Service Lets College Kids Place Bets on What Grades They’ll Get

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Hot on the heels of news that the amount of student loan debt in America is now higher than the amount of credit card debt, comes oddly named website (or game?) Ultrinsic, which allows college students to gamble on their own performance.

From Fast Company:

The idea came from one of the site’s founders, Jeremy Gelbart, who, as a student, made a wager with his friend Steven Wolf, now CEO of Ultrinsic. If Jeremy got an A, Steven would give him $100. If he didn’t, Jeremy had to hand over $20 to Steven.

We must admit, the image of a couple of college age kids having that conversation does not inspire confidence in any business plan based thereupon.

Fast Company also points out that “there is a chance that, as well as making students devote most of their time to working out how to game the system in search of a tidy sum, it may motivate some of the less salubrious professors out there in the dusty world of academe to hand out a bunch of A grades and demand a slice of the profits from their students.”

It’s difficult for us to gauge the utility of Ultrinsic (or, more importantly, its vulnerability to metagaming) because the site is currently being slow and the demo was unhelpful.  However, judging by how they refer to “bets” as “incentives” we’re going to go out on a limb and guess that you can’t lay down a bet that you will do badly in a class.

Which was totally our first thought.

If you’re really looking for a way to save some money and study at the same time, might I suggest Bigwords?  And as for that American student loan debt, I am working on it.  Jeez.

(Fast Company via Neatorama)


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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.