PornHub Offers $25,000 Scholarships to Students

Safe for Work…And School? PornHub Offers $25,000 Scholarships to Students

PornHub is one of those rare sites that offer their customers exactly what it says in the packaging: it’s a hub for pornography. A simple premise that the site has been able to build on for their success, mostly because they paid attention to what people liked, but also because they care about their customers in ways that many companies don’t.

So it came as a huge surprise when PornHub started offering $25k college scholarships to applicants. Was it a scam, a way for the company to lure unwitting teenagers into a life of sex and online infamy?

Nope. Apparently, PornHub just really wanted to give back.

A History of Good Things

This isn’t the first time PornHub stepped out of its persona of pornography peddler and into a purveyor of philanthropic endeavors: in 2012, they deployed notable porn star Bree Olsen to New York on a “Boob Bus” to teach people about home breast exams. It was the company’s way of supporting their anti-Breast Cancer advocacy in a way that would stimulate both sides of their market. In support of this, PornHub also pledged to donate one cent for every 30 views of any video in their “big tit” or “small tit” categories.  In a matter of days (obviously), the site had logged more than 74 million views for a total of $24, 715. However, PornHub tripled that amount, donating a cool $75,000 to Breast Cancer research.

To consolidate all their philanthropic efforts, the site created PornHub Cares, an umbrella organization that collates all of their endeavors, of which the PornHub Cares Scholarship is under. It is the site’s first major, general-interest, and explicitly non-sexual program that’s dedicated to providing students with the funding they need to finish their higher education.

Their criteria for selection? Create a 1000 to 1500 word essay about how the applicant intends to spread happiness, which is reflected on the PornHub Cares website:

 “We work hard to make millions of people feel very happy every single day. In turn, we would like to help support the recipient of the first annual Pornhub Cares Scholarship to realize their goal of doing the same.”

Applicants must also send in a 2-minute video (completely SFW, of course) elaborating on their essay. They must also provide proof of enrollment at a college or university, proof of legal age, a resume, and their official school transcript. Applicants must have a 3.2 GPA or higher, pretty standard criterias for most NGO scholarships.

A History of Rejection

Of course, it wasn’t always easy for PornHub. In their campaign against breast cancer, PornHub had difficulty finding an organization that would take their donation, with many NGO’s outright denying them for being “immoral”. The site had to break down its donation into three, separate, and most importantly, anonymous payments. It seems that people love charity, but only if it comes from people who follow their narrow view of morality.

A strange incident, considering that PornHub has done more for breast cancer research, championing women’s rights, elevating LGBTQI++ issues to the mainstream, and forwarding campaigns of sex positivity, than most government or NGO programs, not to mention done more to raise awareness for those issues.

However, this hasn’t stopped PornHub: with the launch of their PornHub Cares scholarship, the site has also started encouraging more and more young women to avail of the grant for STEM studies. PornHub has been at the forefront of trying to balance the gender ratio in STEM studies, a field largely dominated by men.

PornHub scholarship
Source: GQ

To get around being rejected by charity organization, PornHub offers its scholarships directly to the students. This clever workaround takes away the hassle of dealing with unwilling organizations, or organizations that are willing to take the money but under anonymity.

PornHub executive Corey Price believes that this is a great way to both give back to their community and normalize pornography not as a “seedy underworld”, but as a sex-positive space. He says,

“Our site is most visited by viewers in the 18 to 25 age demographic, which is about the same age as those attending colleges and graduate schools.

With this initiative, we are trying to make a difference in the life of someone in this cohort…The adult entertainment industry has undertaken a significant evolution from its days as a ‘seedy underworld’.

There will be those who maintain that viewpoint, and that’s perfectly acceptable. But the visibility the industry has been given, through some of our initiatives and other adult entertainment related stories, has provided the world an inside look at porn and the reception has been overwhelming. People are receptive to what we do nowadays as porn and sex positive are is [sic] penetrating the mainstream and garnering more interest than ever before.”

As a neutral scholarship, Price believes that most schools will not kick a student out for taking the scholarship as this could potentially create a PR nightmare for the school. PornHub will also only offer the scholarship to willing students, so as to avoid both rejection and anonymity. Corey Price says,

“We are providing the scholarship directly to the student so as to avoid any rejection and/or conflict with charities.

The winner of our scholarship will be a future innovator and leader. For a college to shy away from him or her would be a travesty.”

Although PornHub’s idea of the normalization of pornography might seem overly optimistic, it is still a positive step towards serving their community in ways that empower them physically and academically, not to mention prepare them for a life in the workforce.