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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Chegg, the online education company known for its textbook rental service, is launching a program to more aggressively help pay down its employees' student debt.

Why it matters: Instead of waiting on the possibility that Washington will tackle the growing pile of debt, a growing number of companies — and deep-pocketed private citizens — are taking on the whopping student debt burden that's plaguing millennials.

How it works: Chegg will essentially issue stock grants to employees from an equity pool that already existed (so there's no dilution), and the equity will be converted to cash and paid out annually to employees through a platform called Tuition.io.

  • This would be on top of the $1,000 Chegg employees with student debt already get in cash every year.
  • "All companies in America could take a pool of equity or cash that's generally used in other places for compensation, and re-route it to those who need it the most to pay down student debt," Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig tells Axios.

Details:

  • Entry-level employees through managers, who have been at Chegg for at least two years, will receive up to $5,000 annually to put toward student loans.
  • More senior employees, like at the director or vice president level, can get up to $3,000 annually.
  • On average, Chegg employees have $25,000 to $30,000 in student debt. The company has 1,087 employees, per its most recent financial filing, but not all are eligible given the program's two-year employment requirement.

What's next: There's no tax break for companies that have programs like this, but Rosensweig said he's been talking to lawmakers — though he wouldn't say which ones — about this idea.

Go deeper: How student debt causes lower incomes

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

4 hours ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more, commission warns

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few years' lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.