Norah, who asked that her last name not be included for privacy reasons, has taken a slightly different route. She decided to become an egg donor at Shady Grove Fertility Center in Maryland this year, one of the largest fertility centers in the country.
The 24-year-old grad student earned $6,500 for her first egg donation, which almost covers her entire first year of school. A couple more egg donations will leave her with enough money to pay the full cost of the program -- around $15,000.
"When I worked a second job [between college and graduate school], it took me almost a year working in retail to make this same amount I've already made from one egg donation," she said.
Along those lines, a sperm donor at California Cryobank, who requested to remain anonymous, said he has earned $2,600 from making sperm donations for the past year, helping him cover his college living expenses and lab fees.
California Cryobank, which has several locations around the country, said nearly half of its qualified donors are college students, and sperm donors can make up to $1,200 per month -- or $14,400 a year -- if they donate three times a week.
Other cash-strapped college students are using their looks and sex appeal to find "sugar daddies" who are willing to foot their tuition bills.One 21-year-old student said she receives a monthly allowance from a 37-year-old "sugar daddy" she met through online dating site SeekingArrangement.com, which helps rich men find young women who are looking to be supported financially. In exchange for her company, she says her sugar daddy has been making her full tuition payments of $1,500 each month.
According to SeekingArrangement, that allowance is low compared to what most college students on the site receive. About 41%, or 350,000, of the sugar babies on SeekingArrangement.com are college students, and two-thirds of them say they are using their sugar daddy as a primary or secondary means of paying for college -- receiving an average of $4,200 a month for college expenses, according to the company.
What an age of liberation for women it is! These days, a woman can easily support herself through college by selling her genetic material or other parts of her body to willing and eager customers. And if the sugar daddy balks at having to buy the woman's birth control, well, we have Sandra Fluke just waiting to insist that it should be the job of Catholic colleges to subsidize this sort of creative tuition arrangement!
Let's hope for the egg-sellers that the little bundles of commodified joy don't turn up some day to meet their real "Moms," only to learn that their "moms" sold them off to the highest bidder to pay for another semester's worth of women's studies courses. Hey--it's the new normal, right?
And let's hope the sugar babies don't take British literature to find out what earlier times thought of women who did what they are doing for cash. Selling access to one's sex organs these days just doesn't carry all of that baggage from earlier eras, and today's sugar baby can rest assured that all the kind, decent, husband-material men out there will be waiting to ask them out when they graduate and don't need a sugar daddy anymore--because what man wouldn't be eager to date and then marry a woman who sold herself to pay for college? In fact, it's to be hoped that men will soon have equal access to this sort of thing, and be able to sell themselves to cougar mommies to pay for that all-important degree. Why, I bet that before long it will become acceptable for rich people to have a "protege" again, a young, attractive college student of either gender whose education they are sponsoring in exchange for sexual favors. It's amazing how history repeats itself, isn't it?
Of course, those of us who still have an ounce of sanity left would tell young people that when college is costing them their immortal souls, it costs too much. But since college-educated young adults, thanks to today's colleges, are pretty sure they have no souls anyway, why should they care?