Note Taker FAQ

How do I sign up to become a note taker? 

  • Submit your class schedule each semester.
  • A staff member from ESDS will contact you if there is a note taker need in one or more of your courses. 

How will I know if I am chosen to be a note taker? 

You will receive an email confirmation from an ESDS staff member with instructions.

Can I take notes in more than one class? 

Yes, just be mindful not to take on too many classes. The quality of the notes is very important. 

Can I meet the student I am assisting with note taking? 

Most of the time, note takers are not in direct contact with the student(s) they take notes for. If the student(s) you will be assisting prefers to work directly with you, an ESDS staff member will let you know and will introduce you to the student(s) over email.

What format do notes have to be in?  

Typed notes are required. A Word document, PDF, or PowerPoint (with notes in “notes” section) is acceptable. Handwritten notes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please title each notes file clearly with the date. Here are three examples of how notes files may be titled:

  • 9-12-14 Criminal Law Pustilnik
  • BMAT 521 Lecture 1 8_18_14
  • SOWK 630_Class Notes_9.5.2014

Where do I upload my notes? 

You will upload your notes to the online note taker course folder. Both you and the student(s) receiving notes have access to this folder. Once you are added to the note taker folder by ESDS, you will receive a link to this folder via email. For your reference, all of your assigned course folders can be accessed using this link. 

How often do I need to send the notes? 

Notes must be uploaded using link provided by ESDS within 48 hours of the end of class. If you submit notes past this deadline without communication to ESDS, you may be removed from the note taking position. 

What if there are no notes for class? 

Please upload a document stating that there were no notes on that date. 

What if I miss class? 

It is the note taker’s responsibility to arrange notes for missed classes. Request notes from a classmate and ask them to email the notes to ESDS. Be sure to let them know the notes must be detailed and well-organized. 

What if we watch a movie or have a guest speaker in class? 

If the class will be tested or students are expected to write a paper on the content from the speaker or the movie, please take notes.

What if my class has a lab? 

Please take notes for lab lectures. Notes are not required during the hands-on portion of labs.

What about exam reviews? 

Note takers are expected to be present and take notes for all exam review sessions. 

How will I be paid for taking notes and how will the note taker award affect my financial aid package?  

Note takers are paid through an Educational Support Award from the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The payment for note taking is $125 per credit. If all requirements are met, the award payment will be dispersed to your account at the end of the semester in which you take notes. 

  • If you take notes from the start of class through the end of the semester, you will receive the full award amount.
  • If you start taking notes later in the semester and are required to provide notes from the first day of class, you will receive the full award amount. 
  • If you begin taking notes later in the semester and are not required/are not able to provide notes from the start of class, you will receive a partial award amount. 

If you are unable to meet the requirements, ESDS will set up a different note taker for the course and reduce or cancel the Educational Support Award for the remainder of the semester. 


Please note: Financial aid previously disbursed may be adjusted due to changes in a student’s receipt of additional funding.

The note taker payments are considered additional funding and if a student's current awards equal the total cost of attendance, UMB is required to reduce the original aid package following the receipt of the note taker payment. For more information, please visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance webpage addressing award disbursement. Reach out to with any questions surrounding this policy. 

How are the Educational Support Award funds applied to my account? 

The award funds will first apply toward your tuition if you have a balance on your account. If you do not owe anything at the time of the award, you will receive a reimbursement as you have requested in the past (i.e., via check, Higher OneCard, or deposit). If you are not sure which reimbursement you have chosen, please contact Student Financial Services at 410-706-8357.

Does taking notes count as a position of employment?  

The Educational Support Award and taking notes will not count as a position of employment within UMB or the University System.

What if I am unable to meet the requirements for note taking? 

If you are unable to meet the requirements, ESDS will set up a different note taker for the course and reduce or cancel the Educational Support Award for the remainder of the semester. 

*If you are having trouble continuing your position as a note taker, please reach out to ESDS IMMEDIATELY so that we can make new arrangements.

What if the student drops the course?  

If the student drops the course before the semester begins, you will be notified and will not receive a financial aid award. If the course has begun and you have already provided notes when the student drops the course, you will receive a partial award.  


What is the purpose of the note taker reminder emails? 

The automated note taker reminder emails are scheduled to notify note takers if there have not been notes uploaded for one week or more. If you receive a note taker reminder email and you did not have notes to upload during the previous week, please remember to upload a document stating that there were no notes for that previous week.

Note taker reminder emails are scheduled to run from the beginning through the end of the semester. Fall notification emails run from 8/25 through 12/23; Spring notification emails run from 1/3 through 5/15; and Summer notification emails run from 6/1 through 8/15 in order to capture all semesters at UMB. If you receive a note taker reminder email and your course has already ended, please disregard the email.

What should my notes look like? 

  • Organize notes using titles, headings, and subheadings to make them easier to follow. 
  • Take detailed notes on anything repeated or emphasized by the instructor. 
  • Take detailed notes on important terms, definitions, examples, lists, or significant comments made by instructor or classmates (without any identifiable information). 
  • Take notes on any images or diagrams presented in class. 
  • Review your notes prior to uploading to fill in any content gaps. 
  • Correct misspellings and elaborate on any acronyms or abbreviations. 
  • You do not need to write down every single word spoken during class. 
  • Be open to feedback provided by students receiving notes. 

What if I experience technical difficulties with the note taker system? 

The note taker system occasionally has technical difficulties preventing you from uploading your notes. The following is a list of common errors and their solutions: 

  • One error message relates to characters in the file name. Change the file name by removing any symbols and/or punctuation and attempt to upload the file again. 
  • If the screen does not advance after uploading a file, the file may be too large. This occurs occasionally with large PowerPoint files. Compressing the images in the PowerPoint file often solves this error. If you need assistance with this, please contact ESDS. 
  • Most other errors are resolved through clearing your cache and cookies and restarting your browser and/or using another type of browser.  
  • If you are unable to resolve these technical difficulties, please contact ESDS as soon as possible for assistance. Technical difficulties are not a valid excuse for late or missing notes.