What Is Your Opinion on Giving Cash for Excellent Grades?

Updated on February 12, 2013
J.B. asks from Dayton, OH
31 answers

What is your opinion on payment/rewarding kids for their grade card? I know my grandparents always rewarded us with with cash. My grandpa would say he got paid for his hard work, and our work was school so as long as we worked hard and had good grades he would pay us each grading period. Not alot, but in my memory it was something like $10.00. The part I can't remember is if he gave us all the same amount..like if 1 had straight A's was that rewarded differently than say another kid having some A's, some B's, etc. And if a kid does not do as well one grading period..do you reward less..not at all?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Honolulu on

My parents never did that.
I will not do that.

And... what if there is one kid, that although they work hard and try their darndest best, still does not get good grades? Then what? Then that child... will never get anything, or will only get not as much as her/his siblings. And then that is another problem, affecting sibling dynamics/relationships/values/self-esteem/attitudes etc.

And what if, one kid gets good grades, because they cheat or always takes short cuts? That is not honest work/studying.

And, how is "hard work" quantified?
Some kids work VERY hard and are diligent and genuine but still do not get all A's.
And some kids are lazy, but can memorize things well and spit out their work quickly. Does that mean they are better..... workers and students? And academically?

I will not, give money to my kids, for grades.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

They are not on a job. Getting the "A" is the reward for the hard work of studying. What will happen when you run out of cash? Kids should learn that effort pays off, but paying with cash should not be the motivator, at least they should NOT know that's why they get the cash. If you want to reward them, do so with a treat, or give them cash without letting them know what it is for - The hard work and accomplishing an A is the reward. Otherwise they will ONLY study if they know they are going to get money. You do not want that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Well My dad did this and I got very good at altering my grades to maximize my profits. My poor dad had no idea what my grades were from 7th grade on. :p

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Seattle on

Nope. No rewards here! I expect my children to do their best in school. To put forth their best effort.
Of course, they are in 4th and 1st grade, so we haven't had to deal with bad grades or behavior issues yet.
When they are in high school good grades will equal more freedom. Bad grades means you get to stay home and study more.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi 4 littleones-

I have NEVER given $ as a reward for grades.

I have tried to instill a LOVE for learning...and a clear idea that 'their' grades...are 'theirs'.

I review (ed) each report card separately from sibs...and tried to foster 'ownership' for the grades that each earned.

So far, the eldest has graduated from college...and was promoted (ahead of his 'class') to first Lt.

Next is just shy of his four year degree...and works full time and lives on his own.

Next one just graduated from VA tech (dec) and will 'walk' in may...

Next one is a sophomore at ODU (and got an ROTC scholarship...my HARDEST working kiddo when it came to grades)...

Next is a HS senior...he has been accepted to 2 colleges of his choice...

Next is a HS sophomore...and is in mostly AP and 'dual' college enrollment classes...

(her twin (developmentally delayed) is doing very well in 'regular' HS classes.

I personally would save the $$ paid out...and take a vacation for the WHOLE family.

Everyone in this family does the best they can...

I cannot ask for more!

Best luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I do the same as my parents did - a small reward. My brother used to get a star wars figure or small lego set. I remember getting a hot pink spring jacket.

I don't like the this much for an A, this much less for a B, nothing for a C, you owe me for a D etc. because I think that EFFORT is a big part. I would also rather he gets a B in an advanced math class, than take a "blow off" class to get an A later.

I am a teacher and I make sure to tell my students' parents when the child has gotten a C but has REALLY tried hard and is just having a hard time. I tell them how proud I am of them. Like I said , to me the effort and the citizenship are just as important.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Once our kids hit high school we offered monetary rewards for excellent grades, as we thought that would motivate them to work harder (the only time they have extra cash is at birthday/Christmas time or if they work for it.)
Well, it didn't.
I'm not sure why but it just didn't work.
I mean, their grades are fine, they are good enough, so I guess the cash offer just wasn't worth the extra effort, you know?
Most kids who consistently get really, really good grades are the kind of kids who take pleasure in the reward of a high GPA, or all A's on a report card, they do it because it makes them feel good, proud, satisfied, whatever. I was like that, my husband was not. And yet HE is way more successful than me so go figure!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Won't do it. Learning should be its own reward. Grades are a sorry reflection of that and if necessary may provide some external feedback to a child. Payment for grades is pure bribery - and not even for what we should be encouraging - learning. Way to destroy any intrinsic motivation a child might be developing.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

For right now, because Kiddo is in kindergarten (and doesn't get letter grades) we feel that rewarding effort with money only makes things more complicated.

