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Course Hero Acquires Iconic Study Guides: CliffsNotes®

Acquisitions accelerate the mission of making education resources and tools more affordable and accessible for today’s students.

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. (August 19, 2021) — Course Hero, today announced the acquisition of CliffsNotes, creator of iconic study guides that have been used by high school and college students for more than 60 years. Founded in 2006 by college student Andrew Grauer, Course Hero has grown from a resource for students to share notes into a learning platform used by a global community of students and educators that contribute and access a wide range of academic resources. The company also announced its acquisition of QuillBot, a pioneering AI-powered writing platform used by 7 million people every month to check for grammar, make citations, and improve their writing skills.

“Today’s students are facing many more challenges than ever before,” said Andrew Grauer, Co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. “I’m excited to build on CliffsNotes’ legacy to improve the quality and affordability of resources available to students, helping them learn and expand their understanding of course content.”

Founded in 1958, CliffsNotes’ iconic study guides have become a trusted resource for generations. With more than 64 million visits annually, CliffsNotes now offers students free online access to hundreds of literature guides and test prep guides that expand to subjects beyond literature.

In addition to CliffsNotes, Course Hero is acquiring QuillBot, an AI-powered platform used by millions of people to improve their writing skills. The platform offers a suite of writing tools including a grammar checker and citation generator that provides users with the feedback they need to more clearly communicate their ideas and develop well-rounded writing skills. QuillBot was started by computer science students, Rohan Gupta, Anil Jason, and David Silin, while at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017.

“Writing is a critical component of effective communication in education and research, yet writing instruction varies broadly by student, institution, and country,” said Dr. Kevin Gimpel, assistant professor at Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and the University of Chicago. “Using state-of-the-art AI technology, QuillBot’s suite of writing tools helps students and researchers get past the writing block, allowing them to focus more on communicating their ideas and developing compelling arguments while also ensuring their work is grammatically sound.”

“We are on a mission to improve people’s writing,” said Rohan Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of QuillBot, “We’re excited about the potential to expand our reach and sharing our tools to help everyone, especially English Language Learners (ELLs), strengthen their writing and confidence.”

This announcement comes after Course Hero’s recent acquisition of LitCharts, which is now used by more than 50 million students and teachers to develop a better understanding of literary texts. Additionally, in October 2020, Course Hero acquired Symbolab, creator of an AI-enabled mathematics solver used by millions of students worldwide to demystify complex math challenges.


About Course Hero: Course Hero is on a mission to help students make every study hour count, and graduate confident and prepared. Our online learning platform now offers more than 60 million course-specific study resources created by and for students and educators, as well as 24/7 tutor help. The range of learning materials includes practice problems, study guides, textbook solutions, videos, class notes, and step-by-step explanations for every subject. More than 70,000 faculty across the U.S. and Canada use Course Hero to share their resources with the community, collaborate with other faculty, and hone new strategies for instruction.

About CliffsNotes:

CliffsNotes, are the original (and most widely imitated) study guides written by real teachers and professors. CliffsNotes offers literature study guides and test-preparation for high school and college students to help them understand and learn literature. Clifton Keith Hillegass, founded CliffsNotes in Nebraska, USA in August 1958. 

About QuillBot:

Founded in 2017 by three computer science students, QuillBot taps the potential of AI to help nearly 7 million monthly active users improve their writing skills, enhance their written communications and deliver a more compelling message.

What Is Course Hero?

Course Hero is an online learning platform where you can access course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators.