Recently, an experiment released by the social-policy research group Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) found that cash could positively improve student’s grades. This interesting phenomenon has draw people’s attention. In the olden days, students earned a good grade for the praise from parents and teachers. However, it has changed as time has passed by. Today, an A+ report card can also bring money to students. However, the question of whether students should be paid for a good grade has caused a controversial debate. From my point of view, I believe that it is a positive motivation to students. Therefore, all students should be rewarded for their excellent academic performance.
Nowadays, averagely every one out of four students in the U.S. drops out of school before graduation. People pointed out that there are two major reasons, the lack of motivation and family poverty. A large amount of students indicate school bores them or distracted by unpredictable family issue. In 2009, the experiment by MDRC was processed in two community colleges in Louisiana State for low-income students. One group of students was offered $1,000 each semester if they can attend college at least half time, and maintain an average which is above C while another group would not receive the supplement. After a semester, 30% more student who was provided the financial aid was willing to register for the second semester than students who did not have the offering. Moreover, they earned more credits and more likely to maintain an above C average. The result fully shows that cash incentives actually help them in some ways.
In childhood, kids get candy for a job well done. In the society, employees get salary for a task well done. Therefore, students should be rewarded as well. That would encourage them to achieve more. The study above shows that students who were offering cash reported more positive feelings about themselves and their abilities to accomplish their goals for the future. “It’s not very often that you see effects of this magnitude for anything that we test,” notes Thomas Brock, MDRC’s director for young adults and postsecondary-education policy. Obviously, cash incentives successfully convert the stress of studying into a positive motivation for students. On the other hand, provide a monetary reward will give students who have part-time job more chances to devote in class. The survey in 2004 shows that 78 percent of undergraduates work while they were attending colleges. For students who have to work to support themselves graduating, it is not easy to adjust the schedule.
They have to somewhat make some sacrifice either on job or study. Therefore, the monetary support will give them a chance to balance both. Some opposite voices are also raised. Some people claim that start paying students “salary” will give a chance of fostering their love of money instead of learning knowledge. During the experiment, some students took easier courses in order to insure they would get a higher grade. “By rewarding people for a GPA, you’re actually giving them an impetus to take an easier route through college,” notes Kirabo Jackson, an assistant professor of labor economics at Cornell who has studied cash incentives for high school students.
This is actually an issue that need to be considered. It not only results in learning nothing but some prime knowledge, but also producing an abnormal attitude. Encountering this situation, colleges should establish some standards and limitation for students who are opportunistic. The monetary reward system is just being applied by several colleges currently. So it needs time to be adjusted and improved. However, its effectiveness and progress are already shown in some programs that are being holding by colleges in Chicago, Louisiana, and so forth. Therefore, I think students should be paid for their good performance.
Courtney from Study Moose
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