dollar bill

ESEMES

The porn site wants to make it rain in the bursar’s office.

One more sign that student debt and financial aid is entirely out of hand? Pornhub.com, the largest porn site on the Internet with over one billion monthly visitors, has now launched a $25,000 scholarship competition. The scholarship is being managed by the porn site’s charitable arm, Pornhub Cares

Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited secondary institution with a GPA of 3.2 or higher, be 18 or older, and “be verifiable” by providing a resume and official school transcript. To apply, students must send in an essay answering the question, “How do you strive to make others happy?” and an accompanying two-to-five minute video “that elaborates on the good work that you do and anything else that you might want to say.” The application deadline is midnight, October 31st. 

Pornhub Cares lists its selection criteria:

  • Standout, compelling examples of students who pay it forward

  • Leadership abilities

  • Creativity in approach

While some question Pornhub’s motivation behind the scholarship offer, positing that it’s a coy grab for amateur videos to be submitted as part of the selection process, Pornhub has rejects that insinuation. Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, had this to say to The Daily Beast on the subject: “The criteria isn’t to submit the best porn video and get a scholarship. I would be surprised if we had any pornographic entries.” He stated to the Washington Post: “Showing how you spread happiness in a sex video is not what we’re aiming for. This is not about you making a homemade porn and winning a scholarship.”

Despite the immediate assumptions that Pornhub is trying to trick young women into sending them explicit videos, this isn’t the first time the porn industry has been involved in raising money for education and other charitable causes. Earlier this year, aerospace-engineer-turned-porn-star Mercedes Carrera launched the Porn Charity, a porn-funded STEM scholarship with an application process that was handled by the Fine Young Capitalists. The Porn Charity raised over $11,000 via crowdfunding site Indie GoGo and a live cam show.

And in 2014, porn stars in Japan raised money for an AIDS charity by letting people cop a feel of their breasts. The telethon, dubbed Boob Aid, raised over $22,000.

Despite the established efforts made by some parts of the porn industry to contribute where and how it can with its specialized skills, many organizations seem reluctant or flat-out opposed to any association with pornographers. Carrera initially tried to partner her project with Ablegamer, an organization dedicated to making gaming accessible to people with disabilities, but they withdrew from the partnership when plans for the live cam show were revealed.

Pornhub has some experience with this itself; in 2012, when the Save the Boobs campaign concluded, the reported $30,000 in funds raised for breast cancer research were outright rejected by the Susan G. Komen non-profit.

The scholarship is Pornhub Cares’ second philanthropic move this year. In April, in support of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, Pornhub released a fact sheet and a Save the Balls self-exam video featuring Charlotte Stokely. Pornhub Cares also raised awareness for breast cancer with a Save the Boobs campaign in 2012 and planted over 15,000 trees on Arbor Day in 2014—thus giving America wood.

H/T GQ | Photo via ESEMES/flickr

Marianne Kirby

Marianne Kirby

Marianne Kirby is a writer whose work focuses on women's issues and bodies. Her byline has appeared in the Guardian and xoJane, and she has appeared on the Dr. Phil Show and Radio New Zealand.