Getting paid by your mob for being smart
December 2nd, 2008

A story on Yahoo! News today describes a new online project where students can get paid for making A’s at school. This is the project’s pitch:

The GradeFund is a community-based revolutionary approach to student education financing that encourages academic success. Imagine a world where family, friends, philanthropists, corporations and other organizations join together in the mission of rewarding students for performing well in school.

And some background from Yahoo!’s report:

Pay for performance is not an entirely new concept – public schools in New York City have started paying students up to $50 for performing well on standardized tests, and other school districts are experimenting with giving gift certificates to top-performing students. But GradeFund puts the rewards in students’ hands. Or rather in their friends’ and families’ hands. The site is akin to Facebook in that it lets students create a profile and send out invitations asking for sponsors to pledge whatever they please for each A – $1, $2 or more. Sponsors can also donate by subject area, giving money to students who ace, say, organic chemistry or film studies. For example,, a website for pet enthusiasts, is GradeFund’s first corporate sponsor, pledging $15 to the first 100 students each semester who earn an A in veterinary medicine.

When a student reaches $100 in donations, GradeFund mails them a check. (Students can withdraw the money before they reach the $100 mark for a $5 fee.) Kopko will be adding features to bring in revenue – including a job search engine that will let employers search for a computer science major who aced Spanish or any other equally specific set of skills.

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