For Sale: My Seat in Class

Wharton's auction system among solutions to overenrollment in popular courses
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 15, 2008 4:53 PM CST
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business   ((c) jschroe)
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(Newser) – It beats sleeping overnight outside a professor's office—as some do at Stanford—but should students buy their way into popular classes? The University of Chicago thought not, removing one student's ad hawking a slot in Freakonomics author Steven Levitt's course. Penn's Wharton School has a more capitalistic view, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Wharton students "buy" and "sell" spots with the school's blessing. "It's capitalism gone nuts but it's also complete socialism," one assistant prof says. Students spend hours strategizing for the anonymous auction. And professors have their own tricks: Keep the class size small and its price will rise, simultaneously stoking the instructors' egos.