Marital Prostitution: Pimping Yourself Out for Reduced Tuition

I am a student so I’m always looking for ways to get additional funding for my studies. That being said I follow and regularly receive blog posts updates from Scholarships.com in my inbox. This morning’s top story was entitled, “Students Say “I Do” for Lower Tuition. Would You Marry to Keep College Costs Down?” This of course peaked my interest, but first let me give you the gist of what’s going on.

The University of California, which is one of the top schools in the country, charges different tuition rates for in-state versus out-of-state students. Out-of-state students may pay as much as $22,000 more for their education than in-state students. A common solution for lowering tuition costs is for a student to obtain residency in the state in which the student attends college. Unfortunately, for non-Californians there are very strict residency laws and it can take up to 2 years to go through the residency process. A student wishing to become a California resident as to meet three criteria: (1) they must be physically present in the state of California, (2) they must demonstrate an intention to stay in the state of California and (3) they must demonstrate financial independence. While the first two criteria are the easiest for the student to demonstrate it’s the third that causes the most headache. The quickest way for a student to demonstrate financial independence is by getting married. As long as the parents of the students do not claim the married student on their annual income taxes the former out-of-state student will be granted the reduced in-state tuition. Now of course the University of California will not admit to being unaware of some students marrying for reduced tuition costs, but they are out there and sadly many of them have resorted to looking for their spouses on Facebook. Here is the part that really made my jaw hit the floor…this is completely legal!!! And I might add that there are professional student match making services that help students who want to find other students who want a “marriage of convenience” and they’ll even assist with the divorce after the “couple” has graduated from college!!!

I understand that students joined together in a “marriage of convenience” stand to save themselves thousands of dollars on tuition and fees. I understand that these students are simply trying to acquire the best educations they can. I understand that the amount of financial aid appears to be declining and/or more competitive to obtain while the tuition and fees continue to skyrocket, but I ask, isn’t this unethical? I know it’s not illegal, but how is this okay? First, the students are completely “getting over” on the college/institution rates, which in my opinion is a form of fraud. Second, these marriages disregard and disrespect the entire covenant of marriage. A marriage of convenience teaches these students that marriage doesn’t have to be taken seriously. It teaches them that in this world it is acceptable to do drastic things and even sell your soul in order to get ahead in life. The sad part is these students have taken something so beautiful and turned it into something from which they can financially benefit. Does anyone respect the sanctity of marriage anymore? As a Christian, I think it’s absolutely disgusting that anyone could or even would cheapen the beautiful masterpiece that God created called marriage. I’m sorry, but this entire thing sounds like marital prostitution to me.

What are your thoughts? The floor is yours. Comments? Concerns? Questions? Solutions?

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9 Responses to Marital Prostitution: Pimping Yourself Out for Reduced Tuition

  1. attorney2be says:

    This post reminds me of people who get married to stay in the country or even military who marry for the extra pay. While I agree the sanctity of marriage seems to be at stake these days, it appears that some people feel that the state of the economy forces them to make these choices. Before the recession how popular was getting married for tuition. While I don't agree with it at all and it's something I would never do, it saddens me that we are in a place where people feel this is their only option.
    My recent post Dont stay

  2. Agreed with Miss Future ESQ over there…the bottom line is that this seems to be another attack on all things godly…the secular world's motto is "Anything but God" anyway. It's very saddening indeed…and on top of that, some students who refuse to do this are being left out in the cold and unable to attend their dreams schools because the faux marital couples are taking up slots in incoming classes. *facepalm*

    • The Student says:

      I think this is a classic example of a failure to trust God. I don't think a person who trusts God to supply all of their needs would feel the need to take it this far…just sayin!

  3. Aaron says:

    Yeah… I live here, so I know all about the costs of… well, pretty much anything here, being pretty high.

    On this one, I'm conflicted. On the one hand, yes, marriage is a sacred covenant that God created so that two people could celebrate their lives with each other under his watchful hand. On the OTHER hand… for thousands of years now, marriage has been used througout the world as a means of completing business transactions. Pre-arranged marriages in exchange for land, work, or other things haven't exactly been above the norm throughout history, and even in the Bible there are cases of marriages being arranged for these purposes.

    I guess one's viewpoint would depend on if they see marriage as you see it – a.k.a. a sacred bond that's not to be used for selfish purposes – or if they see it as something that can be used for a business transaction. As for me, I'd like to get married for love, not as part of a scheme to get something – but I can't really fault someone else for using it for other needs.

    • The Student says:

      You're right. I think it all depends on how you think about marriage. And yup…for countless years there have been examples of marriage as a business transaction. I just wish we could reclaim marriage as something sacred. It bothers me that a person might even have to consider marriage for the sake of getting ahead in life rather than as a binding covenant with God and a spouse. While a marriage of convenience can make life easier, I'm personally more concerned with how my decisions will cause me to spend my eternity.

  4. TheProDiva says:

    Are you serious! I cannot believe that there are actually folks facilitating these types of marriages. Isn't this similar to faux marriages for the sake of one spouse obtaining a Green Card? While I am an avid supporter of higher education, I'm not sure it this is worth it……
    My recent post The BestTeam vs The Right Team

  5. The Student says:

    This saddens me too, but I'm more concerned with how this is just one more example of society looking at marriage as huge joke. I hate that anyone would placed in a position where they feel this is their only option.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Oh my! I knew about people marrying to stay in the country but I have NEVER heard of marrying for lower tuition rates. I would never do it but I guess as college tuition rates skyrocket, some students are getting desperate. I recently read an article that stated that marriage is losing its social/religious value and people are marring for his intrinsic value; people are seeing it as a way to get what they can get out of it, forget love and everything else. So sad. WOW! I'm still just shocked b/c I'm a grad student and I'm ALWAYS looking for scholarships (such slim pickings). The agency facilitating these "dating services" should be ashamed.
    My recent post Life Cycle of Democracy

    • Jocelyn says:

      I’m telling you…times are hard and marriage continues to loose it’s value right along with the American dollar. SMH!

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