What is the real cost of Uni?


Photo Credit: fetcaldu

With times being tough, what lengths will we go to in order to get our hands on some extra cash?

Many undergraduates now go to extraordinary measures to fund their studies; a new study suggests.

The inaugural survey, ‘The Real Cost of Uni’ courtesy of Debut, suggests sex work, drug dealing, blood donation and even sugar daddies are options considered and carried out by strapped-for-cash students, looking for an effective way to fund their studies.

Out of the 1,000 students who participated in the survey, an arguably shocking 17% believe stripping for cash is something they would consider throughout their time at university. A similar 13% stated a sugar daddy was necessary to cover the cost of fees and day-to-day living. These measures are additionally seen to be more popular than gambling, which stays at a low 9% in comparison.

It appears the high morals of students often go out of the window when times get tough. And with Sutton Trust research suggesting that students who study in England have the ‘highest debt in the English-speaking world’, it appears these more drastic measures may in fact be entirely necessary.

20-year-old Evie*, stated finding a ‘sugar daddy’ was something she had considered, ‘I must admit, I’ve looked at the websites. Of course, it’s difficult. On the one hand, everything in your head is screaming “No!” but on the other, I desperately need the money – rent is ridiculously high in London and most of the time, I don’t know where I’ll get the cash for the weekly shop.’

When I asked Evie if she would consider other options to help with her finances, she stated, ‘I’ll do just about everything at this point. I’m at the end of my tether and finding it difficult to juggle it all. I don’t want to go to extremes, but it might end up being necessary.’

*Evie’s real name has been changed as she wished to remain anonymous.

Indeed, it is London students who seem to suffer the most whilst at university. Revealed as the ‘prostitution capital’ of the study, 16% of undergraduates asked knew someone who had worked as an escort.

In this tough financial climate, many students are turning to these methods as a last resort. After all, student survival is far from cheap. Of course, when studying the data and experiencing life as a student first-hand, these actions are arguably justified.

The real question is: How are universities going to help?


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