Course Hero FAQ

Course Hero FAQ

  1. What Is Course Hero?
  2. What Is the Purpose of Course Hero?
  3. Who Uses Course Hero?
  4. How Does Course Hero Work?
  5. Does Course Hero Unfairly Benefit Students?
  6. Does Course Hero Benefit Educators?
  7. Is Course Hero Free?
  8. Why Do Students Use Course Hero?
  9. How Can Course Hero Help Students?
  10. What Is Course Hero Tutoring?
  11. Is It Wrong to Use Course Hero Tutoring?
  12. Is It Wrong to Get Test Answers from Course Hero?
  13. How Many People Use Course Hero?
  14. Can You Get Homework Answers from Course Hero?
  15. Is Course Hero Cheating?
  16. Is It Legal to Use Course Hero?
  17. Can I Get Into Trouble for Using Course Hero?
  18. Can I Get Into Trouble for Uploading Tests to Course Hero?
  19. Can I Get Into Trouble for Uploading Assignments to Course Hero?
  20. Can I Get Into Trouble If I Tutor for Course Hero?
  21. Can Faculty Be Fired for Using Course Hero?
  22. Will My Instructor Know if I Use Course Hero?
  23. Will My School Know if I Use Course Hero?
  24. Who Can Tell if I Use Course Hero?
  25. Does Course Hero Have Academic Integrity Policies?
  26. Is Course Hero for College Students?
  27. Will Course Hero Tell My School I'm Using it?
  28. Can Students Get in Trouble for Using Course Hero?
  29. Can Teachers Get in Trouble for Using Course Hero?
  30. Is Using Course Hero a Copyright Violation?
  31. What Are Course Hero's Academic Integrity Policies?
  32. What Are Some Academic Integrity Policies That Might be Violated if I Use Course Hero?
  33. What Are Course Hero's Copyright Policies?
  34. Does Course Hero Use an Honor Code?
  35. What Subjects Does Course Hero Cover?
  36. Is Uploading to Course Hero Anonymous?
  37. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Academic Integrity Policies?
  38. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Honor Code Policies?
  39. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Copyright Policies?
  40. What Does Course Hero Prohibit in Its Terms of Use?
  41. Will Other Students Report Me If I Use Course Hero?
  42. Do Schools Specifically Prohibit Course Hero?
  43. Will Course Hero Do My Homework?
  44. Can I Get Free Textbooks on Course Hero?
  45. How Does Course Hero Violate My School's Plagiarism Rules?
  46. Does Course Hero Violate My School's Cheating Rules?
  47. Are There Other Online Services Like Course Hero?
  48. Can I Be Suspended for Using Course Hero?
  49. Can I Be Expelled for Using Course Hero?
  50. Can I Lose My Scholarship If I'm Caught Using Course Hero?
  51. Will My Instructor Fail Me if They Find Out I Used Course Hero?
  52. Will Using Course Hero Jeopardize My Academic Review?
  53. Does Using Course Hero Violate My School's Code of Student Misconduct?
  54. Does Uploading to Course Hero Violate My Code of Student Misconduct?
  55. What if I'm Investigated for a Course Hero Violation?
  56. What Is the Investigation Process Like if I'm Accused of Misusing Course Hero?
  57. Do I Need Legal Help If I'm Accused of Misusing Course Hero?
  58. How Can an Attorney-Advisor Help Me After I'm Accused of Course Hero Violation?
  59. What if I'm Falsely Accused of Using Course Hero to Cheat?
  60. How Soon Should I Get Legal Help After a Course Hero Accusation?

1. What Is Course Hero?

Course Hero is an online tool where students can access a variety of educational materials designed to help them achieve educational success. The type of material on Course Hero ranges from specific tests, homework assignments, quizzes, textbook insights, and other students' notes from class. Students can upload these types of educational documents in exchange for access to their own, or they can pay a fee to access the information. While it may sound like the type of subscription base service that's new to the scene, Course Hero has been around since 2006 and has grown a considerable following since then.

The study materials offered benefit mostly college students but can help high school students too, and according to the Course Hero website, it comprises over 60 million course materials.

Although Course Hero is touted as a valuable online resource, it's important for students using Course Hero to understand that many academic institutions feel it's easy to cheat using the platform. If you use or plan to use Course Hero, you should review your school's academic integrity policies and make sure you aren't violating them.

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2. What Is the Purpose of Course Hero?

While some teachers and professors may claim that Course Hero offers students a temptation to cheat, the service aims to provide an online learning platform. It offers specific crowdsourced materials for a wide variety of actual courses, and it relies on students who have completed those courses to upload their materials from class. These materials may include tests, assignments, lecture notes, and more. Course Hero also employs teachers and tutors to provide students with guidance in numerous subject areas.

In addition to providing students with a resource and educators with an income opportunity, Course Hero gives out scholarships and community aid. While there can be some misconception about Course Hero, by and large, it can be a valuable tool and community resource.

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3. Who Uses Course Hero?

If you've heard of Course Hero, then you most likely understand it to be a service provided to students. The range of students who use Course Hero varies and can range from high school students to students enrolled in colleges and universities. Much of Course Hero's course content applies to higher education, but anyone can use the service.

In addition to students, Course Hero offers services for educators. These services include teaching resources and practice guidance. Course Hero can be used by anyone in academia or anyone looking to explore new subjects through independent study so long as they have internet access and a computer.

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4. How Does Course Hero Work?

From a technical standpoint, Course Hero works online. Those with internet access and a computer or smart device need only hop onto the website and sign up. There are a few ways you can access the information crowdsourced through Course Hero. One way is to pay a membership fee, which will provide students with a tiered plan depending on their budget and needs. The other way is to “trade” material. Students can upload their own course materials in exchange for access to new material.

