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Chegg moves beyond textbook rentals

After grabbing student attention with cheap book rentals, Chegg hopes to become a one-stop-shop for all academic needs

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Chegg allows students to read books online while they wait for their hardcopy books.

Online textbook rental company Chegg wants college students to visit its website all year round, not just in the hectic first few days of every semester.

Chegg.com announced Aug. 18 a major expansion of its website that will not only add more eTextbooks, but also integrate other digital content such as homework help, professor ratings, and a study guide marketplace.

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Since its founding in 2007, Chegg has grown to become the largest textbook rental service in the United States. But with competitors such as BookRenter, Campus Book Rentals, and college bookstores nipping at its heels, Chegg has rapidly expanded its menu of digital services over the past year.

Chegg purchased a host of smaller companies: CourseRank, which allows students to share class and professor ratings; Notehall, where students can buy and sell study guides; and Cramster and Student of Fortune, which provide online homework help in different formats.

The popular website’s redesign created a self-dubbed “social education platform” by integrating these new services into a centralized location.

Chegg seeks to become an educational platform for college students in the way that Facebook is a social platform and LinkedIn is a professional platform, said Chegg CEO and President Dan Rosensweig.

Rosensweig said he hopes to give students a “My Chegg” page through which students can search professor reviews, schedule classes, compare purchase and rental costs of textbooks, ask homework questions, and even sell their old notes.

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