Oxford Univ Museum of Natural History

Police Investigating Prostitution For Tuition Website

British police are investigating a website that allegedly offered “scholarships” to coeds in exchange for “discreet adventures” with rich businessman. The tuition assistance could be worth up to $24,000 in US dollars assuming these allegations prove to be valid.

The website in question, according The Independent of London which broke the story, is or was the now-offline SponsorAScholar.co.uk. The Independent reports that police are looking into” a number of possible offenses, including incitement into prostitution and sexual exploitation.”

According to The Independent, the website claimed to have arranged 1,400 women between the ages of 17-24 to have sex with men for tuition but “it is not known how many women – if any – have ever been awarded “scholarships.’ ”

In an undercover video, a female reporter pretending to be a student apparently meets with a so-called assessor from the website to discuss the arrangement. Near the end of the video, the assessor asks the “student” to go for a “practical assessment” of the level of intimacy she is prepared to offer in exchange for a college scholarship. Fortunately, the reporter didn’t go through with it, and left the meeting which appears to be in a noisy restaurant or food court, telling the man she would think it over.

College tuition on both sides of the Atlantic is out of control. Is it really so surprising that some students might resort to unconventional methods (perhaps not to the extent of selling their bodies, however) to pay for their education or that they would be exploited for trying the same?

Part of the problem (at least here) is that government-guaranteed student loans provide a disincentive for universities to rein in spending.

One small college is trying to do something about the higher education bubble. Belmont Abbey College is reducing tuition by about $10,000 starting next fall.

“Over the past 25 years, average college tuition and fees in the United States has increased more than 440 percent,” said Belmont Abbey College President, Dr. William K. Thierfelder. “At more than four times the rate of inflation, that’s not sustainable for the average American family so it’s time to reverse the trend.”

Do you think going to a four-year college is still cost effective?

[Image credit: MykReeve]