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What is Chegg and how much does it cost?

This homework help service could cost you your student admission if misused.
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Published onMarch 26, 2024

chegg egg

When students struggle with a particular subject, Chegg has become a favorite resource to use, but not always for the right reasons. Whether you’re working with a tricky math problem or test prep question, Chegg’s 24/7 tutors are like having a personal genie in your pocket (except instead of granting three wishes, it answers endless homework questions). Because Chegg enables people to outsource their schoolwork to others, some universities have explicitly forbidden students from using it. Here’s everything you need to know about how Chegg works, what subjects it covers, and how much it costs.

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Chegg is an online platform that provides homework help, digital and physical textbook rentals, online tutoring, and other student services starting at $14.95 per month.

What is Chegg?

Chegg Logo

Chegg is an American edu-tech company that provides various student services, including online textbook rental, homework help, tutoring, scholarships, and internships. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Students can use Chegg to rent physical textbooks, access e-textbooks, receive assistance with their homework, and connect with tutors for live online help.

The name Chegg comes from a combination of the words chicken and egg, which the founders say is about the Catch-22 feeling of being unable to obtain a job without experience while being unable to acquire experience without a job. Unfortunately, Chegg doesn’t exactly give students the experience necessary to get a job. Still, its stated goal is to improve the overall return on investment in education by helping students learn more in less time and at a lower cost.

The elephant in the room regarding Chegg is the controversy surrounding its methods. There are several recorded cases of students using the website to ask for and find the answers to questions on their worksheets, exams, or assignments. It’s as easy as Chegg subscribers uploading their assignments and receiving solutions within two hours from a willing “Chegg Expert.” As you can imagine, not every student gets away with it. That’s because it’s relatively easy for teachers to catch students that copy those answers verbatim, and Chegg cooperates with universities investigating cases of academic misconduct. Yet, it’s a risk some are still willing to take.

During my time as a student at the University of British Columbia, two students from the Chemistry department were caught cheating using Chegg for several final exam questions, resulting in them receiving a zero and failing the course. The kicker was that the answers to the questions were wrong. The lesson here is that the risk of cheating isn’t worth it. Additionally, college/university materials are copywritten, so you could still get in trouble for uploading assignments even if you don’t receive an answer.

How does Chegg work?

Chegg provides students with various academic services through its website and mobile app. It operates on a subscription-based model, which provides the following services around the clock:

  • Textbook rental: Students can rent physical textbooks or access e-textbooks for a fraction of the list price.
  • Homework help: Students can ask questions, receive step-by-step solutions from tutors, and access many study tools.
  • Tutoring: Live, online tutoring for various subjects, where students can connect with a tutor for one-on-one help.
  • Scholarships and internships: A search engine that allows students to search for and apply for scholarships or internships.

Once signed up, you’ll have access to a personalized Chegg dashboard. From there, you can add the courses you’re currently taking and the textbooks you’re using. On the left, you can access study tools such as asking a homework question, using practice tests and flashcards, getting help proofreading essays, and creating citations.

chegg dashboard

The most popular Chegg service is the Expert Q&A feature. As Chegg puts it, you can “take a pic of your homework question and get an expert explanation” in a matter of hours. However, there usually isn’t any explanation provided with the answer unless you ask for it. Instead of a tutor helping you through the question, this method simply gives you a solution that may or may not be correct.

Chegg also offers a service to buy and rent textbooks. A Chegg subscription provides you with access to over 400,000 titles, and the ability to rent digital textbooks starting at $6.99. Shipping on physical books is free over $50, and you can sell your used textbooks to the company with free shipping.

What subjects does Chegg cover?

Chegg offers course help in a variety of academic subjects. Here’s a complete breakdown:

Biology:

  • Biochemistry
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Nutrition
  • General Biology
  • Zoology

Business:

  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Operations Management

Engineering:

  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Math:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Advanced Math
  • Other Math
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Prealgebra
  • Precalculus

Science:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry

How much does Chegg cost?

The cost of Chegg varies depending on the services you use. They offer a 7-day free trial, after which a subscription starts at $14.95 per month. Physical textbook rental typically costs a fraction of the list price, while e-textbook access and tutoring services may have variable pricing.

 

The basic $14.95 subscription includes a 21-day purchased book return, up to a 90% discount on textbooks, one-month free access to Chegg Study Pack, and the ability to post 20 questions per month to Q&A experts.

The Chegg Study Pack costs $19.95 per month and includes the basic services above, but with unlimited homework questions, plus instructor-made materials, practice sets, and a plagiarism checker.

You can additionally get the Chegg Writing service for $9.95 per month, which includes access to EasyBib, Plagiarism Checker, and Grammar Checker. There’s also the Chegg Math Solver for $9.95 per month, which offers step-by-step solutions to math problems.


FAQs

No, Chegg offers the same rate for all students, as you might expect. However, the company sometimes offers promotional discounts or bundles with other services, such as DoorDash. It’s best to check the website or contact the company directly for the most up-to-date offers.

Chegg used to fully cooperate with schools conducting investigations into academic dishonesty, sharing information such as usernames, emails, or IP addresse. In August 2022, the company changed its “honor code policy” to limit the information it provides to universities and colleges. The company says that this change was to protect student privacy.

Chegg Study is a tool offered by Chegg that provides access to millions of step-by-step textbook solutions and tutor Q&A. It’s designed to help students with their homework and coursework. With Chegg Study, students can search for answers to specific textbook questions or browse through a library of study materials. The service covers a wide range of academic subjects and is available 24/7. Chegg Study is available as part of a monthly subscription or as a standalone service.

Using Chegg can be considered cheating if you’re found copying other people’s answers without doing the work yourself.

While the company explicitly prohibits academic dishonesty, a study published in 2020 found that Chegg answers student questions even though questions had clear cues to indicate that the student was trying to buy answers for the assessed activity. The questions were neither identified nor flagged as violations of academic integrity anywhere in the process.

It’s always best to use educational resources to help you understand material rather than use a service to cheat on assignments or exams. The answers provided by Chegg may not always be correct, and the consequences of getting caught are severe. It may result in failing a course, suspension, or even expulsion from school. Ultimately, if you can’t reproduce results on your own, you haven’t learned anything.