Students find help with online services

Carrie Kreisler

What started out as an online research portal has expanded to include services such as finding a roommate and selling spring break packages.The services can be found at, a Web site which aims to simplify the lives of college students. Andrew Hazen, founder and CEO of, came up with the idea for the research service while he was in law school in Michigan. He said a lot of people were asking him to do research and “I thought I might as well make a business out of it.”Hazen started doing research for people in 1996, but the service has revamped its image three times since then.Students who use the Web site are “not lazy — they just have a lot going on in their lives,” he said.”We were very successful in providing research assistance, so we asked ourselves what else students would want while they’re [at],” Hazen said. Students can go to the Campus Mall link on the Web site and find anything from electronics to dorm supplies, gifts and textbooks. The main function of, however, is to provide research and ideas for students’ papers.Membership costs students a one-time fee of $19.95, and allows for unlimited access to available research and term paper services.”We give them what they need to write their own papers,” he said.The cost of the research provided by depends on a number of variables. After a student fills out the online “research request form,” the team of seven researchers at does preliminary research and gives the student a price quota.”As a general rule of thumb, we charge about $10 a source,” Hazen said, “but it depends on when the paper is due, how long it has to be and also the number of sources” either required by the teacher or by the amount of information necessary.”A lot of our clients are nontraditional students,” he said.Hazen said many international students and single parents also ask for assistance. “There are several different sites blatantly selling papers, but we shy away from that because we want to be a reputable company,” he said.Most recently, teamed up with both and to further simplify students’ lives. is a Web site which allows students to search for roommates. The site allows students to either place an ad looking for a roommate or a place to live in a new city. The other Web site,, is an online travel agency which linked to just in time for spring break.”[SuperFare] sold 50 spring break packages last week alone,” Hazen said.Research usually takes 24 to 48 hours to complete, he said, but may take up to a week if they have to go to a library.”We had one guy call us from Georgia on his cell phone in class,” Hazen said. “He had a paper due the next day.”While the Web site may be common knowledge on many college campuses, it’s still making its name known at Iowa State.John Alexander, senior in horticulture, said he usually uses for his research because it links to other search engines. He said he has never heard of, but is willing to try it.”I have a couple papers due soon,” Alexander said. “I might have to check it out.”