Seven per cent of us turn to medical trials and sex work just to get by

No money mo problems

Shrinking loans are driving a staggering seven per cent of us to inject our bodies with exotic diseases and sell our bodies for money.

According to a new study, maintenance loans aren’t doing the job, with the average student being left £265 out of pocket every month.

As a result, huge numbers are turning to medical testing or some kind of sex work to make ends meet.

What’s more, 12 per cent of us also considered gambling a good way to make more cash in the National Student Money Survey.


Students can be injected with viruses like flu to help doctors discover new cures

Third year Helen said that after “struggling” with money she to turned to “lucrative” topless work online.

She told Save the Student: “Before, when I had a ‘conventional’ job, I really struggled with money – I am great at budgeting but money just wouldn’t stretch.

“I was living on £5 a week. To go from that to earning £50 a day or so was great.”

Save the Student asked nearly 2000 of us about our bank balance in their National Student Money survey.

It revealed the average student burns through £745 each month on living, but receives just £480 back in government payments.

Currently, undergrads can borrow between £4,418 and £7,751 per year to cover living.

This is set to rise by three per cent for lucky freshers starting in September.


Seven per cent are turning to sex work or camming to make cash

One student told researchers: “My parents earn above the top band so I get absolute bare minimum student finance – it doesn’t even cover my rent.

“Just because my parents work hard and earn money doesn’t mean they necessarily have enough to give me lots of help.”

Owen Burek, editor at Save the Student, said: “Maintenance loans don’t reflect real living costs, regional differences and parents’ ability to contribute – frankly, they’re out of touch with individual circumstances and student needs.

“Until access payments become fairer and more relevant, all we’re doing is papering the cracks.”

Trying to make ends meet, Brookes student Suzie Wright spent 12 days in a quarantined flu camp during her summer holidays.

She recommended medical testing after earning £3000 in just a couple of weeks.

Suzie said: “After googling ‘easy ways to make money’ instead of a job, I found FluCamp.


Medical trials can mean isolation for up to two weeks

“The main test volunteers have to endure at Flucamp is the ominously titled “nasal tolerance test”.

“Three times a day I was given a rubber tube that expands into a ball at the tip and told to shove it up my nose.

“My quarantine room came with an ensuite, so I was practically on holiday. I even had my own Playstation 3. And at least it was clean.

But it wasn’t always easy, and those taking part in the trial were subjected to gruelling tests.

Suzie added: “Physical checks were performed four times a day, with a urine test in the mornings, and blood tests every three days.

“A few days in bed can be fun, but after about a week your legs disagree. I got extremely restless but wasn’t allowed to do anything. It was almost like having the flu after all.

“I’d say £3000 in two weeks is considerably easier than working in a pub for the entire summer.”