Broke College Students Resorting To Sugar Daddies & Donating Baby-Making Cells To Cover Tuition

In case you hadn’t heard, college is like, really really expensive these days. Some students have their parents to help out, and many take out loans (even if they don’t know it). And then there are those willing to go to unconventional lengths to scrape up enough cash to cover the costs of their educations — things liked donating eggs and sperm, connecting with a sugar daddy or turning their bodies over to science.

CNNMoney notes that only 30% of families say they’re going to be able to meet college savings goals, leaving a big chunk of change that needs to be found somehow.

One such student profiled in their article is $135,000 in debt and jobless, but he still wants to get a Ph.D. So he signed over his body to science and has been participating in medical studies for pharmaceutical companies — and making a pretty penny at it. For doing just two studies — one testing arthritis meds and another which will inject breast cancer drugs into his body over eight days — he’ll get $8,500. That

“If I can’t find work [while in school], there’s always a headache medicine I could test,” he said.

Another student says she decided to become an egg donor at a fertility center and made enough from her first donation to almost cover the cost of her first year of school.

“When I worked a second job [between college and graduate school], it took me almost a year working in retail to make this same amount I’ve already made from one egg donation,” she said.

Men can also help others with fertility needs, as California Cryobank points out that almost a half of its qualified donors are college students. They can make up to $1,200 per month if they donate three times a week.

For those not opposed to spending time with a stranger there are sites like, where women can find rich men willing to give them an allowance. A 21-year-old student said she gets $1,500 for her tuition payment each month from a richer 37-year-old man, aka a sugar daddy.

The site says around 350,000 of the “sugar babies” signed up with them are college students, with two-thirds of those saying they’re using a sugar daddy as a primary or secondary means of affording college.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

Broke college students turn to fertility clinics, sugar daddies [CNNMoney]


Edit Your Comment

  1. axhandler1 says:

    Don’t be so sexist Consumerist! also caters to sugar mommas.

  2. eezy-peezy says:

    I guess they don’t call it prostitution anymore….

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Don’t worry, the guy is just paying her $1500 a month for her “company.” So perfectly chaste, nothing to see here.

  3. TuxthePenguin says:

    “One such student profiled in their article is $135,000 in debt and jobless, but he still wants to get a Ph.D”


    To quote my father: You’ll never get out of a hole with more digging.

    • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

      Then again, standing still doesn’t usually work, either.

      I mean, if you can’t make enough money without that Ph.D to keep up with the interest on the debt, not getting it isn’t going to help.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      I see your father doesn’t play Minecraft.

  4. ferozadh says:

    Grey market for human beings. Love it. Honestly just legalize it already then you can tax it. Come on gummiment.

    • MrEvil says:

      There is no federal ban on consensual prostitution. The FBI only goes after human traffickers. It’s state and local governments that need to get their noses out of consenting adults’ private business.

  5. crispyduck13 says:

    In my 3rd year of college I seriously considered donating some eggs, there were ads all over the place for it at Pitt. However, it was such a long process that involved multiple appointments over 8 months and a surgery that I chickened out. It would have paid between 5 and 10k in the end.

    When I graduated with 36k of debt I sure regretted that decision.

    • Pre-Existing Condition says:

      I went to Pitt for undergrad a very long time ago. I don’t know anything about eggs but it was relatively easy to make $3k or more each year volunteering for medical studies, especially the overnight ones. There was also a lot of potential if you had fair skin or light colored eyes, since it’s easier to see an adverse reaction.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I actually did some, made a couple hundred bucks. I graduated in 2006, at that time it seemed like every bulletin board you passed in every building had at least 5 fliers for medical studies.

        Good times.

    • Easter Love says:

      You don’t have to be a college student to donate eggs, You could still have done it after graduation to help pay off your debt…

      • VintageLydia says:

        It’s still time consuming and painful, though. I’d have to be pretty desperate for a few grand to do it myself :/

        • crispyduck13 says:


        • eezy-peezy says:

          It also messes up your body big time – lots of hormones involved. Not as easy as the guys have it donating their part.

        • god_forbids says:

          Sure, I guess the money is nice, but if someone doesn’t have it in their hearts to help infertile couples have children … I guess the money is the only thing they’re thinking of. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer, certainly, but I would not call such women “desperate.”

          Personally, I’m shocked to see how many people advocate testing experimental drugs (holy crap that terrifies me) versus routine hormone injections which are standard around the world and have decades of safety track record.

          Unlike the poster above who claims they “mess up your body” I actually did lots of my own research. I encourage anyone considering ovum donation to do their own as well.

