Upgrading Student Projects

The Configuration tab of a .course file allows you to upgrade students’ course projects in two ways, indicated by the checkboxes in the image below:


Students pay for upgrades

You can request that the students pay a one-time fee of $14 for four months. This will move their projects to members-only hosts and enable full internet access.

If you click “Students will pay for this course”, another checkbox appears, “Require that students upgrade…”:


When you check that checkbox, a calendar form opens. The default is to require students to pay within one week, but you can change the deadline. Select a different date if you want, or leave it at the default, and click “Close”.


To continue from the perspective of your students, read the instructions for students to pay for a course.

Can we mix free and upgraded student projects?

Yes. Just set the due date by which the students have to pay to be at the end of the course. Give them the opportunity to pay for an upgrade for the first few weeks (say), then just unclick the student pay checkbox and thus no longer requiring them to pay at all. In short, whether they have to pay or not is something you can change at any time, they have a grace period before being required to pay, and you can change any of these settings at any time.

Teacher or institution pays for upgrades

This section describes adding upgrades to student projects if you are using a CoCalc license. Please see :doc:`course-upgrading-students-legacy` if you need to upgrade student projects with one of the older upgrade packages.

At this point, we assume you have created a teaching project and a course file in that project, and have added students under the Students tab in the course file.

1. Obtain a license key.

Obtain a license, if you haven’t already. See Buy a license….

Your license key is a hexadecimal uuid string. It looks like this:


2. Install your license(s) in the course file.

  • Open the course file and click “Configuration.”
  • Check the box for “You or your institute will pay for this course”.
  • Click “Upgrade using a license key…”.
  • Paste in your license key and click “Save”. You will see additional text where you entered the license key, indicating which upgrades will be applied and the maximum number of simultaneous running projects that can use this license.
Adding a license key in course configuration.
  • You can apply more than one license. After you install the first license, a new button will appear, “Add another license key (more students or better upgrades)”. Click this to add more licenses, one at a time.

3. License strategy (multiple licenses only)

If you have applied two or more licenses to a course, a dialog appears for choosing how those licenses are combined. The two options are:

  • Maximize number of covered students: apply one license to each project associated to this course (e.g., you bought a license to handle a few more students who added your course). This is the default.
  • Maximize upgrades to each project: apply all licenses to all projects associated to this course (e.g., you bought a license to increase the RAM or CPU for all students).

4. Restart the teacher project.

In project Settings (wrench icon), restart your project so that the license will be applied. Click “Restart Project…” then click “Yes, restart project” in the confirmation dialog.


license entered in course Configuration; about to restart teaching project

In project Settings, within a few seconds you will see that the teaching project is being upgraded. The warnings about running on an unpaid server will be gone, and you will see your license upgrades applied to the teaching project, including Member Hosting and Internet Access.


project settings after restarting teaching project

Adding capacity

After you have courses up and running, you may discover that you need to provide for more students, or increase computing resources on student projects. You can do either of those by obtaining additional licenses and applying them as shown above. If you need more flexibility than the available strategies offer, contact CoCalc support at help@cocalc.com.

What the student sees

Here is what a student will see upon opening the student project for the course.

First, this is what is seen if the instructor has not yet applied a license for the course. Note the red banner warning that the project is not upgraded.

Student project quotas before applying course license.

Second, this is what is seen if the instructor has added a license in the course Configuration tab. The exact resource amounts will vary depending on the license.

Student project quotas after applying course license.