Table of Contents
- What is Chegg?
- Chegg History and Growth
- What Services Does Chegg Offer?
- How Does Chegg Work?
- How to Rent Textbooks on Chegg
- What is Chegg Study?
- What is Chegg Math Solver?
- What is Chegg Writing?
- What is the Chegg Study Pack?
- How Much Does Chegg Cost? Is Chegg Free?
- What is Chegg Uversity?
- How Many Devices Does Chegg Allow?
- Is Chegg a Legit Site?
- Is Chegg Cheating?
- Do Professors Check Chegg?
- Does Chegg Notify Your School?
- How Can I Get Chegg Answers for Free?
What is Chegg?
Based in Santa Clara, California, Chegg is a disruptive education technology company that offers textbook rentals (digital and physical), textbooks, and a plethora of online student services. Chegg’s student services include online tutoring, online homework assistance, and scholarship and internship search engines.
Chegg’s slogan, “A Smarter Way to Student”, shows the breadth of the student services they offer. In practice, many college students also use Chegg to complete homework assignments, papers, quizzes and exams.
According to the company’s mission statement, “We support students on their journey from high school to college and into their career with tools designed to help them learn their course materials, succeed in their classes, save money on required materials, and learn the most in-demand skills.”
We’ll dive further into these specific services, but first let’s take a look at Chegg’s history and development as a company. It all began in 2000, when three Iowa State students got together and launched Cheggpost, a service similar to Craigslist for Iowa State students.
Chegg History and Growth
Seeing what companies Chegg has bought gives a clearer picture of the services they offer today. By our counting, Chegg has acquired at least 9 other companies to expand their business areas throughout the past few years, including:
- Zinch, a website offering scholarship searches and college recruiting
- Cramster, an online company helping students with homework and exam prep
- Notehall, a company that sold course notes
- 3D3R, a software company acquired to launch multiple Chegg digital initiatives
- InstaEDU, another (larger) online tutoring company
- Internships.com, a website focused on (you guessed it) connecting students with internships
- Imagine Easy Solutions, a company helping students with research and bibliographies
- WriteLab, an artificial intelligence tool similar to Grammarly
- StudyBlue, an flash card software company
- ThinkFul, an online platform with courses in computer science
As you can see, Chegg’s services have expanded to include online tutoring, scholarship and internship search engines and resources, college writing resources such as bibliography tools, online flash cards. With the acquisition of ThinkFul, we may even see Chegg branch out into providing its own standalone educational tracks.
What Services Does Chegg Offer?
Chegg offers digital textbook rentals, physical textbook rentals, textbook purchases, and a host of online student services. These online services encompass almost everything you can think of that would help a college student with their studies:
- Chegg Study: Answers to textbook questions and an expert question-and-answer service
- Chegg Math Solver: A graphic calculator and step-by-step math solutions so you can understand both the answer and the process to get there
- Chegg Writing: This service check for grammar and plagiarism, and also assists students with citations for papers
- Chegg Practice: Practice exams for a wide variety of study areas, with detailed step-by-step explanations of each answer so that you can review
We’ll dive further into these services individually, but first let’s discuss how they provide such high-quality and on-demand answers to a vast number of college students.
How Does Chegg Work?
Chegg works by harnessing the most modern educational technology to help students with a broad variety of needs, from renting textbooks to writing papers to doing homework to finding internships. If there’s something students need, there’s a good chance Chegg has a service to meet that need.
In terms of how they provide the specific services, eTextbook rentals are available through the website. If you rent a physical textbook, you’ll sign in to your online Chegg account, print your prepaid UPS return label, put the books in a box, and drop it off at UPS.
Chegg’s online services are all accessed by creating an online student account. Once you have an account, you can enroll in one or multiple services, or get a bundle such as the Chegg Study Pack.
How does Chegg get answers for students? According to a scouring Forbes piece which we’ll reference again later, Chegg “employs more than 70,000 experts with advanced math, science, technology and engineering degrees” in India, who are available around the clock to answer subscriber questions.
How to Rent Textbooks on Chegg
As we cover Chegg’s multitude of services, we’ll start with their roots in textbook rental. To rent digital or physical textbooks on Chegg, simply visit their website, put the name of your desired textbook into the search box, add the book to your cart, click checkout, create an account as prompted, and complete your online purchase.
As this is a rental, you must create a Chegg account to rent a book. When it’s time to return your book, you’ll need to log back into your online Chegg account, print out the UPS return label, and drop your book or books off at a UPS location near you.
The process is much the same for online rentals, and your Chegg account login will allow you to access your eTextbooks with your devices.
Textbook rental, sales, and purchases were the services that launched Chegg’s success, so it’s no surprise that the process is fully optimized for a smooth and user-friendly interaction.
What is Chegg Study?
