Company helps students with textbook prices

Whether it is an off-campus store, an online source, a library, an old edition or sharing books, Cal State Fullerton students have a lot of options as far as getting books for their classes. Alternatives to keep textbook prices competitive exist.

Advancements in technology has opened the door for new sources for students to purchase textbooks.

Chegg.com, a website that launched nationally in 2007, is often used by college students. The website offers more advantages for students so they can start searching online fairly quickly versus having to drive from store to store to check the prices of books.

“Our core mission is to help students save time, save money, and get smarter,” said Angela Pontarolo, Chegg.com Communications Manager. “Chegg offers homework help, course selection, study guides, textbook and e-textbook rentals, student deals and college recruiting services on more than 7,000 campuses nationwide 365 days a year. Other than students, Chegg also works with brands to offer students tailored deals as well as with college and universities to help with the college recruitment and scholarship process.”

Students can save up to $500 a year renting their textbooks through Chegg, Pontarolo said.

With thousands of students in college and textbooks being an essential part of education, bookstores and websites like Chegg.com are in high demand and popular amongst students with a tight budget.

“With several dozen options students have to purchase books from, it is difficult to say how much business goes to any particular site,” said Kim Ball, senior manager of course materials at Titan Shops. “We actually partner with Chegg and Bookrenter through our websites, as well as Amazon to help students find the best possible price on textbooks. If they choose to order from one of those vendors, they can simply click from our site to theirs.”

Since Chegg.com is one of the main associates with the bookstore, Titan Shops get a small affiliate commission by linking to the Titan website.

Titan Shops, run by the CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation, has a history of supporting ways to lower prices on textbooks, even if it means less profits, Ball said.

Vanessa Maloney, a business administration major, prefers Chegg.com because it sends free shipping labels for the books. She said Chegg.com has an easy return policy and ordering online simplifies the book-buying process.

“It is much easier to find the book you are looking for,” said Maloney. “All you have to do is search by the title or ISBN and it comes right up. You save time searching through isles of books in the store.”

In addition to saving money, she said she finds it appealing that Chegg.com plants a tree for every order in the country of the customer’s choice.

As a part of the company’s philanthropic efforts, Chegg.com is dedicated to its Chegg.com for Good program, where it does good for education, the environment and various communities.

“Chegg has planted over 5 million trees through our partnership with American Forest Global ReLeaf Foundation,” Pontarolo said. “In January, we partnered with ONE, the antipoverty organization to launch of Are You the ONE?, a national search to send eight stand-out American students on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. The application period just closed and 50 semi-finalists will be announced at the end of February.”

In January, Chegg.com launched an HTML5-based eTextbook Reader that allows students to access their textbooks on any connected device.

“The eTextbook Reader delivers the most advanced set of features designed specifically for students and seamlessly connects to Chegg’s network of students and services,” Pontarolo said.

Chegg.com is staying ahead in the education market from starting as a purely textbook rental company to evolving into the leading network for students.

Pontarolo said Chegg.com is changing and enhancing education for millions of students.

“We believe the role of technology plays in education is largely untapped,” Pontarolo said. “Technology has made a dramatic impact on personal life and in business; there is still a huge way to go in helping with your student life.”

Chegg.com is using technology to connect students to other students, teachers and tools to change the game.

Money is tight, people have budgets and tuition is not going down any time soon.

Whether it is buying textbooks at the bookstore, online or at an off-campus book store, personal preference is what best fits the needs of students.

“I have saved anywhere from $100 to $200 per semester,” Maloney said. “I think Chegg is the best place to rent books. The saving and convenience makes it well worth it. These days it’s all about saving the most money.”

About Sheila Del Cid