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Paying for School How?! Students Go to Extremes to Pay Tuition Bills

Paying for School How?! Students Go to Extremes to Pay Tuition Bills

Students taking extreme measures to pay their college tuition bills.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

September 21, 2012

Gone are the days when students took on part-time jobs to help pay their tuition bills. According to an article on CNNMoney, students are choosing extreme, and sometimes controversial, methods for making ends meet.

CollegeBoard reports that the average increase in tuition and fees was 8.3% for in-state students and 5.7% for out-of-state students for the 2011 – 12 school year. When college tuition is increasing at that rate on an annual basis, sometimes, a part-time job isn’t enough to cover the cost.

Rising costs coupled with the fact that the average family reports only being able to cover 30% of their college savings goals, as stated by CNNMoney, students are turning to alternative sources of income more than ever. These sources include medical studies, pawnshops, egg and sperm donation and even “sugar daddies.”

The article on CNNMoney featured several different students, along with their income source and payoffs:

Medical studies. One student interviewed said he had participated in two medical studies so far, sometimes staying at a clinic for up to 14 days. The end result? Nearly $8,500 toward GRE testing fees, prep courses and university application fees.

Pawnshops. A student’s father actually pawned 15 pens from his luxury and vintage pens collection, making over $4,000; enough to provide collateral on a loan to cover the remaining $4,100 on his son’s tuition bill.

Egg and sperm donation. A female student chose to donate her eggs, earning $6,500 for her first donation. The educational program she’s currently enrolled in will cost her roughly $15,000, and with two more donations, she will have more than covered the cost. A sperm bank in California claims that half of its donors are college students, who can make up to $1,200 each month if they donate up to three times a week.

“Sugar daddies.” By far the most extreme case, some college women and men are using online sugar daddy scouting sites to find older men and women who are willing to foot students’ college tuition bills in exchange for company. One site, featured in the CNNMoney article, reported that 41% of its “sugar babies” are college students receiving an average of $4,200 a month for college expenses.

The growing number of students utilizing alternative means to pay for college just shows the desperation some students and families are experiencing as they face rising college costs and an average college graduation debt rate of just over $23,000. But are the measures they’re going to almost too extreme?

NOTE: Fastweb in no way condones any of these methods to pay for college. This article is purely meant to raise awareness on how some students and their families are choosing to pay for college.


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