Can't get a student loan? Take off your clothes

It hasn't gotten much press in the United States, but college students in the United Kingdom who rely on loans to pay their expenses are facing a serious problem: The Guardian reports that "Three-quarters of universities polled said they had made extra payments from their hardship funds to help students pay the rent, buy books and feed themselves while they wait for the Student Loans Company (SLC) to work its way through the backlog of tens of thousands of student applications."

The SLC took over student loan processing duties from local authorities this year and, evidently, wasn't prepared for the task. Students are being placed on hold for hours, and loan sharks are descending on campuses to cash in at the expense of students who need cash for rent, school supplies, and food.

But one student has found a better way: stripping.

The BBC reports on the plight of an anonymous student who is "about to start work as a stripper" because her student loan funds haven't come through. She's borrowed from family and friends and taken temp jobs, but she's out of other options.

"I would obviously much prefer to not have to do this, but I don't have much choice as my parents cannot give me any more money," she told the BBC News Web site.

Obviously no one should have to become a stripper to afford college, but as a practical matter, she might actually be making a smart move from a long-term perspective. She says the club where she'll be stripping is safe and if a little stripping can help her avoid 20 years of student loan payments, it very well may be a prudent sacrifice. At the very least, it's not a decision she should be judged for making.
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