5-speed listening (Level 5)

Students sell bodies and gamble to survive






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British university students are having a hard time making ends meet. They are turning to desperate measures, including gambling, taking out high-interest loans and selling their body to cover their living costs. The website Save the Student (StS) questioned 1,900 students about their finances. It found that the average student got $750 a month in the form of a student loan. However, average living expenses were $1,170 a month. This leaves a monthly shortfall of $420. Students make up the difference in a variety of ways, some of which would cause parents a lot of concern.

The StS poll found that 71 per cent of students got extra money from parents, while 65 per cent worked part-time. Around 46 per cent had a bank overdraft. Seven per cent of the students said that they had "sold their body" to earn additional cash. Others took part in medical trials. Twelve per cent of students said they had gambled to supplement their income. Three per cent took out loans with extortionate interest rates. One student said: "It's frustrating when you're already paying off multiple credit cards at 19." StS said the government was "out of touch with…student needs".

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