Join the UH Manoa Spring 2019 Pool!


  • Spring 2019 Semester begins: January 7, 2019
  • Registration for Spring 2019 Semesterpool closes: January 15, 2018.
  • Spring 2019 Semester ends: May 10, 2019


Are you a UH undergraduate committed to the goal of raising your cumulative GPA by the end of Spring 2019 Semester ? Here are the rules for the [insert term here] pool:
  1. The buy-in fee for the Spring 2019 Semester pool is [insert dollar amount here], and will be collected via Venmo or PayPal. If you fail to raise your cumulative GPA by the end of the [insert term here], you will forfeit your [insert dollar amount here] buy-in. If you succeed, you will split the pot of buy-in fees with all other students who also successfully raised their cumulative GPAs. The amount you receive will be exactly proportional to the
  2. You must be taking [insert number] or more units toward a letter grade in the [insert term here] quarter.
  3. You must have been enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for at least one quarter prior to the [insert term here].
Important Note: CollegeBetter is being conducted entirely for research purposes by the Department of Economics at UH Manoa. We may not be accepting everyone who applies. Depending on interest, we may have to implement a randomization mechanism. Once the pool closes, we will notify all participants who submitted the buy-in fee whether they received a spot in the pool. Of course, students who were not randomly selected will receive their buy-in fee back. Regardless of whether you end up participating in CollegeBetter or not, by participating in this research study, you will be eligible to receive $[insert dollar amount] at the end of the term. All applicants will be contacted at the end of the term for instructions on how to receive these research compensation earnings

University of Hawai'i Consent to Participate in a Research Project

Lester Lusher, Principal Investigator

College Better: Parimutuel Betting Markets as a Commitment Device and Monetary Incentive

Aloha! My name is Lester Lusher and you are invited to take part in a research study. I am a professor at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in the Department of Economics. The purpose of my project is to evaluate the effectiveness of an online program called “CollegeBetter.” No more than 3,000 students will join the study.

CollegeBetter is a program that I designed to learn if money motivates students to raise their cumulative GPAs by the end of the semester. The CollegeBetter program is conducted entirely online through the website If you choose to participate in this research project, you will sign up online through the website I am asking you to participate because you are an undergraduate at UH Mānoa taking 10 or more credits toward a letter grade in the Fall/Spring/Summer 2018-2020 semester. Participants must have been enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa for at least one semester prior to the Fall/Spring/Summer 2018-2020. All undergraduate students at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa are invited to participate in this research study, regardless of discipline.

Activities and Time Commitment: If you participate in this project, after the consent process and if you agree to participate, here is what you will do:

  • Register on the website by clicking “Join a pool” for the term of interest. The registration page will ask you questions like “What is your student ID number” and “What is your full name”.
  • Submit the buy-in fee for the Fall/Spring/Summer 2018-2020 pool which will be around $20 and will be collected via Venmo or PayPal. These buy-in fees are collected into one pot.
  • If participants do not raise their cumulative GPA by the end of the Fall/Spring/Summer 2018-2020, they will not get their buy-in money back.
  • If participants raise their cumulative GPA by the end of the Fall/Spring/Summer 2018-2020, participants will be given their portion of all the money submitted in the buy-in fee divided evenly between students who raise their GPA.
  • The only criterion for raising cumulative GPA is getting a semester GPA that exceeds the cumulative GPA the student had entering the term (even if, due to rounding, the cumulative GPA did not end up "changing").
  • All participants who raise their GPA by the end of the semester will at least get their buy-in money back with the possibility of more depending upon how successful everyone in the pool is with raising their GPA.
  • Participants will be asked to submit their electronic signature so that I can directly access their university transcript to see the participant’s cumulative GPA. I will also have permission from the university to directly access student transcripts for this project.

I may not be able to accept everyone who wants to participate because there is a limit to the number of participants.

Benefits and Risks: There will be no direct benefit to you for participating in this research project. The results of this project may help researchers like me understand what motivates students to increase their GPA, specifically, if money is an effective incentive. I believe there is little risk to you for participating in this research project. You may experience disappointment and/or emotional distress if you were not able to raise your GPA by the end of the semester and consequently receive a portion of the buy-in amount. The Counseling and Student Development Center is available to provide counseling support to students at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services, Room 312, Phone: (808) 956-7927.

Privacy and Confidentiality: I will strip and de-identify data upon collection of participant transcripts. All data storage will be on a secure server stored in a room that only I, Lester Lusher, will have access to. There will be no link the participant responses or grades to the actual student. Other agencies that have legal permission have the right to review research records. The University of Hawai'i Human Studies Program has the right to review research records for this study.

Participants will give the researchers an electronic signature that will provide permission to access their transcripts directly from the university, instead of requesting a paper copy. When I report the results of my research project, I will not use your name. I will not use any other personal identifying information that can identify you. I will use pseudonyms (fake names) and report my findings in a way that protects your privacy and confidentiality to the extent allowed by law.

Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this project is completely voluntary. You may stop participating at any time. Your choice to participate or not participate will not affect your grades, class standing, or relationship with the University. Participants who choose to withdraw will receive a full refund of their buy-in money if they withdraw by [enter date, likely to be the last day students can drop their classes]. If the project has begun, participants can still withdraw themselves from the study but will not get their buy-in fee back.

Questions: If you have any questions about this study, please call or email me, Lester Lusher at 5109385223 and or

You may contact the UH Human Studies Program at 808.956.5007 or to discuss problems, concerns and questions; obtain information; or offer input with an informed individual who is unaffiliated with the specific research protocol. Please visit https://www, for more information on your rights as a research participant.

If you agree to participate in this project, please sign and date the signature page below and return it to me. Please keep a copy of this consent form for your records and reference.

Pay now

Once you've completed the form above submit your fee (between $20 - $100) below!

Upon arriving to the Paypal or Venmo page (after clicking either button), enter in the amount you'd like to contribute for your buy-in fee. Remember your buy in fee must be between $20 - $100 . Note that you can pay with a credit card through PayPal.