Essentially, Course Hero efficiently crowdsources a wide array of educational resources for both students and educators and then disseminates that content through an easy-to-use online platform.

When uploading or downloading content from Course Hero, students and educators alike need to be aware of copyright and plagiarism issues. Course Hero outlines its policies on these matters fairly succinctly.

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5. Does Course Hero Unfairly Benefit Students?

The way students use Course Hero will answer the question of unfair benefit. When we think of unfair benefits, we often consider the issue of cheating. Because Course Hero gives students access to old tests, textbook answers, and more, many wonder if students who use this information have an unfair advantage over other students. In some ways, they do not have an unfair benefit because any student can sign up for Course Hero and receive the same information.

That said, economic stability and access to the internet could be a bar for many students who would like to benefit from the resources that Course Hero offers. Importantly, many schools define cheating as using resources to obtain an unfair benefit over other students, and there could be an argument that Course Hero is an unfair benefit if other students are unable to access it.

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6. Does Course Hero Benefit Educators?

While some may be quick to peg Course Hero as a cheater's paradise, the platform also serves educators. Faculty and instructors can benefit from the resources offered by Course Hero. Course Hero offers educators course-specific content that they can use as resources in their own classes. In addition to content, Course Hero connects instructors teaching similar classes, so they can compare methods and share advice.

Those who may not be full-time educators but do want to offer qualified tutoring services in exchange for payment can find an opportunity to do so on Course Hero. The overall outcome benefits educators but also students learning from those educators.

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7. Is Course Hero Free?

Course Hero is not free, although there is a way to access the material on the platform by uploading your own course material in exchange for the educational content you currently need. While some may claim that paying for Course Hero materials is like paying for a grade, the truth is that Course Hero can significantly aid even the most dedicated of students.

Just because a student pays for content from other students who have already been through a particular course of study doesn't mean that anyone is necessarily paying for answers for the sake of cheating.

Before you get too eager to obtain free resources by uploading and exchanging your own, you need to be sure that the material you upload is original or that you have the express permission of the person who prepared the materials. Failure to do this could result in copyright or plagiarism issues.

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8. Why Do Students Use Course Hero?

Students may use Course Hero for several reasons. Most will use it as a resource to help them understand their course materials more thoroughly. Others will access the 24/7 tutoring services offered by the platform when they would otherwise struggle with their materials. Study groups and educational resources can be prohibitive at some colleges and universities, and Course Hero provides far-reaching access to tutoring services that isn't hindered by geographic location. Some students will get answers to textbook questions online, but only in rare instances could this be considered cheating. For the most part, this feature is used so students who are stuck on a problem can move forward with an understanding of how and why the correct answer is what it is.

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9. How Can Course Hero Help Students?

Students benefit a number of ways from the materials provided on the Course Hero platform. First, students can access helpful course materials on Course Hero, including past course exams, homework assignments, and even student notes. In addition to those class resources, students can also utilize the platform's tutoring services.

While some educational institutions frown on the use of Course Hero, it's important that schools understand how valuable all-access, 24/7 tutoring can be for students. In higher education, homework can last long into the night, and most on-campus tutors don't pull all-nighters to accommodate students.

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10. What is Course Hero Tutoring?

Course Hero offers a tutoring service for a fee, although the first few questions you have are provided at no cost. You may wonder if entering in your questions onto the online platform is a form of cheating, but as advertised by Course Hero, the site matches you with an appropriate tutor, and they help you with your problem. The tutors are available 24/7, meaning students who are stuck on a math problem, for example, don't have to wait until the next day when the assignment is due to get help.

There may always be some abuse of the system, but the benefit far outweighs these outlying scenarios. Additionally, the tutors themselves go through a vetting process and aren't hired just to give away answers. They are professional tutors.

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11. Is it Wrong to Use Course Hero Tutoring?

No, it is not wrong to use course hero tutoring. Because the online platform offers easy access to countless educational resources, some may be quick to think, “this is too easy.” Especially your college instructors. Seeking out online tutoring is not much different than hiring an in-person tutor or utilizing the tutor resources offered by your college or university. The primary difference is that Course Hero tutoring offers access from anywhere so long as you have an internet connection and a smart device.

If another student or an instructor accuses you of cheating just because you accessed Course Hero for tutoring help, you should rest assured that tutoring is okay and helps students truly grasp the subject matter they're trying to understand.

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12. Is It Wrong to Get Test Answers from Course Hero?

It isn't automatically wrong to get test answers from Course Hero. If you use Course Hero to get test answers, then you should be aware that these answers are actually from older tests. Now, if an instructor doesn't provide different or new versions of exams for each class, then the test answers could be identical to the test you will take. In this sense, getting old test answers from Course Hero isn't that different from the approach many big test prep courses take. For example, law students studying for their state Bar Exams are encouraged by the Bar Associations to review old tests and the answers.

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13. How Many People Use Course Hero?

Millions of people use Course Hero. Students and education professionals alike use Course Hero to improve either their knowledge or their career. While some instructors and school administrators can be quick to dismiss Course Hero as a cheater's platform, this is not the case. While some may take advantage of the system, 24 million people are not out to take advantage of educational institutions.

In fact, those educators that do utilize the Course Hero's online resources are able to use the tools offered to improve their brick-and-mortar classrooms.

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14. Can You Get Homework Answers From Course Hero?

This is a common question from students, parents, and instructors who've heard about Course Hero have. It's a bit of a loaded question, though, because what does it mean to “get an answer”? Students who work with a tutor to work through a difficult homework assignment will hopefully get the answers, but that doesn't mean they cheated.

