COVID-19

Chegg CEO: In the short term, COVID-19 will be “devastating” for higher ed

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry May 19, 2020
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
The campus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., is seen nearly empty as classes were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Chegg CEO: In the short term, COVID-19 will be “devastating” for higher ed

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry May 19, 2020
Heard on:
The campus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., is seen nearly empty as classes were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Classes over Zoom. Canceled graduations. Online exams. The coronavirus pandemic has transformed education as we know it ⁠— for now, at least. Dan Rosensweig, CEO of educational tech company Chegg, thinks the changes could be longer lasting.

“I’ve been predicting, not happily, by the way, that about 20% to 25% of colleges are going to go bankrupt,” Rosensweig told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal.

Chegg, which is best known for textbook rentals and its online homework services, saw a 35% increase in the number of subscribers year-over-year, according to its first quarter earnings report.

But while the pandemic could present opportunities for Chegg, the future for some colleges is uncertain. In a recent letter to students and alumni, the president of Wells College in Aurora, New York, warned the school may close forever if it’s unable to host students for fall semester.

According to Rosensweig, this could be the beginning of a larger trend. “I don’t think people will put the same value on dorms and food,” he said.

“I think the aftermath might be great,” Rosensweig said. “But the short term is going to be devastating to a lot of schools, a lot of faculty and, unfortunately, a lot of students.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.