Web Site Gives Students Chance to 'Bet' on Grades

Wish you could have been paid for making A’s in college? Current students have that 'chance' through a new Web site that's offering cash motivation by allowing students to bet on their own grades.


The Web site, Ultrinsic.com, says it “provides incentives to students for academic achievement.”

Co-founder Jeremy Gelbart says that students who decide to register can put money down on each "incentive." Ultrinsic says it does not call them "bets" or "wagers."

How it works is that if a student meets the incentive, they keep the money. But if the student doesn’t make the grade, they forfeit the money put down to Ultrinsic.

The most a student can make on an individual course incentive is $50 during the first year of use, according to Ultrinsic. The company says it makes its money from students not meeting their incentive requirements.

CEO and co-founder Steven Wolf insists the site is not gambling. “It’s a game of skill not a game of chance,” he told CNBC Thursday.

Others aren't so sure.

“It’s gambling, but the question is whether it’s illegal gambling,” Reed Kathrein, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro said.

Kathrein believes Ultrinsic has the better argument under Federal law. “If you take the meter of chance or skill, I think it tilts slightly in favor of skill,” Kathrein said, adding, “It would probably not be considered a 'wager' or a 'bet'.”

According to Ultrinsic, the site has around 600 users.

The site has launched at 36 schools including the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Harvard.