Instead, we like the idea of having small celebrations as a family for good feedback on report cards. As in-- go out for a meal at a favorite restaurant or a special trip to the arcade. We do let him know what sort of comments the teacher shared; focus on strengths and think about how he can improve in those areas which need it-- we do this gently. :)

Like ProundPanmom-- I think that the grade or good marks should be something they can be proud of in and of itself. Hopefully, our son will learn that the satisfaction that comes with knowing you've worked hard and done well is the most important part of it. We hope he develops that self-motivated drive to do his best because he can, not because he gets something for it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We do not pay for grades. I teach AP English, and I stress the power of knowledge to my students and to my own children. I want them to value knowledge, not to want to take classes where they can get an easy A.

Now my boys are in the third and ninth grades, and both are excellent students. They have bumped up the elementary curriculum in recent years due to a new state test, and third grade is much more challenging than it was when my oldest was in elementary school. Still, my youngest made all As first semester. He was very proud of himself because he knew he worked hard to earn those grades, and we were proud of him. We didn't pay him anything.

Our oldest is in all pre-AP and one AP class in the ninth grade, and it is quite a challenging schedule. He is studying very hard, and enjoying the challenge. His efforts are paying off (not monetarily, however), and he is earning good grades.

At the end of the year we will do something fun to celebrate all of us having another successful year, and celebrate the beginning of summer. Last year we went to lunch at a restaurant on the lake where we can eat outside and then walk out on the pier and feed the ducks and fish. It was a fun afternoon that just felt like a celebration.

We praise the boys for their efforts, and we don't get upset over low grades either, as long as we know that they are truly studying and doing all they can. It's hard because both boys are hard on themselves. We are constantly reminding them that they won't learn anything if they don't ever struggle with anything. We learn from our struggles. They don't like to accept that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My mom paid me $1 per A on each report card in grades 6-12. Seriously, at a max of $6 a grading period it wasn't a great motivator.

I did graduate with a 4.0 and win a National Achievement Scholarship, so in that way I did get paid (a lot) for good grades, but that's a different issue.

Part of adolescence should be a transition from extrinsic rewards (things you GET from others) for achievement to intrinsic rewards (things you get IN yourself... ie pride). Why bring money into the equation if it isn't there naturally?

I don't plan to pay DS for grades at all. He's super bright and I expect him to make high marks on everything he does in school. He doesn't expect to be paid, just for us to be proud of him, which we are.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

My kids reward for their hard work in school is the good grades. There's no reason to pay them for their grades. A "great job" should be enough.
ETA my kids are 5th and 2nd grade, the 5th grader makes strait As the 2nd grader does equivalent to As and Bs ( they do numbers for some weird reason)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We don't pay for grades in my house.

My 9 year old has had straight A's since they started giving grades. She is only one of a few in her school that has had them every semester. She works hard for her A's, but we reward all 3 kids for their effort. The other two don't get grades yet, they are 7 and 5. They are both smart as well. As long as the kids do their best, they are rewarded.

But no, I don't pay them. I give them a treat. Sometimes it's something like taking them to Subway in the morning to buy a sandwich instead of making their lunch...sometimes it's staying at the park an extra 30 minutes, sometimes it is a week off of their chores (and the hubby and I will do them), etc. They get an allowance every two weeks put into their savings accounts. They don't even see the money, but know it is in there. We buy them what they want and some of what they need on a regular basis...so no, we don't pay for grades. Good grades are expected in our house, and rewarded when received, but not monetarily.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

As a person who was paid for grades I think it is an excellent motivator and reward. Not everyone feels the same about school and some do need a "carrot," I did not need this "carrot" but my dad felt it was his way of being involved (divorced, lived half way across the country). So here was my pay grade:


Honors classes were more since they did more for your GPA and since once you hit high school they were college credits were more, 5 more for an A, B and C, same rules applied for D & F.

I also held a job my senior year, was involved in 3 competative choirs in highschool, JROTC, and used the income from my grades and my job to pay for graduation activities, class ring and prom- money well spent.

Add after reading some other responses, I never altered my grades, nore thought to alter my grades for optimum pay out. I earned the grades, I earned the cash.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I have heard of people giving certain amounts for different grades, like $5 for As and $3 for Bs, but the danger is if you have one kid who finds school very easy and another who may work harder but not see the same results. That is how it was for my sister and I. School came very easy to me, and I always got straight As except in gym. I got grounded one time for a C and when I asked why I was getting punished but my sister was not (she had 3 Cs) we were told that I was smarter than her so they expected more. Even as adults my sister and I are not close, in fact we don't really like each other much at all. While that is certainly not all due to grades, I don't think the way we felt pitted against each other helped bring us closer in any way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I've never believed in paying for grades. I didn't see the point of it even when I was a child and I certainly won't pay my own children for grades. They are expected to work hard and do their best in school and I don't plan to pay them for it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Sure, why not. When I worked I received a cash bonus when I did well. My kids don't get letter grades, so my rewards are based more on the teachers comments. If they work hard and to the best of their ability it is worth a reward. It's not always cash, sometimes it is a special outing or dinner out or a toy or game.
ETA: We also don't say "If you do well you will get a reward." It's more of a "Great job guys! Since you worked so hard, let's go out to dinner to celebrate!" It is nice to be recognized for hard work.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I didn't experience that, and I didn't do that with my children. But I had friends a number of years ago who did a cash reward thing for their children. I don't know if it would work for everyone, but these people were able to make it work, and I was impressed.

