“Sugar Babies” Become New Trend
Justin Sullivan
jsull828@uwsp.edu

As tuition costs sprint past the national inflation rate, some college-bound women are finding alternative means to pay for their education.

Since 2008 when the recession hit, funding for public education has declined by 14.6 percent, and funding per pupil at state universities has fallen by 21 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

One website, Seeking Arrangement.com, has seen its popularity increase over the past few years. Many college-aged women turn to the service for financial assistance. The website offers women, or “sugar babies,” the chance to meet older men with disposable income, or “sugar daddies.”

According to the website’s description, Seeking Arrangement helps with “what you are seeking, whether it is love, companionship, friendship or some financial help, and whether it will be for a short-term, long-term or life-long arrangement.”

In January, Seeking Arrangement released a list of the fastest growing “sugar baby colleges,” the universities with the fastest growing populations of women seeking men able to assist with college tuition in return for “companionship.” The fastest growing college on the website was Georgia State University.

College student membership increased 58 percent overall from December 2011 to December 2012.

Peter Munck, a history and broad field social science major, believes that nothing is wrong with the interaction.

“This all comes down to my libertarianism. I am for personal liberty. I am for people making contracts and other financial decisions without government interference,” Munck said. “This includes business transactions that happen to involve sexual services like prostitution or, in this case, marriage, or sugar daddies, or however you want to call it for tuition. It really doesn’t concern me, so I’m not going to get bothered by it.”

Michelle Nieuwenhuis, a theatre and English major, had a different take on the issue.

“I am sure there are people doing it for the wrong reasons, which upsets me only because these women are denying themselves actual love. The economy is down, and it seems as though in order to get a good paying job, some people find it necessary to fake relationships in order to be successful,” Nieuwenhuis said. “Maybe society should look inwards to see why young people are doing this.”

Nieuwenhuis and Munck also felt it should be acknowledged that men could also be on the reverse end of the relationship.

“I just wish older women did the same,” Munck said.

Seeking Arrangement has it covered, with the option to browse for “sugar mommies.”