Given how many internet companies advertise themselves as the best place for online college textbook rental, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. In the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards, however, Chegg emerged as the clear winner.
The following is an About.com interview with Chegg, conducted after they were notified of their 2013 award. We wanted to know what made Chegg a leader in the field and what the company sees for itself in the future.
When was Chegg founded?
"Chegg launched nationally in 2007 as a textbook rental company and since then, Chegg's growth has made it one of the most successful education technology companies."
What is the mission of Chegg?
"Our mission is to save students time and money, while helping them get smarter. We are the student hub, providing students with all of the resources they need to be successful in college, from textbooks and homework help, to scholarships and admissions aid. Chegg is working to invert the focus of higher education from the institutions and professors to the students, enhancing education for millions by saving them time and money."
What success have you had over the past several years (or since you were founded)?
"Our biggest successes have revolved around helping students succeed in all aspects of their college career. We started with a vision of affordable textbook rentals -— and this is still a big focus for us -— but we’ve expanded to become the student hub that gives students all the resources they need.
- We’ve developed mobile offerings, including an eTextbook Reader and mobile apps for iOS devices so that students can learn anytime, anywhere.
- Chegg’s student users have access to over 100,000 eTextbooks and over 1 million Textbook Solution offerings, in addition to homework help.
Chegg reaches 30% of all college students at thousands of campuses across the United States. Because of the great relationships we’ve forged with colleges nationwide, Chegg has been able to grow and expand into the student-centered learning platform that it is today."
What successes/plans do you have for the next several years?
"Our biggest plan—and success—for the next few years is to remain the go-to resource for all students. As higher education is moving to online and digital at a rapid pace, Chegg is recognizing this change and evolving with them. We are identifying the way students are learning and meeting these needs by providing them the resources they need on the devices they use. Chegg’s plan is to continue to recognize these changes and make sure students are getting what they need to be most successful."
Why do you think you were the winner of this year's award?
"Chegg is the leading student hub and transforming the way millions of students learn by connecting them to the people and tools needed to succeed in in their education. We give students the best educational content for the courses they take at an affordable price. Education as we know it is changing, and Chegg is following the trends and addressing the issues students face by offering them the tools they need for success."
Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
"Chegg is also dedicated to good! Chegg’s Chegg For Good program empowers students to be a catalyst for change on their campus, in their communities and around the world. As part of the program, Chegg has planted over 5 million trees, provides support student philanthropists that are leading the next generation of social entrepreneurs and constantly looking for ways to do good in the world around us."
About the Readers' Choice Awards:
Beginning in 2007, multiple Guide Sites across the About.com network have participated in the annual Readers' Choice Awards. Readers are encouraged to vote for their favorite company, service, location, or product through an online voting process. Here on the College Life site, the awards are meant to recognize those services and resources that make college students' lives better -- or at least a little easier.
In particular, the "Best Website for Renting College Textbooks" award is meant to recognize the leader in online textbook rentals. As the option to rent college textbooks has become increasingly popular, the number of online vendors has also increased. And while renting college textbooks can save students some serious money, it can also be difficult to know which sites are the best priced, most reliable, and most trustworthy.
(Interested in knowing who Chegg had for its competition? Check out the list of other nominees in the "Best Site for Renting College Textbooks" category.)