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Chegg.com proposes to save students $1.6 billion

Posted: December 17, 2009 1:45 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2009 5:00 p.m.
 
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In an open letter today to Governor Schwarzenegger and the leaders of all California universities based on their decision to increase student tuition fees next semester by 32 percent, Chegg.com Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Osman Rashid outlined a compelling strategy designed to help relieve some of the newly-created financial burden placed upon next semester's higher education students in California. As part of his suggested program, Rashid said the state should form a partnership with Chegg.com in an effort to bring down the cost of textbooks for California's 3.2 million undergraduate and graduate students.

"While student protests alone probably won't change the board's decision, it's important for them to know that there is another solution out there to reduce college expenses," said Rashid. "Using a service such as Chegg.com, students can save on average more than $600 a year when they rent textbooks over purchasing them."

A California sponsored textbook rental program could conceivably save California higher education students as a whole $1.6 billion each school year. To date, Chegg.com has rented more than 1.5 million textbooks to students at more than 6,400 campuses and has saved students nationwide more than $78 million dollars.

"The California tuition increase will undoubtedly force many students to drop out of school," said Rashid. "Others will be burdened with second and even third jobs that will compromise these critical college years. The economic and social consequences of Governor Schwarzenegger's and the boards' decisions will be profound."

California higher education students wishing to protest the University of California Board of Regents' and California State University Board of Trustees' decisions may do so by joining the "Students Against Tuition Hikes" Facebook page and signing the petition. To date, the page has enlisted more than 5,000 members and continues to grow by the day.

If there's a question about whether or not Chegg.com could handle the increased traffic and demand for the upcoming semester should the state agree to the partnership, Rashid said, "We've already got the inventory, our logistics and distribution system are in place, and we just received an additional $112 million dollars funding. There's nothing stopping us from delivering on our promise to help relieve the burden of next semester's tuition hike."

Introducing Chegg Champions
If the University of California Board of Regents and California State University Board of Trustees should decline the partnership offer, Rashid suggests another way for students to save money in the long term. They can become a Chegg Champion.

"Students today need experience to get a job and they need a job to get experience," said Rashid. "The Chegg Champion program provides students with a real-world working experience that actually offers financial rewards."

Chegg Champions is a nationwide program designed to offers students financial incentives for every student they refer to the service. For example, today's Chegg Champions currently earn $5 for every referred order. Chegg.com supplies each Chegg Champion with the marketing knowledge and the interactive toolset they need to promote Chegg.com online and on campus. Like any entrepreneurial job, current Chegg Champions get out of the program what they put into it. Some Chegg Champions have earned enough money to rent their next semester's textbooks. Others have earned several thousand dollars.

"Since starting the Chegg Champion program in my sophomore year I've made more than $5,000," said Morthon Conley of Southwest Tennessee Community College. "But more than the money, I've learned a number of real-world social media, mobile and on campus guerilla marketing skills, which have all helped me to think more creatively in my everyday life."

In addition, Chegg Champions receive monthly newsletters that share best practice business lessons and they participate in quarterly conference calls with Chegg.com management.

About Chegg.com
Chegg.com's transformative concept of money-saving, rental access to textbooks has made it one of the Internet's fastest growing new companies and the number one online textbook rental company. Launched nationally in 2007, Chegg has saved students more than $78 million dollars at over 6,400 colleges. With a growing inventory of more than 2.4 million titles, Chegg puts textbooks into the hands of students when they need them arriving in the brand's iconic orange box. For every book rented, Chegg plants a tree through American Forests' Global ReLeaf Program. To date, Chegg has planted more than 1.5 million trees.

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