Innovation That Matters

Paying college students for good grades

Financial Services

Back in March, we featured SmartyCard, a program for kids that combines educational games with virtual and real-world rewards. Focusing on an older crowd, GradeFund offers college students the opportunity to be rewarded for academic achievement. GradeFund lets students recruit sponsors—usually friends and family—who donate money for each good grade. Participating students upload their transcripts at the end of each term and GradeFund verifies them and then collects funds from the sponsors, who can set their own criteria such as sponsoring students from their alma mater or choosing specific grade levels to sponsor. They can determine donation amounts for each grade, from as low as USD 5. GradeFund also allows employers to find students anonymously through their performance record, potentially netting students job and internship offers. So far, over 16,000 people have signed up for the program. With the cost of college increasingly difficult for students (and parents) to cover, innovative programs that provide an alternative to loans and scholarships are only going to get more popular. If you’re in financial services or education, time to get involved? Spotted by: Susan Johnston



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