Apparently, the latest way for college students to pay for their tuition is to set up an arrangement with a sugar daddy.
According to the Huntington Post [ht: mg],
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.
The analysis is confirmed by Ron Roberts et al. [pdf], who found that
a widespread awareness, understanding and, to a lesser extent, acceptance amongst the student population of sex work as a facet of contemporary student life…exists alongside high levels of debt and long working hours outside study. Students themselves attributed participation in the sex industry to several factors – chief of which, by some way, was their financial situation. Household bills and student fees loomed large and were counterbalanced by the logic of the presumed financial opportunities to make quick money from sex work.
What we are seeing is the emergence of a new economy of sex that seems to be correlated with the new economy of education; as the latter becomes more expensive, and student indebtedness grows, more students are turning to the search for sugar daddies with the aim of making arrangements to finance their college education.*
* Most discussions of the economy of sex for tuition I have seen are premised on the kind of pathos often present in discussions of prostitution. However, before we go too far down that road (and in addition to rethinking different ways in which sex work itself can be organized), we might also ask what the significant differences are between sex for tuition and the “human capital contracts” preferred by neoclassical economists.