This had to happen eventually.
Amanda Fairbanks at the Huffington Post reports that:
Faced with about $15,000 in unpaid tuition and overdue bills, Taylor [a 22-year-old student at Hunter College], and her roommate typed “tuition,” “debt,” and “money for school” into Google. A website called SeekingArrangement.com popped up. Intrigued by the promise of what the site billed as a “college tuition sugar daddy,” Taylor created a “sugar baby” profile and eventually connected with the man from Greenwich.
Saddled with piles of student debt and a job-scarce, lackluster economy, current college students and recent graduates are selling themselves to pursue a diploma or pay down their loans. An increasing number, according to the the owners of websites that broker such hook-ups, have taken to the web in search of online suitors or wealthy benefactors who, in exchange for sex, companionship, or both, might help with the bills.
While it’s obviously difficult to get real numbers to explain the scope of this trend (or whether or not it is one), the piece reports that many students, facing huge student loans and dismal job prospects, are making money in the matter desperate women have done for all time: prostitution (basically).
Brandon Wade, who owns Seeking Arrangement, explained to Fairbanks that of the 800,000 people who use his site, about 35 percent are probably students. That’s a 350 percent increase in student membership from when the site began in 2007.
Wade says his site helps facilitate “mutually beneficial relationships.” Surely it does but oh these mutually beneficial relationships seem awfully transactional.
What’s particularly disturbing about this is that Hunter College is a public university and is supposed to be affordable to all. It didn’t even charge tuition until 1976.