If you're paying someone to take your classes, pay for Bs, not As

I stumbled across this local Ann Arbor craigslist posting (since flagged for removal, and hence reproduced below) that advertises for a “ghost student” to take someone’s online master’s courses for them. Surprisingly, on the surface, the poster wants someone to earn a B average and occasionally fail classes. Why not pay for As? Potentially for a couple of reasons.

  1. Maybe you’re getting compensated for doing this masters and want to drag it out. Seems unlikely, considering how much they are willing to pay
  2. They realize the single biggest problem with faking academic credentials is getting caught, and if you want to avoid detection, it’s best to fly under the radar.

I strongly suspect that #2 is the major factor here. Carol Moseley Braun was found out within just days of misstating she had degrees from Harvard, when she merely held visiting fellow position at the school. Marilee Jones, on the other hand, claimed degrees from far less-renowned institutions, but was able to keep them on her resume for 28 years, because who is going to lie about having a degree from Union College? (You may remember Jones as the resume-padding fraud who, as dean of admissions for MIT, urged applicants not to pad their resume. Comedy gold.) Similarly, no one is going to check into your college records if you earn a B average and fail several classes. But if you are the shining star of your graduating cohort, somebody might just try to verify that you’re really taking your classes.

Full text of the ad:

What I need:
A U of M student
who is capable of good quality Masters level work
who is dependable
lives in the area
will be around for 21 months or at least 9 months
knows APA formatting

To do what:
Take my online Masters Degree program for me as if they were me

For how long:
21 months

The game plan:
I need B level 3.0 work I need you to occasionally fail classes so the degree takes a little longer too

So that’s:
6 credits which is two 3 credit classes every 16 weeks, 16 weeks is one semester, one class at a time so one class every 8 weeks, total of 30 credits

When you fail:
You must participate weekly in the course discussions and submit assignments weekly and participate actively so you are not withdrawn from the course. You must write based on personal opinion and cite Wikipedia and do poor work so as to fail but actively participate the whole semester.

The pay:
$100 per week when you get the B’s. Paid to you the Monday after the Sunday night everything is due after you submit the work (I will be checking that you do the work). I can meet up with you for cash or we can arrange to set up a prepay VISA SERVE card or other such system for electronic transfer of funds or paypal so we don’t need to ever meet up and you just get paid online directly. When you fail you only get $50 a week because it’s less work. So $1,600 for the semester with B’s. $800 for the F’s or D’s.

E-mail me with a little about yourself and why you would want to do this and how you would have the time to do the work. I will respond quickly. I need to pick someone by October 28. Please e-mail about yourself. If after a couple e-mails you sound like you’re the one. I would want to see some examples of your papers you’ve written for school to know you can do the work. Then meet up in person to give you the books and my passwords and everything.


Obligatory LOL at the requirement that the applicant be “honest.” But if people are going to cheat, I’d rather see them do it cleverly. Stupid cheaters are the most depressing thing in academia.

18 thoughts on “If you're paying someone to take your classes, pay for Bs, not As”

    1. Takes more than that for gold ropes or what’s the point? From an ole’ timer, why do it, if it’s not done well? It’s a full-time job. You are correct, $100/week is a joke.

    2. People who take the courses for the student 99% of the time are experts in the field. That’s why the student requests their help in the first place. That said, the expert only has to do assignments, not reading. They typically only spend 4-5 hrs per week doing course work, if that. As far as midterms and finals, those are usually done by the expert with online only courses. It’s easy money. I did college math for some girl. I only had to do 2 assignments per week (30-40 min each) for 2 months and made $400. Now imagine doing 4 students. That’s $1600 doing something that’s second nature. It’s like paying Stan Lee to draw Spiderman.

      1. love this comment and you are so right I know someone who lives off doing this and she just bought a house a hustle is a hustle. nothing in this world has any moral compass anymore so who cares! get it how you live homie!

      2. I have been so close to hiring a company to do my classes while I take care of my mother. But, the idea of getting caught is far less appealing. I do know of a few people that do essays and they make a lot of extra change!

      3. That may work for math with basic online homework, but not other classes…esp. this one where you are writing papers in APA. The papers have to be original. I don’t care how good your are or know the material. That takes time. You are acting like this is just some MyMathLab bs multiple choice assignment every week. No.

        Anyway, nobody with a brain (and you would need to one to do this obviously) would agree to this without know how much work you’d have to do per week exactly. Again, even if you are an “expert” and that is unlikely at this level, there is always something new.

        Almost all math exams are protected, so I’m not sure how you did this. If you just did the homework and left them to do exams, then you did not help them at all. You prob made things worse for them

  1. College is a waste of money and time for a piece of paper and no life experience. Go get a entry level job and climb the ladder or get into sales and make as much as you would with a masters degree without wasting 10 years of your life in a school being broke

    1. 1) Ten years – your really don’t know much about college or you were a “career student”
      2) Half the people go to college because they actually love learning – and that is where they need to go if they want to learn things like, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, astronomy, psychology, medicine, archaeology, paleoanthropology, language arts, food and crop science, environmental sciences…should I go on…or do you need a dictionary.
      3) Just because you failed college that is not the normal experience. Stop using anecdotal evidence. Have you not learned anything? Maybe take statistics class – nope wait…you can’t do that…that would be learning something.
      4) It is clear that college grads make more money in the long run then non college grads
      5) College is also about networking, esp. in Greek life and others. This can be people that will be with you and help you for the rest of your life. You prob should have made more friends in college, fool
      6) “No life experience”. Please break down that phase and think about if for a second.. Hmmm..maybe if you had some college educations you would understand how stupid that sentence is. Ah…so people in college don’t have real life experience. You sir, are an idiot. Maybe hang around some different people instead of losers and you might see differently. Plenty of people in college who work their but of in jobs and volunteering and other group activities while maintaining GPA’s.

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