Some of the materials available on Course Hero do include old homework assignments and the answers, so in theory, if an instructor never changes their homework assignments, then a student could use Course Hero to access those answers without having to do their own work. That said, this situation is true in any circumstance where instructors don't update their homework assignments. Course Hero does not provide students with an advantage they wouldn't already have in accessing homework answers from their classmates.

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15. Is Course Hero Cheating?

Merriam-Webster defines cheating as “the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving.” While this is one way to describe cheating, your school will probably have its own unique policy that includes nuanced language, which isn't always clear.

For example, while on its face, it would appear that cheating requires an intent to deceit your instructor, the Academic Integrity policies at the University of Oklahoma indicate that even accidental violations could be penalized “if the student should have understood the act to be misconduct.”

If you plan to use Course Hero to help you with your classes, you should take a look at the policies your school implements concerning academic integrity. You should avoid crossing any line that could constitute cheating. If you've been accused of cheating because of using Course Hero, you should talk to an experienced student discipline defense attorney who can help you defend the accusations against you.

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16. Is It Legal to Use Course Hero?

Yes, it is legal to use Course Hero in the vast majority of circumstances. Even if the use of Course Hero is considered a violation of your school's academic integrity policies, you aren't violating the law if you use the platform as it's intended. You are allowed to upload academic materials and download materials for educational uses per Course Hero's guidelines.

There are other online services similar to Course Hero, including:

These options are also legal to use and can help struggling students gain control of their grades.

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17. Can I Get Into Trouble for Using Course Hero?

While Course Hero isn't illegal if used in accordance with the platform's terms, you could still get in trouble with your school if your school discovers you've used Course Hero. If your school accuses you of wrongdoing, the disciplinary board may need to prove how your use of the platform violated academic integrity policies. It's wise to make sure you understand your school's policies before you sign up for Course Hero or a similar service.

If you feel you've been unfairly accused of misusing Course Hero, you should speak to an experienced student discipline attorney.

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18. Can I Get Into Trouble for Uploading Tests to Course Hero?

You could get into trouble if you upload tests to Course Hero. You may be disciplined by your school, or, in some cases, you could be accused of copyright infringement for uploading copyrighted material to the for-profit service. Many syllabi at institutions of higher education contain a copyright notice that may limit the use of the class lectures, tests, assignments, and other materials to students enrolled in the class.

Even in scenarios where there is no specific copyright infringement language prohibiting a student's use of course materials, there could still be implied ownership of course materials. The Course Hero platform advises students to seek permission from instructors before uploading course materials, but students should use caution in that approach. Admitting to your course instructors that you want to upload their test material is not a wise idea.

If you aren't sure how to proceed, it may be better to either pay for the Course Hero subscription or speak to a student discipline defense attorney who can help you navigate the academic integrity policies at your school.

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19. Can I Get Into Trouble for Uploading Assignments to Course Hero?

In some scenarios, you could be penalized by your school for uploading assignments to Course Hero. There may be copyright infringement issues if you upload the course materials from your class, especially if your syllabus contains a copyright infringement provision. You may be able to mitigate these problems if you upload only your own original responses to your homework assignment.

In addition to possible copyright issues, you could be accused of violating your school's academic integrity policies. Many schools prohibit the sharing or dissemination of assignment answers to other students. If you are accused of violating your school's policies, you could be suspended or worse.

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20. Can I Get Into Trouble If I Tutor for Course Hero?

Tutoring for Course Hero is a legitimate form of employment. Many university students tutor on the side to help pay for their college expenses. Tutor jobs through Course Hero are no different and provide more flexibility than traditional, in-person tutoring. You could run into disciplinary issues if you share prohibited course material or simply pass on answers rather than help other students problem-solve their academic questions. Of course, that could cause you troubles in an in-person setting as well, so tutoring for Course Hero doesn't add any liability that wouldn't already exist in the traditional setting.

All of that said, sometimes school administrators prickle just at the mention of Course Hero. They could unfairly judge your actions and initiate disciplinary action against you. If you find yourself in this situation, contact an experienced Course Hero defense attorney-advisor right away.

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21. Can Faculty Be Fired for Using Course Hero?

Course Hero provides teachers and faculty with an opportunity to improve their own classroom experiences. Educators can access crowdsourced information from other instructors through Course Hero's online platform, which boasts 60,000+ educator members. Using the platform to improve your class through the access of online communities probably won't violate academic integrity policies at your school, but there are ways an education professional could use the platform that does violate policies. Make sure you understand your school's policies before you upload resources to Course Hero.

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22. Will My Instructor Know if I Use Course Hero?

If you wonder whether your instructor will be able to tell if you used Course Hero, the answer is: Maybe. Importantly, Course Hero and other similar online platforms don't inform your school when you use it, but there are other ways an instructor could figure out on their own that you've relied on Course Hero.

While there are numerous innocent ways to use Course Hero, there may be times when you use the platform in a way considered to be in violation of your school's policies. Your instructor could run your assignment answers through plagiarism software and see if any issues arise. Or, if several students from the same class rely on the same homework answers taken from Course Hero, your instructor is likely to know something is up. The entire class could be accused of cheating.

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23. Will My School Know if I Use Course Hero?

Your school is unlikely to know if you use Course Hero unless the work you turn in raises red flags. Course Hero doesn't notify your school if you sign up for it or use the resources offered, but an instructor could become suspicious based on the work you turn in. You could also fall victim to other students' jealousies, and those students may inform your instructor or your school of a violation even when there wasn't one.

Once your instructor suspects that you are misusing Course Hero, they could inform your school and the disciplinary board. The severity of the punishment may depend on whether you simply copied a few homework answers or plagiarized an entire report.

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24. Who Can Tell if I Use Course Hero?

In most cases, no one will ever know if you use Course Hero. You will use a username when you sign in for tutoring, and the entire experience can remain anonymous. The same goes for uploading and downloading course materials. Of course, the act of uploading course materials from a specific class evidences the fact that someone from that class is using Course Hero.

