Now You Can Get Paid For That 'A' Grade

Many college students in the United States are incurring huge debts as a result of their hefty student loans. The debts when added up could prevent the student from continuing his or her higher education in college. Realizing this problem, student entrepreneur Michael Kopko decided to establish a new website dedicated to help needy students secure sponsorships so as to alleviate their debts.

Known as GradeFund, the community-based system promises a platform whereby families, friends, philanthropists, corporations and other organizations can come together with the mission to reward top-performing students in college. Students will have to set up an account first before being able to send out invitations asking for sponsors to pledge any amount they are willing to give for each 'A' grade that the student obtains.

GradeFund has a total of around 5,042 members currently. Checks are issued to the respective students once a total of $100 is raised. A transaction fee will be deducted from the total amount of money raised. GradeFund will donate money for every sponsored 'A' grade a student receives to the 'One Laptop Per Child' cause.

ZooToo, a website catering to pet enthusiasts, is GradeFund's first corporate sponsor, pledging $15 to the first 100 students each semester who submit proof that they have earned an 'A' grade in veterinary medicine.

I really like the idea. However, I think there are disadvantages linked to the system. Firstly, students may rely too heavily on it. They may totally lose the motivation to study once the number of pledged sponsors dries up. Secondly, it may also increase the incentive to cheat. The system will be directly rewarding students who obtained an 'A' grade by cheating, thus sending a wrong message to them.


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