Want To Roll the Dice With Your Grades?

Following a somber exit from the Dean’s office, you’ve been informed that you need a miracle to earn your targeted GPA for the fall semester. Need motivation? A proven remedy might just be a click away!

Academic performance is a struggle for many students to get motivated. With other priorities, earning a successful GPA is often neglected. In order to capture a focus on academics, students try anything from supplements to other incentives.

UW-Parkside students should be aware of a website that takes extra incentives to a more extreme level. Ultrinsic.com is a website that essentially allows students to bet on their own grades.

According to the website’s basic information, “Ultrinsic is a web-based college platform that provides incentives to students for academic achievement. Ultrinsic exclusively dedicates itself to motivating students to improve their grades.”

Ultrinsic was founded by Jeremy Gelbart, a former student at the University of Pennsylvania. He started the idea with a fellow classmate who challenged Gelbart to ace an exam by offering $100 if he did. They created the website figuring that many other students would like that kind of motivation.

“That’s exactly the motivation I want,” said Parkside sophomore Tyler Winslow. “Still, I’d like to know if there’s any chance of it being rigged.”

Demonstrating a low-risk project, Gelbart’s anticipation proved to be nothing short of accurate. Universities around the nation have openly supported the revolutionary website. Its success has led thousands of students to hold accounts and frequently deposit money before every semester.

“It sounds a lot like poker,” said Casey Haen, a Parkside sophomore. “Wow, if I took easy classes in chemistry, physics, and math, I could make some big money!”

To access Ultrinsic, a student first logs into their account at the beginning of the semester, and then chooses the courses they’re registered for. A cash reward is calculated at the end of the semester based on their previous academic history, and the amount they chose to invest in their ability to reach their targeted grade. The process is completed by the student sending a transcript to Ultrinsic, which credits any earnings to their account. Every student has different expectations, so it grants rewards on a subjective basis.

University of Michigan-Anne Arbor, Harvard University, and UW-Madison are among the various colleges that Ultrinsic is available to. Parkside has no plans to support the website in the near future.

“Parkside should support it, and see what happens,” assured Winslow.

UW-Parkside administration discourages the act of associating with organizations that use academics as a platform for gambling. Instead, they are interested in preserving the integrity of the student body. Parkside does not view Ultrinsic as an acceptable means of academic motivation.

Although Ultrinsic is deemed unethical by many campuses and students, there are also those who see it as practical.

“I like to play poker, so gambling on grades won’t be a problem,” Haen said.

With this recent phenomenon, the stakes for enrolling in classes are now far greater than a mere GPA. Students are putting all of their chips on the table. The question is: are you willing to roll the dice?

Article by Eric Zizich

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