If you're worried about your school finding out that you use Course Hero, you should take care to use the platform in a way that doesn't violate your school's academic integrity policies. This means using Course Hero as a resource for learning rather than a place to simply get or give the answers.

Students accused of misusing Course Hero should speak to a student discipline defense attorney-advisor who can help them understand their school's academic integrity policies.

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25. Does Course Hero Have Academic Integrity Policies?

Course Hero has specific academic integrity policies. These policies are designed to ensure students are using Course Hero in a method that doesn't violate the platform's terms of use, its honor code, or its copyright policies. Importantly, your school isn't going to discipline you for violating Course Hero's policies. That said, if you do violate the platform's policies, it likely means you've also acted in a manner disapproved of by your school. If this is the case, then your school could initiate disciplinary proceedings against you.

If you aren't sure whether you've violated your school's academic integrity policy, contact a student defense attorney to help you understand what your school's policies say about what you did.

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26. Is Course Hero for College Students?

Yes, Course Hero is for college students. While high school students could benefit from Course Hero's resources, the primary users and contributors are college students. While high school students could unfairly benefit from the materials on Course Hero, it's more likely that a student in higher education will be scrutinized for violating their school's academic integrity policies.

This is because college students who've been through a class or who've taken specific exams can upload their materials for the benefit of other college students. This action is more likely to raise red flags to instructors and academic review boards of the college that offers those classes.

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27. Will Course Hero Tell My School I'm Using it?

No. Course Hero will not tell your school if you're using the platform. There are a few different ways a student can use Course Hero:

  • A student can upload materials in exchange for access to other course materials they need
  • A student can download course materials if they pay a fee or have a subscription
  • A student can utilize tutoring help 24/7. They can pay per question or subscribe

In whatever way you use Course Hero, the online platform does not share your information with your school. As with most online accounts, you will interact with the platform through a username, which can be as anonymous as you want it to be. It may be wise to avoid signing up for Course Hero with a username that doesn't anonymize who you are.

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28. Can Students Get in Trouble for Using Course Hero?

Students can get into trouble for using Course Hero. While there are several ways to use Course Hero in a manner that doesn't conflict with a school's academic honesty code, sometimes, a student may misuse the platform. Other times, an instructor may accuse a student of misusing Course Hero when the student hasn't acted inappropriately at all. Still yet, another student may falsely accuse you of cheating with Course Hero.

When a student is accused of violating their school's academic honesty code, they could wind up with a failing grade or even be suspended. The risk of losing scholarship opportunities or internships is a very real concern, and if you've been accused of cheating or another type of academic dishonesty, you should speak to a student discipline defense attorney right away.

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29. Can Teachers Get in Trouble for Using Course Hero?

In a limited number of circumstances, a teacher could get in trouble for using Course Hero. Teachers are also subject to the academic integrity policies at their schools. While these policies will apply to teachers and instructors in a different manner than they apply to students, there's still a risk. In some cases, college instructors are students themselves, as is the case with teaching assistants—the impacts of misusing Course Hero could result in job loss and loss of financial aid.

A teacher could violate their school's academic honor code when they upload old tests or tutor students on Course Hero in a manner that violates copyright policy.

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30. Is Using Course Hero a Copyright Violation?

In some scenarios, using Course Hero could constitute a copyright violation. While using Course Hero to study or receive tutoring won't create copyright issues, you may run into problems if you upload course materials that contain a copyright infringement provision. Copyright infringement can also result in issues of plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a student uses another's work and presents it as their own.

Academic integrity policies will prohibit copyright infringement violations as well as plagiarism, and students accused of either are likely to be disciplined. Most of the time, students don't even realize they've committed an act that could be construed as plagiarism or copyright infringement, and if you find yourself in the hot seat, you should contact an attorney to defend you in any disciplinary process.

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31. What Are Course Hero's Academic Integrity Policies?

Course Hero’s academic integrity policies acknowledge the issues many educators and school administrators are concerned about when it comes to students and cheating or plagiarism.

The policies provide:

  • “[A]s a student, you're responsible for completing your own work, and your work should be original. If you're referring to someone else's original work, you should correctly cite it. Your school, your professors, and your peers are trusting you to be honest and authentic in your academic career.”
  • [Y]ou must follow your school's academic integrity policy. Each college and university spell out what is expected of you.

Essentially, Course Hero directs students to their own school's academic integrity policy and provides links to the policy pages for numerous colleges and universities. In short, if you want to make sure you don't get in trouble with your school for using Course Hero, you need to understand your school's academic integrity policies.

These policies can be complicated, and they are all a little bit different. They may also have policies that differ from graduate students to undergraduate students and from program to program. Understanding what is and isn't allowed in your school requires you to fully comprehend not only which school policies apply to you but how they apply to you.

If you have questions concerning how your past, present, or future use of Course Hero may be viewed under your school's academic integrity policies, contact a student discipline defense attorney-advisor who can help you understand the nuanced rules.

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32. What Are Some Academic Integrity Policies That Might Be Violated if I Use Course Hero?

Each school has different academic integrity policies that could be triggered if you misuse Course Hero. Some examples include:

Boston College

  • “Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act which is committed in an academic context including, but not restricted to” cheating and plagiarism.

Duke University

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to lying, cheating, and plagiarism. Duke defines these acts as follows:

  • “Lying is communicating untruths or misrepresentations in order to gain an unfair academic or employment advantage.”
  • “Cheating is the act of wrongfully using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, study aids, or the ideas or work of another in order to gain an unfair advantage.”
  • “Plagiarism occurs when a student, with intent to deceive or with disregard for proper scholarly procedures, presents any information, ideas or phrasing of another as if they were his/her own and/or does not give appropriate credit to the original source.”

