Students launch Web site to improve grades

By By Celeste Chaney and By Celeste Chaney

By Celeste Chaney

After struggling in college to progress from B students to A students, a U student and two U alumni designed what they consider a machine to battle procrastination and improve grades.

Taylor Miller, a senior in pharmacology, and U graduates Mark Polson and Mac Newbold formed Gradefix, a Web site they have been working on for the past year and launched Aug. 30.

Designed to help students manage their workload and do better in school, the Web site “has automated time budgeting, an automated personal planner and it organizes priorities,” said Polson, who graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting and marketing and a masters in finance.

The site asks students how many hours per day they can study, what homework they were assigned and how long it will take to do each assignment.

Gradefix then “automatically calculates (your schedule) for you, taking into account your various classes and deadlines,” Miller said.

Miller said the program is dynamic, so that if students miss an assignment, it will be rescheduled automatically.

Newbold, who graduated with bachelor’s and a master’s in computer science, said Gradefix is aimed specifically at college students, for whom “procrastination is a natural circumstance.”

Senior Heidi Reichman, who is majoring in German and international studies, said, “With the program, I can break down the small number of hours that I have available to (do) homework and organize them much better so I can accomplish the most I can in the least amount of time.”

“Gradefix was built from the ground up, with school scheduling as its main goal,” Miller said. “Day planners and Palm Pilots make great calendars, but Gradefix knows how to make you a better student.”

“The students who get the best grades are fanatical planners,” Polson said, so he decided to record the time he spent on his assignments and began spreading out his workload using Microsoft Excel.

He found the method worked well, so he called Miller, his best friend, and the two then decided to create an online database. They contacted high-school peer Newbold, “a genius on online databases,” Polson said, to help design the program.

Gradefix is currently available in the form of two packages on the Web site. The free version allows up to 10 tasks at a time, roughly two weeks of homework, Newbold said. The premium package allows unlimited scheduling for $5 per month. Gradefix also offers a free 30-day trial.

While they do not have an exact number for how many students use Gradefix, Polson and Newbold said the program is “growing very rapidly.”

Reichman, who has been using Gradefix since its launch, said, “I recommend Gradefix to all students wholeheartedly, especially those who have a difficult time disciplining themselves to study.”

To learn more about Gradefix, visit