Answer your way to a college scholarship


A new online game site focuses on rewarding students for their knowledge with college scholarships.

Plum Genius was founded by Karen Washington after concern for her own child’s future college tuition led her to realize the difficulty most American college students have paying their tuition.

According to a Huffington Post article, “The cost of a college degree in the U.S. has increased 1,120 percent in 30 years, far outpacing the price inflation of consumer goods, medical expenses and food.”

“As the parent of a 14-year-old boy, I’ve been thinking about how expensive it will be when I send my son to college four years from now,” Washington said. “I started thinking about how a large group of students and parents are going to struggle to pay for school. I wanted to come up with a solution to help some of the students.”

This is how Washington’s company, Plum Genius, began. The online platform gives out daily, sizable scholarships.

A person must pay a small fee to subscribe to the games. This fee allows them to play any game they wish during that month. You are seated among nine students for each question, and some games have multiple questions.

The scholarship amounts for each game will not be listed until January 1, 2013, because the first game is not scheduled until January 7, 2013. The more students who participate, the more substantial the scholarship.

The website clarifies the legality of the trivia games. They are completely legal because they are classified as games of skill rather than games of chance. “Games of skill have outcomes that are determined by the skill of each participant and not by chance or by the game itself.”

The success of this online scholarship platform will be dependent on the willingness of students to pay the fee to participate.

At BYU, students were asked whether, as a student worried about funding tuition, they would want to pay $25 for multiple chances at a substantial scholarship.

Andy Mickelson, an Ancient Near Eastern Studies major, was quick to dismiss the opportunity.

“$25 is a steep price when I can find dozens of opportunities online for free,” Mickelson said. “I don’t think I would.”

Alexandra Butler, a sophomore from Arizona, wanted more information before she decided.

“What are the odds that I would get it?”

The answer to that question depends on the players and their competitors’ skill levels. Once Butler was informed her chances were solely affected by her and her peer’s intellect, she was enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“Done, I’d do it,” Butler said.

Hailey Clark, a sophomore from Florida, excitedly exclaimed, “Yes!” when asked whether she would participate.

For the $25 fee, you can play any game you want during the month. The tests are listed in a 30-day calendar format, and the games are in real-time, taking less than 15-minutes. When you win, the funds go towards your tuition or student loans. Students must be 18 years old to play.

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