Harvard University

Harvard provides some language regarding academic honesty in the examination setting, including:

  • “Students may not communicate during an examination and no student is permitted to keep books or papers during an examination except with the express permission of the instructor or proctor.”

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins defines Academic Misconduct as follows:

  • “Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are meant to be available, and helping another individual to gain an unfair academic advantage.”

It's obvious from these few examples of various school policies on academic integrity that your use of Course Hero could walk a fine line. Sometimes the violation comes down to your intent, and other times the matter is determined by the disciplinary board's interpretation of whether your advantage was wrongfully obtained.

If you're not sure whether your conduct is in violation of your school's policies, you need to talk to an experienced student academic defense lawyer who can advise you on your next best step.

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33. What Are Course Hero's Copyright Policies?

Course Hero sets forth important information on its website regarding copyright issues. Not only does it provide resources for users, but someone who claims copyright violation can submit a takedown notice. Importantly, if you think you've uploaded something to Course Hero that was subject to copyright, then you should contact the platform to have it removed.

If you're uncertain whether the content you want to upload to Course Hero is subject to copyright, Course Hero states:

  • “Copyright holders are not required to label their work with an official copyright notice in order for that work to still be protected. If you are not the author of the specific material you wish to upload, you MUST get express permission from the copyright holder.”

If the content you uploaded to Course Hero is flagged for copyright infringement, you will be notified through your account, and the content will be removed from the platform. If you are repeatedly notified of this violation, Course Hero may choose to permanently delete your account.

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34. Does Course Hero Use an Honor Code?

Yes, Course Hero has an Honor Code. Course Hero's honor code serves as a guide for how they intend their users to interact with the platform. Course Hero maintains that it endeavors to be an educational resource for students throughout the nation, and while most users will learn and grow from interacting with the platform, some may use it in a way that's considered cheating.

Course Hero suggests students and users avoid doing the following:

  • “Copy solutions directly from Course Hero resources and submit them as your own work.”
  • “Upload another person's study materials to Course Hero and claim them as your own study materials.”
  • “Use Course Hero materials or tutors to complete assignments when instructed not to use outside help.”
  • “Use Course Hero in any manner that violates your instructors' or institution's academic honor codes.”

To avoid violating Course Hero's honor code, students and users should upload content that they prepared themselves. Detailed and original class notes and study guides fall into this approved category.

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35. What Subjects Does Course Hero Cover?

Course Hero provides course materials for numerous subjects. The course materials provided on the platform include content for Math, Science, Engineering, Business, Social Science, Humanities, Arts, History, and even Foreign Language. Classes at the collegiate level are difficult, and in crowdsourcing materials from students taking classes in almost any imaginable topic, Course Hero is able to offer a uniquely helpful resource.

Course Hero isn't special because it offers students something they don't generally have at their school. After all, students have been using tutors and exchanging study notes since the inception of collegiate institutions. What makes Course Hero special is that it crowdsources material from students across the nation and provides 24/7 support.

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36. Is Uploading to Course Hero Anonymous?

Yes, uploading to Course Hero is anonymous. The most common way an instructor or your school may find out if you've uploaded documents to Course Hero is if they are tipped off by someone you've told. Remember, uploading documents to Course Hero probably doesn't automatically trigger discipline proceedings under your school's academic integrity policy.

There is a chance a professor may find out material from their syllabus has made its way to Course Hero. Even then, their course of action may be limited to simply providing a notice to the platform and requesting that the material be removed.

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37. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Academic Integrity Policies?

When you create an account with Course Hero, you must agree to abide by the platform's terms and conditions. These terms require that you act in accordance with Course Hero's academic integrity policies. If you violate the academic integrity policies, then you violate the agreement you entered into with Course Hero when you signed up. What this boils down to is that Course Hero can suspend or revoke your account authorization if you violate its terms.

More important than violating Course Hero's academic integrity policies is risking violating your own school's policies. If you're found to have misused Course Hero, the worst the platform will do is cancel your account. Your school, on the other hand, could suspend you or issue a failing grade for the course you're accused of cheating in.

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38. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Honor Code Policies?

As with violating Course Hero's academic integrity policies, a violation of the platform's honor code could constitute a breach of the Terms of Use agreement you had to agree to abide by when you created a Course Hero account. If you use Course Hero to cheat, you could be in violation of the platform's honor code.

Many assume that Course Hero doesn't care if students cheat, but that's not the case. In fact, according to Course Hero:

  • “Many universities leverage sophisticated technologies to scan for plagiarized material in student-submitted work. We are an online database, and therefore Course Hero materials are often crawled by these content monitoring tools. We're even going out of our way to make sure that they are.”

While Course Hero can do little more than remove your online account with them, the honor code page notes that violation of the honor code can result in severe penalties handed down by your school. School penalties for honor code violations, such as cheating, could include:

  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

If you're facing consequences after using Course Hero, contact an experienced Course Hero defense attorney-advisor as soon as possible.

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39. What Happens if You Violate Course Hero's Copyright Policies?

If you violate Course Hero's copyright policies, you could face severe penalties if your college or university finds out. Course Hero must abide by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which in part requires Course Hero to remove copyrighted information after it's been properly notified of any infringement. While Course Hero could permanently ban you from its platform, your school could penalize you for violating its academic integrity policies.

You should speak to a student discipline defense attorney if you're concerned that you may have misused Course Hero and violated your school's academic integrity policies. The consequences of such accusations can result in dismissal from your program, which in turn, could jeopardize your future.

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40. What Does Course Hero Prohibit in Its Terms of Use?

