, humanities, social sciences and STEM.

Textbook Solutions

Get educator-verified, step-by-step solutions for more than 1,000 popular college textbooks in subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, math, accounting, psychology and statistics and probability.

Unlike some services that simply give the answers, Course Hero lets you try to solve problems on your own first. You can check your answers and get hints and videos if you get stuck. Hit the “show the answer” button at any time to see a detailed explanation.

SPECIAL OFFER: 20% off Textbooks. Learn More

Practice Problems

Still in beta, Course Hero’s practice problems help you prepare for exams and pop quizzes. Questions are derived from real-world, course-specific study documents, so they mimic what you’ll find on actual tests.

Course Hero currently offers multiple choice practice problems for biology, accounting, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Additional info:

  • All Course Hero content is community-rated (thumbs-up/thumbs-down), which lends insight into a given solution’s accuracy
  • Course Hero offers a better grades guarantee: improve your GPA or get a full refund. To be eligible, you’ll need to unlock at least six study resources and ask three tutor questions over the past six months
  • You need to purchase (or earn) unlocks to view most resources (see below)
  • The service is accessible online and via Android and iOS apps

Course Hero price

Course Hero has three premium pricing tiers:

Annual

  • $9.95/month ($119.40 upfront)
  • Textbook solutions
  • 30 study resource unlocks/downloads per month
  • 40 tutor questions

Quarterly

  • $19.95/month ($59.85 upfront)
  • Textbook solutions
  • 30 study resource unlocks/downloads per month
  • 20 tutor questions

Monthly

  • $39.95/month
  • Textbook solutions
  • 30 study resource unlocks/downloads per month
  • 10 tutor questions

All unlocks expire in 30 days and do not carry over to the next month, but you can purchase additional unlocks and tutor questions a la carte if you run out.

How to access Course Hero for free

Course Hero does offer a free basic membership, which grants access to literature infographics and allows you to browse (but not unlock) study resources. You can also pay-per tutor question if you don’t want to spring for a full membership.

In addition, you can earn free tutor questions, textbook solutions and access to study resources by submitting your own documents (study guides, past exams and other materials):

  • Upload 10 documents and receive 5 free unlocks, OR
  • Upload 10 documents and receive 3 free tutor questions

You can also get free unlocks when other students view or rate your uploaded materials:

  • 1 free unlock when other students unlock 5 of your documents
  • 1 free unlock when 5 other students give your documents a thumbs-up

You can earn unlocks by rating others’ content as well:

  • 1 free unlock when you rate 5 documents or questions
  • 1 free unlock when you review 5 documents

Finally, you can earn free access when you refer others to Course Hero: 8 free tutor questions for each friend who joins, plus 20% off for them to sweeten the deal.

Course Hero reviews

Course Hero has a 4.6-star rating from more than 34,000 reviewers on the Apple App Store and a 4.3-star rating from more than 7,000 reviewers on Google Play. It’s also an A+ BBB accredited business and has a 4.3-star rating from more than 1,500 Trustpilot reviewers (70% of which rate Course Hero as “excellent”). Here’s what students have to say about Course Hero.

“So far I haven’t had to pay money to view documents, which I use solely for inspiration when writing my essays. It’s easy to use and very helpful for those moments I get writer’s block.” – Amy Batista via Google Play

“Great app to have. Experts are always available to help you walk through any problem!!! Highly recommend.” – Elizabeth Anderson via Google Play

“It’s hard to find answers through searching documents. I have to submit to tutors. Unlocks tend to be unhelpful.” – Cindi Porter via Google Play

“Honestly, you learn from it. There is not just an answer. There is an explanation! You know why the answer is what it is!” – Steffani Fry via Google Play

“I swear it’s the only way I passed my Stats class.” – Lovin_life0628 via the Apple App Store

“If it’s one of your 1000 or 2000 level classes, chances are that you’ll find some decent material on there that’ll help you out…. I hardly had to crack open my books for PHYS1050/1060, SOCI1520, ANTH1010, and even for parts of my 3000/4000 level courses because of stuff I’ve found on Course Hero, but it really just depends on the course.” – Redditor Panasonicy0uth

“It can be really useful, but depends on the classes and professors you have.” – Redditor False1512

“Course Hero is great if you want to see someone else’s paper structure and aren’t sure how to start yours. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s paper but using it as a guide and structure helps for sure.” – Redditor xNightfallxx

“Course Hero helps me with learning my classes where being online can be harder to get ahold of my professors.”Trustpilot Reviewer

“Excellent study guides and performance tips in those crucial moments! Continuing my subscription.” – Kimberly Jeffrey Ong via Trustpilot

“If your course is listed, or shared by others then you may find decent data for homework and similar questions. If not, then you have to use paid questions for tutors to answer question at a time. At times the data that is uploaded by others is not useful.”Trustpilot Reviewer

“Didn’t like that I had limited unlocks and that not all documents I needed were on here. I felt like this resource could have been at a lot lower cost for the use I got out of it.”Trustpilot Reviewer

“This tool has been very useful in helping get information or suggestions (on) how to proceed with my work. Sometimes I get stuck on how to start work and Course Hero and its contributors have been very helpful.” – Hestrad via Trustpilot

“Just wish there was a way to know if the examples submitted received a passing grade or not.” – Chuck Mohr via Trustpilot

“Course Hero has been helping a lot to improve my grades, and I am also glad that I am able to give it back by sharing my work too. Something that I found not helpful at all is when I am searching for a topic, I find a document related to the topic, unlock it and all I find are some questions, no answers at all, that means that I wasted one unlock for a document that has only questions.”Trustpilot Reviewer

“Very helpful and allows me to better understand some of my subjects and tackle assignments with more confidence.”Trustpilot Reviewer

Is Course Hero worth it?

Ultimately, it’s up to you decide whether Course Hero is worth the subscription fee – or if it’s worth the time to upload your own resources to earn free unlocks. You should also consider how you intend to use it, since it could get you into trouble with your school.

Though the company discourages using its service to cheat on your schoolwork, using Course Hero could be a violation of your school’s academic honor code – especially if you copy and paste answers to pass them off as your own.

Course Hero has also been accused of copyright violations, particularly when students upload documents prepared by their professors. Recently, the company has started working with professors to protect their intellectual property.

As one professor (Redditor Scary-Boysenberry) puts it: “I have no problem if a student uploads their own notes from my lecture. It’s not like that’s going to help other students that much more than just going to class does… If a student uploads my lecture notes that they downloaded from the LMS, I start filing take down notices left and right… If a student uploads a homework question or a test question before the assignment is due, the guns start blazing. Definite academic integrity violation, and I have no problem calling in the big dogs from the university to deal with it.”

Clearly, it’s not a good idea to use Course Hero to cheat on homework assignments. However, if you intend to use it as a learning tool to help you better understand course material, it might be worth paying for (or earning) access to Course Hero.