Their system was actually a little complicated. They sat down with each child (they had four) and set a goal for the term in each class. The one who consistently did A work was rewarded for keeping it up (he was at the top of the class anyhow). Another one who did B work in English was rewarded for getting a B+. I remember when one of them was pulling a D in junior high math; her teacher had said, "This child does not have a math mind, but I think she could do C work the rest of the year if she buckled down to it"; the cash reward that term was for getting a C. (She always got As in English, history, and art. That's the sort of mind she had!)

It worked for these kids. They loved having goals and they loved school. The one child never did come to like math, but she passed it. They didn't feel as if they had to perform (or cheat) to make their parents love them; that I remember most of all!

Along with this, though, my friends stressed to their children to be willing to learn how to work and to do the best they could at the time. It wasn't *just* grades. They told their children, one night when we were visiting the family, about the college president who said to the faculty, "Treat the A and B students with respect, because one day they may come back here to teach. Treat the C students with respect because one day they may give the school a billion dollars for a new science building." They said, "If you're gonna be a C student, make sure you can give that building!" In other words, their principal ambition was to make their lives count.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No, I don't pay for good grades. They are expected. I haven't even seen my kids grades this yr! I have a senior in college and in hs. They understand the only one who they hurt is themselves if they do poorly. They benefit themselves if they do well. I let them own it and they do great with either straight As or As and Bs. They would tell me if it were anything else. I know the character of my kids and I trust them.

I do praise and encourage them and might give a bonus present at the end of the year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I have no intention of paying my children for their grades. I am teaching them to take pride in their work and instill in them self motivation.

I remember being jealous in elementary school when kids got money for grades, especially since I only ever received A's. However, by 5th grade I had the intrinsic desire to do well for me. By high school I was entirely self motivated. I was class valedictorian, so I guess my mother did something right by not paying me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I am for it, IF my son wanted to do it. Since he gets As all the time, he'd definitely have a stash of cash.. but he never asks for a cash reward. However, whether he asks for money or not, I still like to celebrate his achievements. In which case, we usually go out to dinner OR get him a new book of his choice.

So yes for rewards, but not so much for a higher or lower ones, but rather when a kid does their best..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

My daughter came home from school on Friday and told me and my husband that some of her friends get paid if they get good grades (this one comes up every once in a while). My husband and I said that's not how we do things. Going to school and doing well/getting good grades are something we EXPECT our child to do; we don't reward for something that is expected. Neither my husband nor I ever got paid for good grades (we're both college grads); we got to go out to eat instead, and we got to pick where we got to go to eat. That's called celebrating--not bribing.

We allowed our daughter to pick out the place she would like us to go out to eat and celebrate. She picked Erin's Pub, an Irish pub/restaurant. It's a little pricier place than we normally go to, but for a "reward" or a celebration, yes, there are exceptions. We went last night. She made High Honors for 2nd quarter, 7th grade (she made honors first quarter).

Getting good grades is expected; they are what every child should be getting, and they are what every parent should be expecting. Yes, some classes are a struggle and she gets a B instead of an A; however, our advice to her has always been the same. If she is trying and studying and giving the class her all (meaning, she's not slacking off), then a B is just as important and good as an A because she worked hard to get it.

Good grades are important if a child wants to further themselves and go on to college or some other type of higher education/learning. If the child cannot give him- or herself enough self-confidence and self-mastery and self-motivation to get those good grades, then how is he/she going to motivate him/herself to continue doing well in higher education? Who's going to give the kid "money" for getting good grades in college and "encouraging" him/her to continue doing well? At some point in a child's life, the child has to give him/herself the motivation to do well FOR HIM/HERSELF.

