GOOD

Would You Gamble on Your Grades?

Some parents motivate kids by paying them for earning good grades on their report cards. Those sorts of arrangements often dissolve by college. Money, however, can be a great motivator. At least, that's what the young entrepreneurs who started Ultrinsic are betting on: that college students will essentially want to gamble for grades.

Well, if you think about it, they're really gambling on themselves, since, ultimately, they're in total control of what they earn.


Here's how it works: Say, you're a C student taking an intro physics class and you'd like to earn a B+ in the class. Well, start an account on Ultrinsic, enter your GPA, and the site will essentially assign odds to your quest (yep, like a bookie). Say, you put in $20, and the site will pay you $100, if you succeed.

Ultrinsic is offered to students at 36 universities, including Harvard, Stanford, NYU, Penn State, and even Brigham Young University. There's some debate about whether this sort of incentive will work to boost performance in college, according to a Wall Street Journal article:

Research in K-12 schools has shown that paying for grades isn't all that successful at boosting test scores. But paying for behavioral changes, such as paying students to read more books, can increase scores.

Brian Jacob, a professor of economics and education policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said that, while there is no conclusive evidence that paying for good grades will raise achievement, he noted that Ultrinsic could provide a "small" inventive to college students because they were putting down their own cash.

\n

Given that the bets discussed in most of the articles are somewhat low stakes, I wonder about the effectiveness of this scheme. I am not sure there's anything more effective that being a work-study student, actually toiling to pay for education (which should make you work harder to make it more worthwhile, right?)

Do you think Ultrinsic is onto something? (If you need more info, here's an appearance by one of its founders on Fox Business Channel.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT1zUVfCz9s

Photo via.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading