$25 says it's a D; Website lets collegians bet on own grades.

PositionEDITORIAL - Editorial


Most college students have all they can do to try to nail down those elusive A's and B's. But at some three dozen campuses around the country this fall, some students will be betting that they make their grades. Literally.

The students will be placing bets on their own academic performance through the website ultrinsic.com. Based upon a student's grade-point average, the grading history of a given course, and how high a grade the student targets, the site calculates how much students must wager in order to win a specific sum. Shooting for low grades won't earn much, but pulling down an A in a difficult subject, or achieving a high GPA over the course of a year or college career could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Students at four Massachusetts schools - Brandeis University, Boston College, Harvard University and Boston University - will be able to participate this year.

Whether ultrinsic.com is legal, or constitutes a kind of Internet gambling proscribed by current laws, has not been tested and remains unclear. The site has certainly drawn fire from some. According to The Wall Street Journal, officials at Stanford University were appalled to learn their students were participants.

Betting on one's own performance is hardly a new idea, even if it remains taboo in many fields. Millions of Americans wager a few dollars from time to time on friendly bets that they can pull off some...

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