The rise in tuition fees to £9000 a year has not only led to a clear drop in university applicants, it has also led to a raise in awareness of the ways in which students conjure up the money to pay the fees off. This year has seen some of the most awful and down-right unusual things that have freed these students from debt.

Today, for example, an arrest was made in a sex-for-tuition web scheme as reported in the 'i' newspaper (www.independent.co.uk). A website offering to pay the tuition fees of female students in return for sex is being investigated. These 17-24 year old female students were entitled to £15,000 a year if they took part in "discreet adventures" with businessmen.independent.co.uk

This time last year the Mail Online (www.dailymail.co.uk) published a piece on student "prostitution" and it seems that this approach to get money is ongoing. The article says how despite the National Union of Students being shocked at this finding, it is in fact not a new thing. A caption under a picture of a girl dancing provocatively on stage reads "Many students know someone who has funded their studies with a quick pole dance".

A music graduate made the papers a few months ago for taking a slightly different approach. He has become known as the 'Human Scarecrow'  earning £250 a week as he plays the cowbell, ukulele and accordion whilst dressed in a bright orange coat to scare off partridges. (www.telegraph.co.uk)

Another strange proposal came up last year as reported by the Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk). One article explained that students could pay off university debts by dontating kidneys. An academic claimed that students could get £28,000 for their organs. The money would act as an "incentive", however the British Medical Association would not support this. 

Some of these strategies are perfectly harmless and have made life easier for students in debt. However more serious cases involving sexual and degrading activity need to be addressed as students could find that debt is not their only problem.

 

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