Pursuant to Course Hero's Terms of Use Agreement, your Course Hero account will be deleted if your conduct does any of the following:

  • “Infringes or violates the intellectual property rights or any other rights of anyone else (including Course Hero)”
  • “Violates any Applicable Law”
  • “Is harmful, fraudulent, deceptive, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise objectionable”
  • “Jeopardizes the security of your Course Hero account or anyone else's (such as allowing someone else to log on as you on the Services)”
  • “Attempts, in any manner, to obtain the password, account, or other security information from any other User”

Violating Course Hero's Terms and policies isn't the same as violating your school's policies, at least insofar as penalties go. When your school accuses you of cheating, plagiarizing, or committing other acts of academic dishonesty, you risk suspension, probation, or even expulsion. Even if you do get to stay in class, you may lose financial aid or internship opportunities. It's critically important that students mount an aggressive defense when their education and futures are at risk because of academic dishonesty allegations.

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41. Will Other Students Report Me If I Use Course Hero?

While you may think you can trust your classmates and can discuss the materials you've been able to download from Course Hero with them, you should think again. Many colleges and universities require students to report on their classmates when they suspect academic dishonesty.

Johns Hopkins University requires:

  • “It is the responsibility of each student to report to the faculty member in charge of the course or to the Office of Student Conduct any suspected violations of academic ethics.”

Virginia Tech provides:

  • “If a student participating in group work engages in academic misconduct, all members of that group could be held responsible for the misconduct if it is shown that the group members assisted in the misconduct and/or were aware of it without reporting it to the instructor.”

Most schools do place a duty to report academic integrity violations on other students. If you use Course Hero, you should be aware of these policies and even when you use the platform in an educational and responsible manner, be aware that other students may feel compelled to report you.

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42. Do Schools Specifically Prohibit Course Hero?

Before you upload or download course materials to Course Hero or another similar platform, you should consult your school's academic integrity or honor code policies.

For example, the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Honor Code states:

  • “Sharing course materials, including but not limited to personal notes, in an unauthorized online bank or forum, whether for profit or for free, is strongly discouraged and may result in a referral to the Honor Code.”

While this language is vague, this type of verbiage could be used against students who use Course Hero even as the platform is intended. As services like Course Hero become more popular, colleges may begin to amend their academic integrity policies to prohibit the use of these types of platforms.

It's important to remember that academic integrity policies change, and it's a student's responsibility to stay up to date on these changes. Still, if you find yourself in hot water with your school over your use of Course Hero, you do have options. You should speak to a student academic defense attorney before it's too late.

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43. Will Course Hero Do My Homework?

Course Hero does not do your homework. If you're struggling with homework assignments, you could use Course Hero tutoring services. These services are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The tutors hired by Course Hero must meet certain criteria, and when used appropriately, they can help further your academic understanding of the issues giving you trouble.

You could also use Course Hero to download notes and homework assignments from other students who've previously enrolled in the course you're in now. You might find that answers from previously uploaded course materials are the exact answers you need, but you should be aware that copying the answers could constitute a violation of your school's academic integrity policies. To avoid this violation, make sure you “show your work,” as they say, so if you're subsequently accused of cheating, you can point to your work as a demonstration of academic integrity.

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44. Can I Get Free Textbooks on Course Hero?

No, you cannot get free textbooks on Course Hero. Even if you pay for the Course Hero services, you won't gain full access to the course textbook as this would be a violation of copyright laws. Course Hero does offer sets of quizzes, questions, and assignments offered in specific textbooks, however, and you can use this feature as a study resource.

Uploading or downloading content on Course Hero that is taken straight from a textbook could violate the platform’s copyright rules and result in you becoming permanently locked out of Course Hero.

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45. How Does Course Hero Violate My School's Plagiarism Rules?

You could be accused of plagiarizing after you use Course Hero. Schools take plagiarizing seriously, and in some cases, you could even be expelled from your program if you plagiarize.

Tulane University defines plagiarism as:

  • “Unacknowledged or falsely acknowledged presentation of another person's ideas, expressions, or original research as one's own work, in rough or working drafts as well as in final drafts….”
  • “Plagiarism also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.”

While the exact definition of plagiarism can vary from one school's policies to another's, the gist is the same. If you put forth another's work as your own, without properly crediting the source, then you are probably plagiarizing.

There are a few ways Course Hero could result in plagiarizing:

  1. You may inadvertently plagiarize if you upload another's notes or answers to Course Hero.
  2. You may commit an act of plagiarism if you copy notes or answers directly from the Course Hero materials and present them as your own in class.

Sometimes plagiarism is accidental, and if you're accused of plagiarism after using Course Hero, you should seek legal help from an experienced academic misconduct student defense attorney. Without the help of a knowledgeable attorney-advisor, you risk expulsion. Even if you aren't expelled from your school or program, you risk scholarships and your reputation after an accusation of plagiarism.

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46. Does Course Hero Violate My School's Cheating Rules?

Cheating is disallowed at every school, but in most circumstances, your use of Course Hero won't violate your school's cheating rules. There is a misconception that Course Hero is nothing more than a way for students to pay for answers. The truth is that Course Hero provides students with a valuable resource they can use to further their education.

The platform consists of crowdsourced notes and answers explanations for hundreds of college courses. When students use these resources to better understand their own assignments, they aren't cheating.

A problem arises when students misuse Course Hero materials, and instead of using the resources to further their own understanding, they copy and paste answers. This would violate most schools' academic honor codes and integrity policies. If accused, a student risks their academic and professional future, and they should speak to an attorney who can help defend and minimize the severity of the disciplinary penalties.

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47. Are There Other Online Services Like Course Hero?

