A British website offered young women ‘sponsorship’ from strangers in exchange for private encounters. Allegedly a pretty student could cover up to US$24,000 a year of tuition fees depending on ‘the level of intimacy’ she was willing to demonstrate.
The dubious business was exposed by The Independent newspaper, which sent an undercover journalist to pose as a potential scholar for a meeting with a site staffer, but cut it short when he requested a “practical assessment” at a nearby flat.
The website SponsorAScholar.co.uk apparently operates in a grey zone of British law, which allows clients and sex workers to be brought together, as long as any intermediary can plausibly deny involvement in sex for money deals, the newspaper said.
It this particular case the website offered women between 17 and 24 funding for their university study from wealthy businessmen seeking “discreet adventures”. The tuition money would be received in exchange for two-hour sessions with men in hotel rooms or private flats up to four times per term. The site claims to have undertaken such arrangements for 1,400 students.
According to the conversation the reporter secretly filmed while meeting the “assessor”, the women are supposed to complete a questionnaire to describe what they are comfortable doing with the strangers. He explained that “the more you’re prepared to do, the more interest you’re going to get, [and] obviously the more sponsorship amount you’re going to get for that.”