When it comes to paying our ridiculously high school bills and student loans, many college students and grads get desperate- it’s not like there are a ton of high paying jobs waiting for us on the other side. At the risk of having debt collectors come to hunt you down, you have to strive for the fastest ways to make money, no matter what the costs. You wouldn’t call this success, but it is surviving.
Here are five of the craziest things students do for money to pay for school.
Last month, a huge story broke out of a Duke University student doing porn. It was surprising to a lot of people because most can’t fathom that a student at such a prestigious University could do something like this. The student, whose stage name is Belle Knox noted that her main reasons for turning to porn were that she simply couldn’t afford her education. In a blog post to xoJane she said:
“I couldn’t afford $60,000 in tuition, my family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt, doing something I absolutely love.”
In an interview with Fox News, Knox noted that she’s made 25 – 30 videos so far and has already made enough to fund an entire year of education at Duke.
Aside from porn, Belle Knox will also be headlining her first strip show on Friday at NYC’s Show Palace. In an interview with the New York Post, the venue’s manager Mike Diaz noted that many students have also applied to dance to help pay off their college tuitions. Diaz explains:
“Some of these girls came out of school with a $50,000 [or] $100,000 debt. And this is a way for them to not have this debt.”
Plus, students “can work around their school schedule very nicely with the gentlemen’s club industry,” adds Jeff Levy of the Association of Club Executives of New York, a trade and advocacy group for the adult entertainment industry.
We talked to three city coeds who signed up to strip at Show Palace. Each averages three nights and $1,500 to $2,000 a week, which goes toward tuition, school supplies, rent, savings and to their families.
After graduating with two Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, Ava Adora found herself in a mountain of college debt. After she graduated, she worked for 9 months as an adoptions coordinator at an animal centre in San Diego. However, she wasn’t earning enough money to support herself. In an interview with BuzzFeed, she said:
“I went to college for four years at a time when the student loan debt crisis was out of control,” she tells me. “All of my paychecks were going towards my rent or paying off my student loan. My parents were buying my groceries. It was ridiculous.”
After seeing Brooke Taylor, a former sex worker, speak on the Tyra Banks show in high school, she realized that sex workers can be educated and smart, debunking the myth that prostitutes are all drug addicts.
She then applied to work at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, Nevada’s most famous brothel, and has been working there ever since.
I can’t count the number of classmates I met in college that were turning to drug dealing to help with school finances. These people did not fit the stereotypes of a typical drug dealer that you see on TV. They were normal students, attending prestigious universities, focused on getting good grades and graduating with honors.
According to an anonymous post on the Guardian, the writer noted that her roommate back in college was drug dealing because of the huge financial burdens she was dealing with while in school.
“My housemate isn’t a bad person, she was just desperate. Her parents had moved abroad, she was crippled by debt and knew she had little chance of finding a graduate job next year, let alone a roof over her head. Now she’s looking at five years in jail and a criminal record for life.”
With the availability of casinos both online and offline, there are huge online communities and blogs dedicated to students turning to Sports Betting and Poker to help pay for a college education. In a 2010 study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Adolescent Community Institute. They found that 16% of college-aged males frequent online gambling sites on a semi-regular basis. This is a big increase from the 4.8% reported in a similar study back in 2008. Lastly, they found that over 400,000 college males go to online casinos each week, and about 1.7 million do it each month.
Poker can be a very lucrative avenue to make money if you’re good. In the summer of 2007, then-Dartmouth College freshman Andrew Seidman told Business Insider that he was able to make $7,000 in one week playing online poker.