Attaining a college education is particularly expensive. Just look at the escalating, crippling student loan debt the average American undertakes in order to attend college. The majority of students are obliged to take out thousands in loans or working on the side in order to afford tuition, books, and living expenses.
Perhaps while looking for work online, some students have stumbled upon SeekingArrangement.com, a website with more than two million members worldwide and advertised as “the elite sugar daddy dating site for those seeking mutually beneficial relationships and mutually beneficial arrangements.”
The website offers “the modern daddy” the opportunity to be paired up with a “sugar baby.” The modern daddy is defined as always respectful and generous and says “you only live once, and you want to date the best.” Sugar daddies are branded as mentors, sponsors, or benefactors who deserve to get what they expect.
The site further defines the sugar babies as attractive, intelligent, ambitious, and goal oriented. Sugar babies are students, actresses, models, or girls and guys next door. They’re especially deserving of dating someone who will pamper and empower them and be helped mentally, emotionally, and financially. Sugar babies don’t necessarily have to be in college to participate.
The site offers mutually beneficial dating arrangements, primarily between wealthy older men seeking companionship and financially struggling but attractive younger women willing to provide company. A growing number of Florida college students are taking advantage of the opportunity, according to the Miami Herald. Last year, about 40 percent of the site’s membership was made up of college students. In 2012, it rose to 44 percent. College students are automatically given a premium status on their profiles, giving them free user privileges on the site.
Four Florida universities — Florida International University in Miami-Dade, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of South Florida in Tampa, and Florida State University in Tallahassee — have made the Top 20 list of fastest growing memberships on the dating website. The University of Central Florida has the fastest-growing membership of all Florida schools, coming in at number four on the SeekingArrangement.com list. UCF has 291 students using the site, 221 joining in the last year.
The site attributes the growth is due to the currently poor economic climate. Jennifer Gwynn, the director of public relations for SeekingArrangement.com, says:
“I can see a lot of these families are not able to contribute to their children’s education like they used to. I think it’s a hard time for families, and their kids are in college and have to fend for themselves.”
Critics suggest the site is a possible venue for prostitution. Gwynn says the site takes active measures to prevent that from happening, including screening every user’s profile:
“We are very, very strict about escorts. If language on someone’s profile is talking about selling their body, they’re kicked off immediately. That’s not what our site is really about.”