UNT makes national ‘Sugar Baby Schools’ list

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SeekingArrangement.com
Screenshot
This screen shot shows the home page of SeekingArrangement.com, a dating website that connects younger men and women with partners willing to help pay their expenses, like college tuition.

More than 400 students at the University of North Texas use the website SeekingArrangement.com to find partners to help pay their tuition, according to data from the website.

In 2016, the site added 42 members for a total of 431 members who verified their UNT email addresses to feature a “college” badge on their profiles.

With the new members, UNT is ranked 52nd nationally on the 2017 list of the fastest-growing “Sugar Baby Schools” and one of six universities in Texas to make the list, including Texas State University in San Marcos at No. 5 and the University of Texas in Austin at No. 11.

The website connects “sugar babies” — college students and other 20-somethings — with “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommies,” users who are notably older and willing to give babies monthly allowances for expenses ranging from rent to tuition to clothing in exchange for companionship.

“Mutually beneficial relationships are great because not only does a student receive financial benefits like paid tuition and funds for books, but they also get mentorship and career guidance,” said Alexis Germany, a spokeswoman for the website. “Often times, sugar daddies introduce sugar babies to people who can assist them with internships and job placement post graduation.”

On the website, users set up profiles, with the babies saying what they want their monthly spending limit to be and the older users saying what they’d be willing to pay. Then, each details a profile about exactly what they’re looking for in a relationship, whether it’s strictly a travel companion, dinner a few times per month or an exclusive and committed relationship.

The number of students participating at UNT is a fraction of the school’s total enrollment, which hit 37,973 in fall 2016. Margarita Venegas, a spokeswoman for the university, said there was no way for the school to verify the data from SeekingArrangement.com.

“We do not condone the actions encouraged by the site since we are committed to providing students with a safe, challenging and vibrant educational experience,” Venegas said Monday. “This group is an independent organization not connected to the University of North Texas.”

In Texas, the average sugar baby user gets a monthly allowance of $2,600, Germany said. Nationally, the average is $2,440 per month.

The average allowance spending is 39 percent on tuition, 30 percent on rent and 21 percent on books, according to the data the website released Monday.

For some students, the website sounds a little weird and off putting.

Sophomore Olivia Young said the website doesn’t sound like it’s for her, but she was surprised the average student gets $2,600 per month.

“I probably wouldn’t do it, but if it works for them as a mutual agreement, then it’s all good,” she said. “But that’s a lot for money on a fake relationship.”

She said she doesn’t know any of her peers using the website, but she did say if her friends made that much from the site, she hopes they would buy her dinner.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

BY THE NUMBERS

The following is a list of the top 20 fastest-growing “Sugar Baby Schools” in the nation based on new sign-ups in 2016:

 

Ranking, university

Student total

New sign-ups

1. Temple University

1,068

296

2. New York University

1,436

244

3. Arizona State University

1,247

236

4. Georgia State University

1,088

188

5. Texas State University

746

182

6. Florida International University

663

154

7. Virginia Commonwealth University

367

133

8. Kent State University

1,074

124

9. University of Alabama

346

109

10. University of Central Florida

949

104

11. University of Texas at Austin

714

103

12. University of South Florida

748

102

13. University of Arizona

231

96

14. Portland State University

187

94

15. Michigan State University

644

86

16. Florida State University

611

82

17. San Francisco State University

243

80

18. Howard University

225

79

19. Old Dominion University

188

74

20. University of Minnesota

284

71

 

Other Texas schools on the list:

 

Ranking, university

Student total

New sign-ups

47. Texas A&M University

78

45

52. University of North Texas

431

42

55. University of Houston

191

41

62. University of Texas at San Antonio

125

36


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