Chegg Study is a subscription service providing online homework help for students. Chegg Study provides step-by-step answers to questions found in textbooks, and also allows subscribers to submit their own questions to experts. These experts provide detailed answers within 15 minutes to 24 hours.
Chegg Study is at the core of Chegg’s success and it’s controversy over the past years, as we’ll get to in the later sections on cheating accusations. While Chegg Study can be used simply to understand the problems, its use to answer homework questions is against many colleges’ codes of conduct.
The Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated the drama, as students taking quizzes and exams online have also been able to access Chegg Study answers, making a marked improvement in their grades.
We’ll cover this drama more in a later section, but we wanted to mention this debate now because it shows something: Chegg Study is incredibly effective. If the Chegg study answers weren’t comprehensive, fast, and accurate, then universities wouldn’t be up in arms about its use.
What is Chegg Math Solver?
Chegg Math Solver is much more than a powerful graphing calculator. The Math Solver can take you photo and spit out the math equation within seconds, showing you how each step was completed!
According to Chegg, the free version of the Math Solver (limited to three problems per day) gives you the solution and a basic explanation. The paid version includes unlimited problems, detailed explanations with sub-steps for each problem, and a graphic calculator.
The Math Solver is capable of handling almost any math problem, including those found in:
- Pre Algebra including powers, roots, and linear equations
- Algebra including polynomials, quadratic expressions, and quadratic equations
- Pre Calculus including matrixes and logarithmic functions
- Calculus including general and fundamental derivatives
- Linear Algebra including determinants, matrix operations, and eigenvalues
While Chegg Math Solver has seen some level of success, it’s still definitely a background player compared to the comprehensive and personal answers found on Chegg Study.
What is Chegg Writing?
Chegg Writing is an advanced AI software to proofread, improve grammar, scan for plagiarism, and create instant citations. Chegg Writing also includes a person expert review of your paper.
The Chegg website boasts that this AI has put in some serious work with:
- 7+ million assignments checked
- 4+ million plagiarism scans
- 15+ million grammar errors caught
- 1.7 billion citations generated
If you haven’t heard of Chegg Writing, then Grammarly is the best comparison, and the two services compete for subscriptions. Chegg Writing’s plagiarism checker is arguably the most advanced on the market. If Chegg finds plagiarism in your paper, it will help you to either remove it or to cite the source accurately.
Chegg Writing’s plagiarism checker is actually quite similar to Turnitin, which is used by many universities to check papers for plagiarism. You guessed it, this similarity between Chegg Writing and Turnitin has also led to more drama and cheating accusations, as Chegg allows students to see whether their paper will likely be flagged by the university’s software or not. Whew!
What is the Chegg Study Pack?
The Chegg Study Pack is a subscription that bundles Chegg’s core student services: Chegg Study, Chegg Math Solver, and Chegg Writing. These resources include homework solutions, video walkthroughs, expert Q&A, plagiarism and grammar checks, practice sets, and the Chegg Math Solver.
The study bundle claims to enable students to “learn anything, anytime”. The Chegg website describes it this way:
“From core classes to tough upper levels, Chegg Study Pack has tools to help you crush the class. Get a better understanding of complex problems, so you can finish homework faster and get better grades.”
In essence, the Chegg Study Pack just gives you access to all of their core online student success resources for a discounted monthly subscription.
How Much Does Chegg Cost? Is Chegg Free?
Unfortunately no, Chegg is not free. However, Chegg does offer 5 free Chegg Practice questions per month, 3 Chegg Math Solver solutions per day, and a 3-day trial of Chegg Writing.
For their core online offerings, Chegg charges by monthly subscription fees. These core offerings are Chegg Study, Chegg Math Solver, and Chegg Writing. You can also bundle these services to save money with the Chegg Study Pack.
If you subscribe to these services individually, the prices are:
- $14.95 a month for Chegg Study
- $9.95 a month for Chegg Math Solver
- $9.95 a month for Chegg Writing
The bundled price is thankfully much lower, coming in at $19.95 a month for the Chegg Study Pack.
There’s no way to buy these services outright, so you’re stuck with the monthly bill, unless you’re one of those nefarious students looking to unblur Chegg answers (we’ll cover that later).
What is Chegg Uversity?
According to the official press release on BusinessWire in June of 2021, Uversity is “a platform for educators and faculty to share their education content with millions of learners on Chegg to help support their studies and enhance learner outcomes. The content will augment and enhance Chegg’s existing Chegg Study service that already contains 59 million step-by-step solutions.”
In short, Uversity will allow for professors to share videos and other more in-depth content students, rather than the straightforward question-and-answer format that is available now.
How will this work practically? The news release states that, “Educators will be compensated for their content contributions and will retain ownership of their intellectual property rights and give Chegg certain limited exclusive licenses.”
From this it sounds like professors will still be able to create content for their universities and other platforms, but will get paid to give Chegg exclusive access to their video and related course content.
