Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When college costs your immortal soul

Think that college costs too much? Some people are finding new, creative ways to pay for it:

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?


MacBeth Derham said...

A friend in college met a man in front of the Ritz in Boston who offered her $200 to take a bath in his room. She said it was the easiest money she ever made. At the time, we fellow students were stunned. Today? That's nothing.

Red Cardigan said...

That's so sad, MacBeth! Terrible, really.

Magister Christianus said...

Red, put this against these two posts for a truly sad picture.



Red Cardigan said...

Great posts, Magister! But, yes, a very sad picture.

Kirt Higdon said...

Selling eggs to pay for college tuition has been around at least as an idea for the past 20 years. And college women paying the tuition by being "escorts" or by stripping has been commonplace and commented on at least since the 1980s. It's probably impossible to get a good fix on how many women actually pay their tuition in this way, but I wonder if this contributes at least to some extent to the fact that women are outnumbering men by increasing margins in student bodies and degrees awarded. College and grad school are ever more expenses and these are ways of paying the bill that are unavailable to most men, although I don't doubt there is a certain amount of homosexual prostitution.

LarryD said...

College costs an arm and an egg these days...


vera said...

"In exchange for her company, she says her sugar daddy has been making her full tuition payments of $1,500 each month."

Cough, cough. Her "company". That takes us back to our discussion of prostitution... some forms are illegal, and some legal. And it seems to me that only some can be illegalized...

vera said...

One more thing... after reflection from the last discussion, it seems to me that generally, our society has dealt with prostitution by illegalizing lower-class whoring while ignoring or winking at middle and upper class whoring. Despite John's disheartening report from NZ, I still believe that illegalizing the former simply denies those lower class women any shred of legal protection. I remain opposed.

LarryD said...

Erin - I tweeted this post because it's a good one, but also because I can't let a good pun go to waste.

Red Cardigan said...

I hear you, Larry! I liked the pun. :)

eulogos said...

When I was 18 and working in New York City between high school and college, the manager of a little grocery store on the Upper West Side where I was working as a cashier, told me that he was supporting a woman in college, but she was about to graduate. Would I like to take her place? He said this after grabbing me and placing horrible sloppy wet kisses on my mouth, so there was no ambiguity about what he was asking.

I was relieved to be able to tell him that my parents were able to pay for my college education. (It was a whole lot cheaper then, in1968, even for an expensive college like the one I went to.)
And of course, I would not have done this in any case. I wasn't even a Christian then, but I don't think I could have been desperate enough to do that to go to college. I would just have gotten a job and supported myself. That was also easier in 1968.

Within two days, they found a reason to fire me. I guess he had to hire another prospect. So it appears this practice is even older than 1980.

Susan Peterson