Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Doing well in the education you’re paying for could yield cash flow.

By Amanda Joinson

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Working for good grades that amount to a GPA close enough to 4.0 is what most students strive for in their four years in college, but motivation sometimes fades when roommates and organizations grab their attention, rather than keeping in mind the final outcome of their academic hard work at the end of the semester.

What if there was something to increase motivation much like when their parents or grandparents would take them for ice cream when they achieved honor-roll in grade school?

A website called Ultrinsic aims to do just that, increasing motivation of students enrolled in universities and colleges by providing incentives to students that reach their goals. Currently available at Harvard, Boston College and Boston University along with 33 other universities across the country, Ultrinsic allows students to place money on what they intend to achieve in class. The amount of money the student bets on their studies is up to them. Ultrinsic then looks into the students’ history and determines how much they are willing to pay if the student does succeed. When the semester ends and grades are posted, “rewards” are given.

The “reward,” as it is called by CEO Steven Wolf and co-founder, Jeremy Gelbart, is just like getting paid for good grades. With Ultrinsic students that cannot physically and mentally handle adding another responsibility of a job during their enrollment can have the opportunity to make money on what is essentially full-time employment – their education.

In this day and age students are so accustomed to immediate results like that of searching on the Internet for their reference article. College does not give you immediate satisfaction; students wait for their test grades and wait on their GPA to adjust at the end of each semester.. No one can guarantee you a high paying job, or even a job, after you graduate but Ultrinsic convinces students to stay motivated throughout their four or more years and achieve the grades that will push them forward in this tough economy.

The expenses put toward tuition and textbooks are astronomical enough, students do not need to be losing the little money they have so to guarantee that students do not waste their money away, so Ulrinisic offers grade insurance. Not doing well in the English class you are enrolled in to fulfill your literature general education requirement? Insurance available for individual courses and overall GPA allows students to essentially receive a bad grade and get cash for it.

Ultrinsic rewards money if you receive good grades and bad, if you are willing to place a small bet. Now when I say bet, don’t think of it like throwing chips down on a blackjack table. You are putting money down to push you to do well, an incentive, according Ultrinsic. It is not about luck, it is all about your motivation to make the money, much like if you knew how to count cards. Students’ skill level or ability to follow through with course work is what the incentive relies on. Success and cash earned is 100 percent in the hands of the student, much like if you were working on commission.

If students allow their roommates to overwhelm them and clubs to take up more time than their coursework, they will lose the money, but that is their fault. The claim to academic success was placed in confidence by the student. The mishaps of sleeping in and missing homework assignments are on their shoulders.

The money may not be much though, when students first join Ultrinsic. During the first year of involvement students can only put as much as $25 towards an incentive. Once students’ academic years continue, the incentives which are registered with the company increase.

Ultrinsic is offering students money for their success much like the “real world”. Higher grades, more knowledge and more money just like if you are good at what you do in the job force. Let’s be honest, all students need extra cash, whether it goes towards next semester’s tuition or Friday night’s bar tab. Ultrinsic is handing money to you if you are willing to put as much time and effort into your class work as you probably should be in the first place. Unfortunately, for UMass students willing to bet on their success, Ultrinsic does not include us as one of its participating schools.

Amanda Joinson is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]

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