Course Hero is not alone in offering students online study materials and educational resources. These services include but aren't limited to:

A great thing about these online resources is that they provide students from various locations access to materials that can improve their education and lead to increased academic comprehension. In many ways, these platforms open up access that some students wouldn't have. After all, all you need is a computer or smart device and an internet connection. In some cases, you don't even need money—as is true with Course Hero and the structure that allows students to upload their own material in exchange for another's content.

Importantly, many colleges and universities include in their definition of cheating any actions that give a student an unfair advantage. There is an argument that some college students may have unequal access to the internet or computers—an issue highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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48. Can I Be Suspended for Using Course Hero?

Yes, you can be suspended for using Course Hero if the manner in which you used it violates your school's academic integrity or honor code policies. Most who access the Course Hero platform do so with good intentions. They download course materials in an attempt to more deeply understand their classwork.

The rigors of higher education can be tough, though, and sometimes students misuse Course Hero. Cheating isn't allowed at any college or university, but sometimes the temptation is too great for students who are exhausted and overworked or dealing with the stresses of life.

If you've been accused of cheating because you used Course Hero, you could face stiff disciplinary penalties from your school. Penalties for violating your school's academic integrity policy can include suspension. With the help of an experienced academic defense attorney-advisor, you may be able to help your school's disciplinary board understand the circumstances behind your actions. In many cases, the school will reduce punishment if a student can show extenuating circumstances that led to their actions.

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49. Can I Be Expelled for Using Course Hero?

Yes, you can be expelled for using Course Hero inappropriately. That said, students who use the platform to learn and better their understanding of the subject they're struggling with aren't likely to face punishment from their school's disciplinary board.

On the other hand, students could face expulsion if they are accused of using Course Hero to cheat or plagiarize. Expulsion is the last resort for most schools, but it can and does happen. If a student has exhibited a recurring pattern of dishonest behavior, the school may hold a disciplinary board hearing and ultimately vote to expel the student.

If you're facing the threat of expulsion for cheating at your school, you need to contact a student discipline defense attorney right now. Expulsion impacts your present and your future, and students who are expelled from their school face a lifetime of overcoming a few bad choices they might have made when they were younger. When you work with an academic defense attorney, you may be better able to present your side of the story and explain any extraordinary circumstances that resulted in your behavior.

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50. Can I Lose My Scholarship If I'm Caught Using Course Hero?

Yes, you could lose your scholarship if you're disciplined by your school for misusing Course Hero. Course Hero can be a valuable resource for students who want to excel in their studies, but sometimes even responsible students accidentally misuse Course Hero.

Often, driven students are also attending college on a scholarship, and not only do they usually need to maintain a certain GPA, but they need to do so while upholding the school's standards of academic integrity. If you're attending school with the help of a scholarship, accusations of cheating or plagiarism are even more serious.

Instructors and even other students may accuse you of cheating if you use Course Hero, and if these allegations make it back to your school's disciplinary board, your scholarship could be in jeopardy. If you're worried that you may lose your financial aid because you used Course Hero, contact a student defense attorney-advisor right away. An experienced attorney can help you understand how your school's academic integrity policies apply in your situation and how you may be able to explain your side of the story to your school's disciplinary board.

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51. Will My Instructor Fail Me if They Find Out I Used Course Hero?

Your instructor may fail you if they find out you used Course Hero to cheat or plagiarize your classwork. If you use Course Hero or a similar online service, you need to make sure you are using it in a manner that complies with your school's academic integrity policies. If you used Course Hero responsibly, then it's unlikely that you violated your school's rules; however, if your instructor determines you used Course Hero to cheat, then they could fail you.

Your instructor could find out that you used Course Hero if you turn in assignments that are red-flagged for plagiarism. Professors have access to software that can indicate whether a student's papers are their own original work or not. An instructor could also be tipped off by another student who believes you're cheating by using Course Hero.

If your instructor is threatening to fail you in a class because you used Course Hero, it's important to speak to a student discipline defense attorney who can help you communicate with your professor. Sometimes students are falsely accused of cheating and have difficulty explaining their situation to their instructors. A legal advocate can help you identify how your use of Course Hero did or did not violate your professor's academic integrity policies.

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52. Will Using Course Hero Jeopardize My Academic Review?

Yes, using Course Hero could jeopardize your academic review in certain scenarios. Although the majority of schools do not explicitly ban the use of Course Hero, they do prohibit cheating and academic dishonesty. Using Course Hero does not mean you're cheating, but some professors or academic review boards may be suspicious of your use of the platform.

If your program requires you to meet certain academic benchmarks and pass periodic reviews, then any allegation of cheating could harm your ability to move forward in your studies. If accused of misusing Course Hero, you could be placed on academic probation or be required to retake a course before the academic review board permits you to graduate.

If you need to defend yourself in front of an academic review board because you were accused of using Course Hero inappropriately, contact a student discipline defense attorney right away.

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53. Does Using Course Hero Violate My School's Code of Student Misconduct?

In most circumstances, using Course Hero won't violate your school's code of conduct. Student misconduct differs from academic integrity, and colleges generally have a different set of policies that cover student misconduct.

Almost all allegations involving a student's misuse of Course Hero involve cheating or plagiarism, which fall under a school's academic integrity or honor code policies. Student misconduct issues are generally more concerned with behavior rather than honesty.

Still, there could be a scenario where you're accused of violating your school's code of student misconduct by misusing Course Hero. It's critically important that you fully defend yourself in front of your school's investigatory board. Failure to do so could result in suspension or expulsion.

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54. Does Uploading to Course Hero Violate My School's Code of Student Misconduct?

Most of the time, uploading course materials to Course Hero won't violate your school's code of student misconduct. When you act in accordance with Course Hero's policies, you aren't committing any wrongful act.

That said, it can be difficult to fully abide by Course Hero's uploading policies, especially those concerning copyright infringement.

