College Bros: Would You Bet Money on Your Grades?
Last week news outlets around the country filed reports on Ultrinsic.com, an online platform offering cash incentives to students willing to wager that they'll receive good grades. According to reports, Ultrinsic calculates odds for each bet by analyzing a student's previous academic history. Starting at $25, students are able to upload their course schedules and place bets on their projected grade in each course.
Ultrinsic co-founder Jeremy Gelbart explained the service to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Let's say I'm taking Math 101 — it's a tough class, and I'm looking to get a B+ or higher — then I enter the cash incentive that I want to get to help me get a B+, so I put in $200. Then we contribute how much we have to contribute. If I'm a C student, maybe that student will have to contribute $100. If they're an A student, we're not going to contribute much because they're expected to get the grade.” Basically, it's the online gambling equvilent of your grandmother pulling out a crisp 10-dollar bill for every “A” on your report card back in the day. More details below.
Last year only about 500 students placed bets on their grades. This year Ultrinsic has expanded exponentially, making the service available to students at 36 universities across the country, including Georgetown, Duke, Penn State, NYU, Stanford, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton. Although there's concern about the legality of the operation, the founders maintain “getting good grades involves skill, not chance” and thus is considered legal in the United States. Here's a video of the founders explaining the service on CNBC.
Back-to-school Bros, would you actually consider placing bets on your grades? Anyone trying to bank their brain this semester with Ultrinsic.com? Sound Off in the comments.