Posts Tagged ‘Chegg’

Back to School With Less (Financial) Pain

I have lots of friends experiencing the growing sense of dread that comes each year as summer wanes. Back to School sales begin and wallets hemorrhage cash and plastic, nests continue to empty, teachers ready themselves for the battlefield, and kids of course are in mourning (while as a kid I was usually pretty bored by the time school started, I still hated to close the door on the possibilities summer laid at my feet). This year I know a few families sending freshly graduated young adults off to college out of state. That situation is, of course, fraught with all sorts of extra layers of drama for parents and kids, so it adds insult to emotional injury when you, as a new college student or new college parents, have to spend arm, leg, and internal organs for textbooks. What a huge scam college textbooks are, and the pricing is akin to highway robbery. When I was at my university, as soon as a booklist came out we tried to get to the campus bookstore and prayed we could find used versions for at least somewhat of a discount (how they justify those prices I’ll never know. The pages are the same paper and the cover the same hard or soft stock as every ten- or twenty-buck bestseller in the pleasure reading sections).

I was pleased to learn about Chegg this year. Chegg is an online textbook rental resource so you rent the books just like a Netflix account. They are mailed to you for flat rate postage, and your return postage at the end of the semester is free. You can also sell your used textbooks to Chegg if you got roped into buying list price books. The best part? For each rental transaction, Chegg plants a tree—over 3 million planted so far by this upstart company daring to do it differently. That’s 4,000 acres of trees already planted, and thus far, hundreds of millions of dollars saved by students (there’s a counter on the website that runs a tally…and it’s rising pretty quickly).

So it takes a bit of the sting out of school and budgets, and reforests the United States. Actually cracking those books before midterms is something nobody can do for you.