Website to offer free study services

By Riley Swinford

Students studying for final exams have a new resource to help them prepare.

Chegg, a California-based online academic company that specializes in textbook rentals and homework help, will offer its services to SIU students for free from Monday through Dec. 9.

Chegg’s homework-help service, which typically costs about $75 a year, answers students’ questions through experts and textbook solutions on its website 24 hours a day.


“Chegg is happy to provide students across the country, including those at Southern Illinois University, with free homework help during their upcoming finals week,” said Dan Rosensweig, Chegg CEO and president.

Angela Pontarolo, Chegg’s communications manager, said SIU students will be able to access textbook solutions and archived answered solutions through a specific link to Chegg’s website. More information will be distributed to students closer to the week, she said.

“Chegg’s goal is to help students save time, save money and get smarter,” Pontarolo said. “Our goal is to give the thousands of SIU students the ability to access homework help when they need it most — before finals.”

Chegg has offered similar programs to students at various universities nationwide, including Arizona State, Ohio State and Michigan State, Pontarolo said. This year, the website offered free trials to more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide, which she said is a record for the company.

Chegg reaches about 30 percent of college students across the country, Pontarolo said, but the company aims to expand its amount of users through promotional deals.

As of 2011, the website shows the company rented textbooks at more than 6,400 college campuses, generating more than $150 million in revenue.

“Our goal is to provide tools for students when they need them,” she said. “Many students review their course material before finals week and often need or want help at all hours of the day, not at just preset professor office hours. Chegg is here to be that resource.”


Pontarolo said a group of experts in various fields will be available to help students answer their questions. Students will be able to send any kind of question to Chegg’s staff members, who will in turn direct the students to readings and answers that will help solve the problem.

“Chegg is excited to offer SIU students this offer because our goal is to always put students first,” she said. “We feel like this will help them save time and money.”

Wesley Lofton, a senior from Chicago studying speech communication, said he looks forward to using the service.

“It will give students more access to help,” he said. “During finals week, students need anything they can get.”

Lofton said he looks forward to the online service’s convenience.

“Finals week is pretty hectic,” he said. “Instead of having to go to teachers’ office hours for tutoring, it will be nice to just hop on your computer and immediately get an answer.”

Caleb McCluskey, a senior from Ellis Grove studying marketing, said Chegg’s special will give students more resources to draw from as they prepare for their tests.

“The problem during finals week is that students can feel overwhelmed by the amount of material that they are having to review,” he said. “If they used these online resources, they might not feel so stressed out by all of it. I think it will be really helpful.”

McCluskey said he wished services like this were available during his first few years in college. He said he often finds himself lost when he prepares for the tests.

“I find that I have a semester’s worth of material, and I don’t know what to study,” he said. “If I had something online that would’ve helped me sort things out, it would’ve pushed me a little harder.”

Students will be able to access the free services at studyweek?schoolId=1570022.