There’s been a few stories in the news highlighting student loans and higher education. The first, “Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using ‘Sugar Daddies’ To Pay Off Loan Debt,” from the Huffington Post, says it all with its title. Students are being enticed into prostitution by the lure of education. The stripper who’s working her way through college? How quaint. Stripping is legal, prostitution ain’t.

Perhaps most striking about the story is that a website devoted to hooking up the wealthy with down-and-out students, Seeking Arrangement, openly solicits students who are searching for ways to pay back their student loans:

Debt-strapped college graduates weren’t included in his original business plan. But once the recession hit and more and more students were among the growing list of new site users, Wade began to target them. The company, which is headquartered in Las Vegas, now places strategic pop-up ads that appear whenever someone types “tuition help” or “financial aid” into a search engine. And over the past five years, Wade says he’s seen a 350 percent increase in college sugar baby membership — from 38,303 college sugar babies in 2007 to 179,906 college sugar babies by July of this year.

Make no mistake about it: the number of students entering the sex trade has increased. And it’s not just due to the bad economy:

“I attribute it to the rising cost of college and ease of loans, especially in an economy where the buying and selling of emotions and companionship is increasingly easy to afford,” says Sanders, who teaches at the University of Leeds.

The world needs to return to sanity, where students can afford an education without turning to prostitution to make ends meet.

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