Is Chegg cheating? In many cases, the answer is yes. Chegg is cheating if you use Chegg Study in college to complete homework, answer quiz questions, or answer exam questions.
With that summary statement out of the way, we’re going to explore Chegg Study and other Chegg services, as well as detail several levels of cheating with Chegg.
You can also check out our comprehensive 5,000-word review of Chegg’s services. If there’s anything you want to know about check, there’s a good chance you’ll find the answer in that article.
What is Chegg Anyway?
So what is Chegg? The answer to that question has actually changed quite a bit over the years. At its core though, Chegg is an educational technology company. They make money by using technology to offer various services to students.
Back when Chegg launched in 2000, its offerings were simple: an online scholarship search function, online matching for internships, and advice for getting into college. At the time, Chegg was just another startup launched by three students at Iowa State University.
The service that launched Chegg’s success was only inspired later, by Netflix. When Chegg started renting out textbooks, they struck a gold mine that turned them from just another startup into a successful nationwide company.
This textbook rental service was at the core of Chegg’s success and growth. Chegg first started renting out textbooks in 2007, and by 2013 they were listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a publicly-owned corporation.
So what does this have with cheating? Well, nothing. If you’d asked “Is Chegg cheating?” a few years ago, the answer would have been a clear no.
The Chegg cheating accusations have only sprung up in response to an entirely different area of Chegg’s business which they launched later—a subscription service called Chegg Study.
What is Chegg Study?
Chegg Study led to skyrocketing revenue for the EdTech giant, and also came with its fair share of controversy. But what is Chegg Study? In short, Chegg Study is a subscription service that helps students with college.
Digging in further, Chegg Study is divided into textbook answers and answers to students’ questions.
On the textbook answers side, the service is what it sounds like. You look up your course textbooks, find the appropriate question, and read Chegg’s answer. The Chegg answers also include step-by-step instructions to complete each problem.
Then there are the student question and answers. Subscribers can provide a question or problem to Chegg, and expect an answer back within 24 hours, and sometimes in as little as 15 minutes!
Chegg Study subscribers can also view questions and answers from all other Chegg subscribers. Because of Chegg’s popularity, there is now a huge database of answered questions, so in many cases students can find the answers without even having to wait 15 minutes.
How is Chegg Study possible? According to Forbes, Chegg employs over 70,000 advanced degree-holders in India, so there’s always someone standing ready to answer students questions in math, engineering, the sciences, and pretty much any other academic area you can think of.
You may already understand where the Chegg cheating accusations are coming from, but we’ll spell it out for you very clearly in the next section.
Is Chegg Cheating? 5 Ways College Students Cheat With Chegg
When people ask, “Is Chegg cheating?”, they’re most likely referring to Chegg Study. Yes, there are peripheral subscription services like Chegg Math Solver and Chegg Writing. However, it’s Chegg Study that’s at the core of the controversy and the core of Chegg’s revenue growth.
As we stated at the beginning of this article, using Chegg Study to answer questions on homework, quizzes, tests, and exams is cheating.
Every university that we know of has a student code of conduct that all freshmen have to sign, and using Chegg Study to complete college work violates those codes of conduct.
What are the consequences of cheating with Chegg? Well, that question deserves a more nuanced answer, so we’re going to outline five ways that college students cheat with Chegg.
1. Checking Homework
The most tame form of cheating with Chegg is when students do the homework themselves and then use Chegg to check the answers.
In this scenario, students are still actually learning the material, but it is still cheating. Why? Because students would have missed at least a handful of questions over the semester, and with Chegg Study it’s possible to get 100% on the course homework.
Because using Chegg Study to check homework improves students’ grades, it is still a form of cheating. Students caught doing this could still face disciplinary action from their college or university.
The chances of getting caught are much lower, and students at least are learning the course material, but checking homework with Chegg does violate all the code of conduct agreements we’ve seen.
2. Doing Homework
The second level of cheating with Chegg is using Chegg Study to do the homework, and not spending any time trying to figure questions out personally.
This second level comes with much more significant downsides for students. To be specific:
- Students don’t learn the content if they aren’t doing any of the homework themselves, which will make any future courses in the subject even more difficult
- Students often get crushed by quizzes and exams, hurting their grades
- When a student aces homework but fails exams, it’s pretty clear to professors that the student is cheating. In these cases, professors are much more likely to seek proof of cheating which can lead to severe disciplinary action.
In short, this common practice known as chegging can lead to some very bad student outcomes. Students trying to breeze through entire courses with Chegg Study won’t learn nearly as much, and have a high likelihood of being investigated by professors.
3. Submitting Homework Questions to Chegg Study
When a professor does suspect a student of cheating, they or their university can contact Chegg. According to anecdotal evidence, Chegg has cooperated with universities and professors at some level.
Chegg evidence may include such things as the IP address of the account that asked a particular question on Chegg Study. In these cases, it’s much easier for the university to discipline a student if they have proof that the student posted a homework question on Chegg.
In short, submitting homework questions increases the risks of disciplinary action, compared to just reading answers to questions that others submitted.
Students who submit questions to Chegg Study aren’t necessarily cheating any more than those in our second category. They just have a significantly higher chance of getting caught and disciplined.
4. Convincing Other Students to Use Chegg
In our full Chegg review, we also explore the question of whether it’s illegal to cheat in college with Chegg.
One law firm suggested that many instances of college cheating are not prosecuted—they are simply disciplined by the university (expelled, etc.). Students are more likely to be prosecuted in cases of bribery of fraud, where the university can demonstrate that it was negatively impacted as an institution.
As you can see, convincing a group of classmates to cheat with Chegg could be a much more serious offense than simply cheating alone. In these cases, students may be disciplined more strictly by universities, and the possibility of legal prosecution also comes into play.
5. Answering Quiz and Exam Questions with Chegg Study
Chegg Study’s popularity happened to take off during the Covid-19 pandemic. Correlation is not causation, but we will say there are anecdotal reports of students using Chegg to answer quiz and exam questions.
Many of these instances relate to virtual quizzes and exams, with various levels of remote proctoring. As proctoring technology and practices have improved, it’s become harder for students to cheat (with Chegg or otherwise).
According to one story we shared in our full Chegg review, some students have even attempted to use Chegg during exam bathroom breaks.
As you can imagine, cheating on quizzes and exams ups the ante even further in terms of cheating in college, and can result in some of the strongest disciplinary actions from professors and universities.
Is Chegg Cheating? The Conclusion
Chegg offers services that aren’t remotely related to cheating, such as its textbook rental services.
Even with Chegg Study, it is possible to use the service without cheating. For example, it wouldn’t be cheating if a student was going through a textbook personally or asking questions unrelated to their college coursework.
However, it’s clear that some Chegg Study subscribers are using the service to answer homework problems, and more in some cases.
Just as its always been, getting someone else to do college coursework is cheating, and that’s how some students are using Chegg Study.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, we’ve got a lot more content on colleges, scholarships, and more. You can check out our rankings of the best accredited online college programs in America, or our step-by-step guide on how to write a great scholarship essay.
Thanks for visiting, and we wish you the best in your educational and career journey!