College: Divestment, Debt, Dice and Drugs by Makayla Miller

Placed in a society where the minimum everyday expectation is a college education, it should be no surprise that today’s students are turning to a variety of unorthodox methods to finance this increasingly important and expensive social requirement.

With an ever-growing global population and less job availability, there is intense competition and a high demand for the most powerful and driven people. Poverty rates, beside the fact that have slowed in the past half a century, are still significantly high for children and young adults. Students have been driven to desperate measures to obtain an education. This combination of circumstances increases the demand for college degrees—but nowadays accessing this opportunity isn’t so easy. University tuition has risen to a range between $4,00060,000 for only one semester.

The current  generation of teenagers have some serious obstacles to face if they choose to go down the path to higher education. More and more young people are turning away from college because of the high cost of tuition and skyrocketing interest rates on loans. As shown in the graph, since before 2003 student loan debt has surpassed that of any other household debt. Americans are moving away from a focus on choosing which school they want to attend, to a genuine consideration of whether or not college is worth all the attendant costs. Is it worth it to attend college? Nowadays, you have to attend college just to be qualified to apply for a halfway decent paying job.

These scenarios are a result of the supply and demand relationships in higher education. As colleges and bankers see the increasing demand for college they increase fees. Whether or not this is done with a cynical nod to supply and demand, the increase has been accepted because of the incredible demand. In many cases, it seems people will pay any cost, no matter what. As these parties divest from students’ needs, they are also forcing them down some paths that might challenge their own moral beliefs.

Struggling to make ends meet at a very early age, kids like in the image to the right show their debt from student loans. It is hard for anyone, especially those who have thousands of dollars in tuition to pay off, to do what they need to do. It’s becoming more and more popular for college students to use unconventional financial methods to help pay of their student loans before their debt gets out of hand. A trending method is “Sugar Dating,” which a man named Brandon Wade has made very accessible to college students.

Alongside those bankers Wade has discovered his own niche in recognizing the college debt scandal. Brandon Wade is a college graduate himself from MIT in 1993. He is a self-described socially awkward nerd, which made it hard for him to meet attractive women. After joining countless dating websites, an idea came to him. He realized he could make one of his own, but instead of an average Match.com-styled website he came up with the idea of a site where wealthy older men (and sometimes women) could meet younger attractive women or men in need of money. He refers to this as a “Sugar Daddy-Sugar Baby” relationship. Incorporating his want for connecting people and recognition of increasing college costs, he has made an intriguing alternative for many students to pay off their debt.

On his most popular Sugar Dating site, SeekingArrangement.com, about 42% of the members are college students. Sugar Babies join free; this is especially emphasized to college students so they have even more of an incentive to join. And why wouldn’t a struggling student want to receive $5,000 or maybe even more every week just to be arm candy for a generous, lonely man when it will enable them to graduate debt-free?

However, that is not the only avant-garde method college students use to dodge debt. Activities such as donating bodily fluids, distributing illegal substances, volunteering to be guinea pigs for trial experiments and gambling have become quite popular amongst debt ridden pupils.

If at the end of the day we are going to continue to uphold this social requirement, then there must be some moral flexibility around what is an acceptable way to make ends meet. Like students that are burdened with inevitable high debt, the creators of these tough financial situations have to deal with the fact that students will take  immoral extremes to pay for their educations. If they look upon these actions as erroneous or unethical, then there might be a need for some reconsideration on their own actions that originally created the hunger for money.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Junming says:

    I believe education should be free for everyone. However, it is impossible. But the government should effectively help students paying for college.

  2. Perry F. says:

    Interesting! What if college tuition dropped significantly tomorrow? Do you think sugar babies would drop being a sugar baby, or use the money for something else (as in, the people going in for the sugar baby lifestyle are looking for a way to make a lot of easy money fast, who’s to say they won’t start using it for something else. would we suddenly see a spike in housing? cars? I would be interested to see where that money would go.)

    1. amandalevin says:

      You should look at the website Makayla references – it is mondo bizarro. I think the money can be used for anything, and it doesn’t seem to end for college students. At all.

  3. Hayden Kan says:

    But if public college is free for everyone, will this lower the value of the diploma?

    1. amandalevin says:

      On the other hand, a larger pool of potential students could improve overall performance due to competition…

  4. NOESHA ONAY says:

    If education is so important in America why does the education system hinder you a lot in the long run instead of just helping and enhancing you opportunity in the long run.

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