  6. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    And finally, the German Cinema class I padded my schedule with 20 years ago has proven to be useful for something. The end of the world is indeed nigh.

  7. who? says:

    I’m all for people making money in creative ways. The sugar baby thing kinda makes me cringe, but whatever. It’s not my life. For the ones that are trying to go to grad school, though, I would think they’d do better to get an actual job, even if it meant putting grad school off for a year or two.

    I hire recent college grads. At least I *hired* recent college grads until we stopped hiring anybody…but I digress. One of the things I found was that the ones with actual job experience, whether it was in a related field or not, had a huge leg up on the competition. The ones who’ve had actual, full time jobs are more organized and professional than the ones who’ve just been students. One guy in particular had technical skills that were at the low end of what we would have ever considered, but had worked for four years as an event planner for a catering company. His catering job had given him job skills that put him years ahead of everyone else we interviewed in that round, and we hired him despite his lack of technical skills. Now he’s going to grad school on the company dime. I can’t imagine that a year of being a lab rat, even if it had paid well, would have helped him get the job.

    • LadyTL says:

      It’ll make him slightly less poor than the recent grad who wasn’t able to find a job while in college and didn’t get paid to be a lab rat.

  8. SalesGeek says:

    Next up:

  9. MBZ321 says:

    If you have to go through all that in order to get a piece of paper that continues to be worth less and less,…well I just don’t know what to say. Take the money from the sugarmommas/daddies and start a business or something.

  10. bnceo says:

    Sigh. Is it all worth it? Some people aren’t meant to have the Bentleys of education. Personally, I wanted to go to Rutgers or U of Miami (FL). But I knew I couldn’t afford. So, as a 17 year old, I made the decision to pay my way through school by paying 1st year’s tuition using my savings from my high school job. I took a bus everyday to NJIT and worked 2-3 jobs during my time.

    I only had $9K in loans from the year I decided to dorm (great experience, didn’t do great on my grades). So I moved back home and took the bus again. Paid off my loan in one year after graduating. See, simple. Why can’t more people do this? You know, think rationally and within your means.

    Oh, and before people talk about I knew better cause of this this or this, I’m a 1st generation American with no college educated parents or aunts/uncles.

    • VintageLydia says:

      It depends on how long ago you went to school. My community college is over 2K a semester full time and state schools are over 5K a semester for in-state tuition. Double that if you live on campus. I can see realistically working your way through your associates but if you want or need a bachelors to achieve your goals (and considering how many receptionist positions in my area require a bachelors degree it’s a pretty sure thing you need one to get into almost any industry) it’s almost impossible.
      It’s possible Virginia is more expensive than other states for education, but our state universities are especially good (VA Tech, UVa, William & Mary, VCU, etc etc etc all excellent schools with awesome reputations outside of the state.)

      • bnceo says:

        I went 5 years for my bachelors. Every year, the amount I made from my jobs (and in summer) paid for tuition. Went to a place where I wasn’t forced to dorm.

      • who? says:

        I’m guessing, based on the loan balance for one year, that bnceo went to school within the last 10 years, but your point is correct. When I went to school in the 80’s, it was realistic for mere mortals to pay for school without having to resort to loans. To use bnceo’s example, my brother, who was definitely not an outstanding student, went to U. of Miami, basically for free, with a combination of academic scholarships and financial aid. bnceo couldn’t make that work, and went to a cheaper school instead.

        That said, though, bnceo is right. Being careful, and doing a cost/benefit analysis of the possible choices can yield up an affordable school. And it isn’t necessarily the state schools that are most affordable. Private schools may have higher sticker prices, but they often offer better financial aid packages.

        • bnceo says:

          Yup. Went from 01-06. Room & Board was roughly the price of a year’s tuition.

          I didn’t do an excel based cost/benefit analysis. But I was an average student and got very little scholarships (one time $500 from a local credit union). I looked at the price for U of M and saw that I couldn’t do it. Never thought to take out loans. It was money I simply didn’t have.

          • VintageLydia says:

            I hear you. I’ve been very privileged that my dad saved up enough for me to get my AS and my grandmother is “giving me my inheritance early” by paying for my BA (though I’m taking a year off for this pregnancy.) I wouldn’t go to school if I needed to take out a loan in this job market and since I’m just an average student, I wouldn’t qualify for most scholarships, either.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            You’ve made an assload of assumptions in your rant against people taking out student loans. I also took 5 years, 01-06, and I also wanted to go to U Miami or Drexel (both offered me a scholarship) but in the end went to Pitt because it was cheaper overall. My savings from my high school job paid for books and food for 2 semesters. Had no choice years 2-5 but to take out loans because financial aid was slim and summer jobs didn’t cover nearly enough of the total bill. I had a part-time job all the way through those 4 years as well.

            You should be proud of graduating with zero debt, but to come on here and shit all over people who did take loans to finish is just unnecessary. Of course it’s possible to do, but the fact that some people can’t do it doesn’t make them stupid or extravagant. Not everyone has the luxury of living with their parents while they go to college, and some cheap schools don’t offer certain degrees or have a poor reputation.

            Looking at my situation now owning a home and making 65k a year, graduating with around 36k in debt was well worth it.

            • bnceo says:

              No sir. I shit on people who live above their means and complain about it when they get the bill. Most of the time, it’s a roll of the dice to see if you will get a good enough job to pay for a decent lifestyle and monthly loan payments. But most people simply apply the credit card user mantra and say, “I’ll pay for it later” without really think where that $$ is coming from. Then they complain when the interest rate goes back to a normal level (when they signed the loan) after they get a little break from the government.

          • shockwaver1 says:

            Just FYI – did a quick bit of searching and tuition has increased by roughly 32% at your school from the 2005-2006 school year to 2011-2012 – that makes it that much harder to afford without loans.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Yeah Ivy League schools give out scholarships like candy, almost, based on the few people I knew who went to such schools.

          • euph_22 says:

            Their sticker prices assumes you’re rich, and have significant external scholarships. Their endowments are big enough to pay for most everyone else.

      • akiri423 says:

        Agree that there are a lot of assumptions here. I went from ’05-’10, so five years for a BA. Worked full time the whole time and graduated from a state school with only $4500 in student loans. I did have financial aid for the first year, but after that, was on my own. Paid cash almost every semester. Not fun, and you definitely won’t have “the college experience,” but it’s plenty doable.

        • bnceo says:

          It’s doable to have the college experience. Gotta network around, find places to crash. Have some friends who have extra meals on their card. And I got lucky to have two cousins go to Rutgers (valedictorians who are on loans who make less than I do now) who let me crash and enjoy the Rutgers party lifestyle.

          It’s also the main reason I took out one loan for one year, just to dorm.

  11. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    When I was in college, I offered to donate sperm to practically every woman I met.

    …hardly any of them wanted to take me up on it.


  12. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    A 21-year-old student said she gets $1,500 for her tuition payment each month from a richer 37-year-old man, aka a sugar daddy.

    Well, depending on how much time she spends with him a month, that could easily be a very mutually beneficial arrangement. Anything over 6 times a month and he’s saving money also.

  13. The Unincorporated Man says:

    Well, this is just a natural progression of things. College in 2000- go be a stripper. Prices rise to today’s level- go be a prostitute. That’s what happens when college prices rise to unattainable levels. People make desperate choices.

    I know a girl from school who was a stripper around Temple U. Sweet girl, Dean’s List, came from nothing. She did what she thought was needed to get through school. Now is a successful lawyer with a family.

  14. Maxedaddy says:

    Now that’s the kind of Romney economy that we can all believe in! Take it in the rear for your education!

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Um, you might not have noticed, but Romney isn’t president. This is all happening now, when the other guy is president and has been for over 3 years.

      • axhandler1 says:

        Sheesh, when will you guys finally realize that it doesn’t matter who is president? Pretty much any politician who is able to win the presidential nomination from their party should absolutely not be allowed to be president. Things will continue to get worse from here on in.

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          What???? Ok then smartypants, if that’s true then how are we gonna keep blaming Bush for everything?

      • crispyduck13 says:

        To be completely honest, this same shit has been happening for at least a decade now. Nothing to do with Obama or Romney.

  15. triana says:

    What ever happened to the old-fashioned way to pay for college? Stripping.

    • RandomHookup says: is stripping for shy girls.

    • akiri423 says:

      Not every town has strip clubs in convenient, public-transport-accessible locations… I’m sure if mine did, most of the girls there would be from the local 4 year.

    • eezy-peezy says:

      Boston had one club that advertised “All Nude College Girl Revue”, i guess guys would pay extra to see college girls.

  16. DataShade says:

    Hah hah, silly terrorists thinking they need to kill people to destroy America!

  17. Extended-Warranty says:

    I remember when I just swallowed my pride, went to community college for as long as I could, had a job, and extended college a year. Little did I know I could have been used by older men.