How Many Devices Does Chegg Allow?
According to Reddit user u/ginginpowpow, “Chegg is very anal about keeping track of how many devices are being used for one account. [I’m] constantly asked to change my password because I log in on library computers and it doesn’t recognize them as the same device.”
As you can guess, this two-device limit is intended to prevent students from sharing Chegg membership logins with their friends, so be prepared for strict enforcement of the two-device policy.
It sounds like asking users to change their password is another method to prevent the sharing of Chegg accounts.
Is Chegg a Legit Site?
Chegg is a legit site in terms of being a reputable, publicly-owned American company which offers proven resources. Chegg is less than legit in that you wouldn’t want any professor to know that you use Chegg, and it will be considered cheating by the vast majority of faculty and universities, even if you personally don’t use it to cheat.
The word legit can have a range of connotations, so the answer is either a strong yes or a strong no depending on your perspective. On the one hand, Chegg is never going to steal your credit card information and sell it on the dark web. They’re a huge public company based in California, and as such have a high level of accountability.
Chegg has a strong interest in protecting their excellent reputation with college students, so their customer service and products will remain top-notch.
With all that said, some detractors claim that Chegg’s subscription services are actually illegal in many America states, which we’ll get to later. It’s also undeniable that many Chegg subscribers use the services to cheat.
Is Chegg Cheating?
Yes, Chegg is cheating. Using Chegg Study to answer homework questions, quiz questions, or exam questions is almost universally considered to be cheating. Universities and faculty frown heavily on student Chegg usage, and may discipline students for breaking the university code of conduct.
It is possible to use Chegg for personal use outside of coursework, which is not cheating.
The Forbes piece we mentioned earlier interviewed 52 students who use Chegg, and apart from the students Chegg had provided for the interviews, all but four students admitted they use Chegg Study to cheat.
These students cited a variety of reasons for using Chegg to cheat, like struggling to get through homework at midnight, or simply not knowing how to solve a quiz problem. Also, there’s always that wise guy who asks if renting Chegg textbooks is cheating. Don’t be that guy. We’re not even going to answer.
Do Professors Check Chegg?
Yes, many professors check Chegg, though not all do. Professors can check Chegg by Googling the problem, as Chegg answers may have slight variations from other correct answers. Professors may also notice when students ace homework but fail tests.
To illustrate, let’s recap a story that u/Mwxh shared on the ProRevenge subreddit. Mwxh had an engineering course with an older prof who didn’t seem too technologically savvy.
An upstanding student, Mwxh felt irritated that half of his classmates had to use the bathroom “for totally unknown reasons” during his engineering final.
Still, Mwxh did fine on the exam except for one question that totally stumped him. Later, professor sent out an email “explaining his diabolical plan to catch cheaters”.
The professor had designed a question that was impossible to solve and gotten his TA to post the question on Chegg. The professor then created his own Chegg account and submitted a flawed answer for that question!
Does Chegg Notify Your School?
So no, Chegg isn’t composing thousands of emails ratting out students to their colleges. If a student is already under suspicion or investigation however, it’s very possible that Chegg would divulge some level of information to a college or university.
When considering this question, it’s helpful to think of Chegg’s interests. On the one hand, they would be shooting their own foot as a business by telling colleges about cheating students. This would lead to their entire business collapsing, leaving them only with the textbook rentals (which bring in much lower revenue).
How Can I Get Chegg Answers for Free?
To get Chegg answers for free, some students have employed dubious methods which generally fall into two categories. The first is to join a community where people share Chegg answers with others, and the second is to use technical skills to unblur Chegg answers.
For example, there are multiple Discord servers whose sole purpose is to provide their members with free Chegg answers, even using bots to automate and speed up the process.
The CheggAnswers Reddit forum is another of these community sharing options that students use to view Chegg answers for free.
When you think about it, it’s kind of ironic really. The same students using Chegg to cheat in college also want to cheat Chegg out of the monthly subscription fee. Chegg could have seen this coming, you know?
Still, with their revenue continuing to skyrocket because of these services, Chegg seems to be doing just fine for themselves.
Chegg is a disruptive leader in the EdTech industry which has grown explosively in the pandemic era. The increased revenue has come with increased controversy, and it’s hard to deny that many students do use Chegg to cheat in college.
We’ll be curious to see where Chegg moves from here, as their new Uversity initiative seems to seek a new status quo in higher education.
Massive open online course providers like Coursera and edX have blazed a trail here, but both are beholden to universities (whom they partner with).
On the other hand, Uversity aims to partner with individual professors, meaning the learning platform might aim to replace the traditional college experience entirely. Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig was quoted by Forbes as saying, “I don’t know why you can’t binge-watch your education.”
With their Chegg Study model in danger from the Pearson lawsuit, we’ll see if Chegg pivots to the more reputable strategy of replacing colleges entirely.