Rising college prices and a still-recovering economy means funds are hard to find for many college students. And don't think the solution lies at home.
CNN reports that since mom and dad are equally strapped for cash -- the average family reports that they are only on track to meet 30 percent of their college savings goals -- co-eds are turning increasingly to less conventional moneymaking schemes, including fertility clinics and sugar daddies.
One student told the news site that she has turned to niche online dating site SeekingArrangement.com to help her through school. The 21-year-old met her 37-year-old "sugar daddy" on the site, and now has her tuition payments paid in full, $1,500 installments each month.
Founded in 2005, SeekingArrangement.com bills itself as a "the elite sugar daddy dating site for those seeking mutual beneficial relationships." Users are separated into two groups, "The Modern Daddy," and the "Goal Seeking Sugar Baby." Sugar babies are described as "students, actresses, models or girls [and] guys next door" who know what they want and deserve to be pampered and taken care of.
About 350,000 of the sugar babies advertising on SeekingArrangement.com are college students, according to CNN, and two-thirds of them say they use their "daddy" as a main source of paying for college.
It's not just an American student phenomenon. Owner Brandon Wade told the Daily Mail in April that 35 percent of the site's 50,000 British users were students as well.
"Over the past few years, the number of college students using our site has exploded," Wade said. Tuition fees have been great for business the entrepreneur claimed. "We've had a huge influx of beautiful, highly educated young women."
Other creative ways college students are finding to wrestle up tuition money include becoming "human guinea pigs" in medical trials and working with sperm or egg donation services.
College students who give blood can make $40 every couple of weeks, according to CBS Los Angeles, while other trials can payout hundreds more to participants willing to be poked, prodded and studied in the name of science.
Egg donation is a particularly lucrative way to make cash on the side, if you can make the substantial commitment. Federal law bans the sale of human organs, but women can sell their eggs for tens of thousands of dollars, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Competition for egg donors can be intense, and many clinics openly target college students, as detailed in a report from KOBTV4 in New Mexico. Meanwhile, advertisements in the Daily Princetonian offered up to $35,000 to undergo an oocyte donation process, according to an io9 article.
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