Course Hero’s copyright policy includes:

  • “Users are prohibited from uploading or submitting copyright infringing materials (including without limitation copies made without the consent of the copyright owner of testing materials, textbooks, instructor's solution manuals, test banks, lecture notes, slide presentations or related copyrighted works, in whole or in part).”

Students who violate copyright policies could be committing a crime, and most student misconduct codes prohibit the commission of any crime.

Even when you didn't intend to act inappropriately, accidents can still happen that might instigate an investigation by your school's disciplinary board for using Course Hero. If you find yourself in the position of having to defend your Course Hero activity, contact a student discipline defense attorney as soon as possible.

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55. What if I'm Investigated for a Course Hero Violation?

If you're investigated for a Course Hero violation, you need to speak to a student discipline defense attorney-advisor right away. Whether you're being formally or informally investigated, it's important that you talk to a legal professional who can help you understand how your actions did or didn't violate your school's codes of conduct.

Maybe you were falsely accused of misusing Course Hero, or you didn't realize you were using Course Hero in a way that your school disapproves of. Still yet, maybe you did realize you shouldn't have been using Course Hero in the way you were, but you only did so because of extenuating personal circumstances.

Whatever the circumstances of the investigation against you for using Course Hero, you deserve to defend yourself. It can be difficult for students to understand how high the stakes are, but when your school investigates you for any kind of misconduct, your entire future is at risk. An experienced student defense attorney will help you navigate the process of being investigated for using Course Hero.

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56. What Is the Investigation Process Like if I'm Accused of Misusing Course Hero?

When a student is accused of misusing Course Hero, they could be subject to a formal investigation. If this is the case, then they will receive a formal notice of the investigation and be provided an opportunity to present any reasoning which could prove they didn't cheat or commit acts of academic dishonesty.

If the issue is brought before a formal hearing, which is often the case if expulsion is a possibility, you should be prepared to explain your side of the story. An attorney can help you defend yourself by establishing mitigating circumstances.

Circumstances that could help diminish your punishment include:

  • Establishing that you were falsely accused
  • Establishing that the misuse of Course Hero was an honest mistake
  • Establishing that you misused Course Hero only because of extenuating outside circumstances
  • Establishing that you understand your mistake and want to overcome it

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57. Do I Need Legal Help If I'm Accused of Misusing Course Hero?

You should speak to an experienced student discipline defense attorney-advisor if you're accused of misusing Course Hero. Many students and even their parents may think that an accusation of cheating or academic dishonesty isn't that big of a deal. The truth is that cheating allegations at the collegiate level are very serious, and when you're accused, you could lose your scholarship, your internships, or your academic standing.

In high school, cheating may get you a slap on the wrist, but in higher education, cheating allegations can change the rest of your life. Those accused of cheating after they use Course Hero could be suspended, placed on academic probation, or even expelled from school entirely. These results equate to money down the drain for you or your parents, and in severe cases, you may have difficulty securing a job in the future.

If you're accused of academic dishonesty at your school because you used Course Hero, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. You may not realize the defense available to you, and it can also be hard for students and parents to fully understand their school's academic integrity and honor code policies. Understanding if/how your use of Course Hero violated these policies is critical to understanding the validity of the allegations against you.

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58. How Can an Attorney-Advisor Help Me After I'm Accused of Course Hero Violation?

After an accusation of cheating because you used Course Hero, you will probably have a lot of questions. This is normal, but many make the mistake of trying to go through the process of defending their actions without the help of an attorney-advisor. An experienced student discipline defense attorney-advisor can help you through the process of defending yourself after very serious allegations that could jeopardize your future.

An attorney can help you after you're accused of using Course Hero to cheat by:

  • Explaining your school's academic integrity policies to you
  • Explaining your school's honor code policies to you
  • Explaining your school's student misconduct code to you
  • Helping you understand if your actions violated your school's policies
  • Helping you present information that helps lessen the severity of penalties
  • Guiding you through a difficult time and explaining the process to you
  • Communicating the best next step for you and your family

Seeking legal help after a Course Hero cheating allegation means more than hiring someone to stand up and defend you. It also means having an advocate on your side who can walk you through the process and explain confusing issues to you.

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59. What if I'm Falsely Accused of Using Course Hero to Cheat?

If you're falsely accused of using Course Hero to cheat, you need to take action right away. You should not just assume that the allegation will go away because it is untrue. Schools take academic integrity seriously, and they won't hesitate to suspend you or place you on academic probation. Often, schools are also looking for a reason to revoke your scholarship or financial aid, and even a hint of academic dishonesty will be enough to raise the red flag.

If you're falsely accused of cheating because you used Course Hero, you should be prepared to show your work. Maybe you did use Course Hero to help you understand an assignment better or to prepare for an upcoming exam, but that doesn't mean you cheated. If you have original notes or other evidence to demonstrate you were working through the assignments and were trying to learn, you'll want to be able to show those to your instructor or the disciplinary board.

You should also reach out to a student academic defense attorney-advisor who can help you understand exactly what your school's academic integrity policies say about how you used Course Hero.

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60. How Soon Should I Get Legal Help After a Course Hero Accusation?

It is never too soon to get legal help after a Course Hero accusation. An accusation can escalate into an investigation quickly, and in order to defend yourself and your reputation, you need to understand how your use of Course Hero did or did not violate your school's academic integrity policies.

School policies on academic dishonesty and student misconduct can be difficult to understand. They are often vague and use verbiage subject to interpretation.

Once you understand the school's policies, an attorney can help you develop a defense of your actions. Perhaps the accusation is false, or maybe you did violate policy but did so without any intention to act dishonestly. The bottom line is: The faster you seek legal help, the better your chances are at overcoming accusations of cheating because you used Course Hero.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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