Texas Students Seek Sugar Daddies to Pay Off Loans

By: Texas Monthly Email
By: Texas Monthly Email

Texas universities have won yet another dubious distinction. According to a press release (PDF) issued January 14 by the InfoStream Group:

An increasing number of female students from [the] University of Texas Austin, Texas State University, University of North Texas, and University of Texas Arlington are turning to the ‘Sugar Baby Lifestyle’ to fund their education.

If that sentence makes sense to you, then there’s a good chance you are a practitioner of the “Sugar Baby Lifestyle.” For the rest of us, a bit of explanation is in order… .

SeekingArrangement.com is an online dating service that touts itself as “the world’s largest Sugar Daddy website.” It connects well-to-do benefactors, who are looking to hookup with hot, young college coeds, with college students who need help paying off student loan debt. In other words, rich, older men can trade cash, gifts, and luxurious dates in exchange for a young, needy woman’s “company.”

In a list of the Top 20 fastest growing “Sugar Baby” schools of 2012, Texas State University ranked at No. 10 and the University of North Texas came in at No. 13. The rankings were determined by the percentage of increase in new users from the previous year.

Brandon Wade, SeekingArrangment’s founder and CEO, said, “The population of college Sugar Babies in Texas has steadily increased every year, with Texas State University leading all major universities in the past year.”

The dating service, which promotes “mutually beneficial relationships,” is itself a source of controversy, as some observers view it to be thinly veiled prostitution. The Huffington Post ran an in-depth story of the site, which details the experience of one user, a 22-year-old New York woman named “Taylor” (not her real name) who met an older man through the website. Taylor recounts how student loans led her to desperation. “I just wanted to get out of that situation as safely as possible, pay off my debt and move on,” she said. Though Taylor doesn’t consider her liason as prostitution, she was dismayed by the experience. “I never thought it would come to this,” she said. “I felt dirty.”

Not everyone considers the young women as the losing parties in these cash-for-class exchanges. “While some may argue that these women are just using men for their own personal gain, I believe that they are proactive in pursuing a higher education,” said Wade.

Wade, 41, whom the Wall Street Journal dubbed “Mr. Sugar Daddy,” describes himself as “super-nerdy.” He had trouble with traditional dating as a young man, landing his first kiss at the ripe old age of 21. As a successful entrepeneur who enjoys the company of college coeds, it seems that Wade, and his clients, finally have what it takes to land the ladies that are out of their league: lots of money.

A complete list of the Top 20 Fastest Growing “Sugar Baby” Schools in 2012:

1. Georgia State University

2. New York University

3. Temple University

4. University of Central Florida

5. University of Southern Florida

6. Arizona State University

7. Florida International University

8. University of Georgia

9. Indiana University

10. Texas State University

11. Kent State University

12. Penn State

13. University of North Texas

14. Florida State University

15.Tulane University

16. Michigan State University

17. University of Ohio

18. Columbia University

19. University of Alabama

20. University of California Los Angeles

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