You know it’s bad when story lines from the now defunct Melrose Place reboot and 90210 start becoming real. According to a new study out of England, the number of students using their bodies to pay their fees has doubled in the past year. The study of undergraduates and postgraduates across the UK found that as many as 6% are turning to lap-dancing, pole-dancing, escorting and prostitution in order to fund their studies.
An average annual sum of between £600,000 and £3m per institution is going into universities straight from the sex industry, according to the data.
It seems though that paying for school and turning to the sex industry having often been linked. Last year we wrote about another study that showed an increasing portion of students in the United Kingdom turning to prostitution. The problem may be particularly acute among medical students, who generally go to school longer, accrue more debt and have less time for paid employment, according to a paper by Jodi Dixon, who is studying at the University of Birmingham.
So far we are seeing this trend more in Europe but that doesn’t mean it won’t come to the U.S. I mean, we thought we were safe from berets and look what happened there. A new report by economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight points out that while other forms of debt have been going down since 2007, student loan debt has been growing, both in terms of the number of borrowers and the size of the loans in the U.S. We did a poll earlier this year that revealed that almost 70% of Grindstone readers are still paying off loans, and 5% have already defaulted.
You may want to think about this before you sign up for that PhD. Though I feel like that would make a great TV show. Doctoral student by day, stripper by night.