We're teaching our daughter that it is up to her to strive for the knowledge and mastery she needs in her classes so that she obtains a healthy outlook on needing to depend on herself to get herself to where she needs to get in life. You can't keep coddling a child forever. At some point, he/she has to start taking responsibility for his/her own life. And I feel that starts with school, grades, and accountability.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

oh my, i'll bet this one is getting heated!
i don't think it's the end of the world. if i had a kid who would ONLY do schoolwork well in return for cash i'd have a problem. but i think it's okay to give a kid who has done a stellar job a little monetary reward.
but i don't think i'd have such a regimented system, or do it so regularly that the kids came to expect it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

No money for grades in our house.
We don't do allowances either.
Our son gets good grades because we can do fun stuff if the boring classroom stuff gets finished up to the best of his ability.
I'm a little worried because so far his school work has been incredibly easy for him.
The lowest grade he's ever got so far is an A- (he's in 8th grade).
He enjoys being on the Honor Roll and Principal's List.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My hubby made a deal with my kids ... yes they get paid for their grades. A's are $10, B's are $5, C's are nothing, D's are MINUS $10 and an F means you get nothing. And if you get straight A's you get $100. My daughter took him for that $100 two semesters in a row not too long ago LOL

He has also told my youngest that if he gets straight A's he'll get a new computer, or if he gets All A's and B's .. my hubby will get the new computer and kiddo will get his old one LOL So basically he'll get a new computer if he doesn't have anything lower than a B on his report card.

My husband feels the same way your grandpa did. School is their job and if they do their job REALLY well ... then they get rewarded. Not just with the opportunities that come but with some cold hard cash.

Personally I'm fine with either method. Pay or don't ... you gotta do what works for your family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

At the end of the year we give our children an end of the year special gift. It is never money or a toy but rather an experience if their grades and personal growth have been good all year. I see no point in giving money for good grades because where does it end? The grade itself is a reward for all the hard work. I expect my children to do well because they have the ability to do well. They are not rewarded with monetary things because they met their ability. This is not to say they are not praised constantly and given encouragement throughout the entire year for everything from grades to typical developments. I was a straight A student for elementary school and an A/B student thereafter and I was never given money for doing well. Heck, I was lucky if I was even given praise because it was expected of me to do well. This is where I differ from my own upbringing with our children and that to me will mean more to them in the end than money ever will.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My mom started this for our daughter. She gave a quarter for each E.. in elementary school and $1.00 for each A's in Middle and high school.. But our daughters schools gave so many grades in elementary school, we gave my mom a break..Only picked out certain items to get E's in..

And actually once our daughter got to middle school, she was embarrassed by all of the money my mom was giving her and told her, she did not have to give her money any more. Our daughter told me, the money was not a motivation for her.

So when it came time for my niece and nephew, she again said 25 cents for E's and $1.00 for each A.. She has paid out a lot of money over the years. The sad part for me is that my sister has made it impossible for us to see the kids on a regular basis.. and if my mom is "late" giving them their grade money, my sister has a fit. It stresses my mom out.

I know my niece is like our daughter. a natural student. Makes almost all A's, works hard for her grades, but it is pretty easy if she does the work and studying.

My Nephew... If he did not have this money out there, he would not try.. except to get grades to be able to participate in sports. We laughed this fall when at a football game (he was the quarterback) it was announced he was the "Academic player of the week!" My father said, "Boy, I bet we never hear that again." And we all told my mom, she was probably the reason! So for him it has been helpful.. His dad can say.. "Son, remember you get a dollar for each A.". For the girls.. They would have always done a good job in school..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I give my boys goals. If they meet the goals they get the dough. I have a child with sensory integration disorder and is on an IEP. I have actually had to make his goal a little harder (was all As and Bs - no Cs is now more As than Bs and no Cs) because he started working harder. Once they started achieving the grades, their pride over weighed the amount of cash they received. They don't feel the need to spend the money now so it goes into their savings account.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We absolutely do that. If the money motivates him to work harder....GREAT. :)
His last report card was all A's and he got rewarded for it. Just like when I work hard I like being rewarded as well. He's still learning everything he needs to learn in school like his peers; he takes pride in his work, he feels confident and proud that he's worked hard. Sure a pat on the back is fine and wonderful but add some cash to it and he's super excited!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

We received $1 for b"s and $5 for a's growing up. there was a bonus if you brought home straight a's. We are not doing that for our children but that is how it was when I was growing up.

I can see your grandfathers point of view. School is their job, and it is very hard work! It never hurt us and gave us something to strive for like a bonus at work.

If you pay your children an allowance based on chores at home there is really no difference.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I do this when they start getting A, B C, D F grades. For my oldest, he gets $3 an A, $2 a B...and nothing for C or lower (not that hes had a c or lower). I know that he can get As and Bs so I will only reward him for those. I don't however pay for band, art, pe....that is over my budget and I think those are easy As.

However, when my second son starts getting letter grades, he will be rewarded for Cs. He has learning disabilities that make it much tougher to get As. Not too sure how I will work it yet.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, but you need to make it fair for the childs abilities. Not everyone is 'good' at school. Some kids it comes easy for....and not for others.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions