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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Deductibility of 'Scholarship' Payments to Student Escorts

The Independent, How Sex Work Has Replaced a Bar Job for Students Who Struggle to Pay Bills, Loans and University Fees:

Undergraduates have traditionally pulled pints or waited tables to pay their way through university, but a growing body of research suggests that a significant number are now turning to sex work to make ends meet.

The rise in fees which will see some students graduate with projected debts of up to £53,000 at the end of their course is being blamed for persuading young women and men to take up pole dancing, escort work or even prostitution. Experts say that university welfare officers are largely ignorant of the growing phenomenon and poorly equipped to deal with issues arising from young people’s involvement.

Research by Dr Ron Roberts, of the University of Kingston, published in 2010 suggested that one in four students know someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies – up from three per cent in 1990. ...

“Universities are not dealing with this issue. It is not on the radar of welfare or support organisations within education,” she said. The SponsorA Scholar.co.uk site appears to cater to those seeking the so-called “girlfriend” experience where sex can be accompanied by an emotional intimacy. Ms Sagar said that many sex sites flagged up a student’s educational status which was often desirable to potential clients.

SponsorAScholar.co.uk uses a variety of images of women and glowing testimonials claiming to come from satisfied customers which it is feared could attract young women struggling financially.

The website claims that most of the sponsors are “men between the ages of 28 and 50 who run their own successful business and want to have discreet adventures with a student whilst helping them fund their studies through a scholarship”. It even suggests the amount is tax deductible.

(Hat Tip: Andy Morriss.)

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