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How Much Does an 'A' Cost?

"Almost half of parents pay kids at least $1 for getting an A," reports the Wall Street Journal, citing a July poll conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Mark DiGiovanni, a certified financial planner in Grayson, Ga., told the Journal that "paying for grades is one way to prepare [kids] for adult life," since adults are often given financial rewards at work for performing well.

Meanwhile, Neal Zutphen, a certified financial planner in Mesa, Ariz., believes that "using money as a motivator" can sometimes "discourage true learning and changes the purpose of learning." He says that's especially true for students who gets As without putting in too much effort and for families who have children of varying academic abilities. Instead, Zutphen suggests that parents should "identify skills and character traits that can support long-term success: things like self-regulation, determination, curiosity, grit and resilience," and reward their children using not only cash, but verbal encouragement and praise as well.

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