Student Life

Who’s your Sugar Daddy?: Rising higher education costs cause some students to enter a relationship in exchange for money

Students at Michigan universities are resorting to “sugar daddies” to pay for their school expenses based on a mutually beneficial arrangement. The average age for a sugar daddy is 35-to-45 years old, while the average sugar baby is 18-to-26 years old. (Victoria Zegler/Photo Editor)

Students at Michigan universities are resorting to “sugar daddies” to pay for their school expenses based on a mutually beneficial arrangement. The average age for a sugar daddy is 35-to-45 years old, while the average sugar baby is 18-to-26 years old. (Photo Illustration by Victoria Zegler/Photo Editor)

Students at Michigan universities are resorting to “sugar daddies” to pay for their school expenses based on a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Sugar daddies are older, wealthier men who provide financial stability for a student in exchange for sex or a relationship.

Leroy Velasquez, public relations manager for SeekingArrangement.com, said the average income for a Sugar Daddy is $250,000.

The average age for a sugar daddy is 35-to-45 years old, while the average sugar baby is 18-to-26 years old.

“We respect the fact that (sugar babies) are independent, and they are searching for their own way to pay for college,” Velasquez said.  “Maybe their parents can’t afford to help pay for college.”

Velasquez said they do not discriminate gender and cater to the LGBTQ community, in addition to having Sugar Mommas and male Sugar Babies.

The arrangement made is based on the desires of each party.

“They both explain what they desire up front,” he said. “It’s not a traditional relationship. A sugar daddy is a wealthy benefactor living an active business life and can’t engage in a normal relationship. A sugar baby is looking for someone who can mentor her and give her networking opportunities and financial stability.”

The tuition rate is $365 per credit hour for in-state students at Central Michigan University.

Although no CMU students were found as members of the site, Michigan State University is ranked No. 16 in the country with 108 sugar babies on campus.

The MSU tuition rate per credit hour is just slightly more than CMU’s, at $420.75.

The Detroit Free Press reports Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan as other Michigan colleges showing growth on the website.

Students at CMU interviewed tend to disagree with the idea of having a sugar daddy.

“Obviously it’s not good,” Macomb junior Andrew Venditti said. “I think it’s exploiting women.”

Venditti, who has seen the concept before on MTV’s “True Life” series, said women are going for the easy way out when it comes to paying for their school expenses.

Valesquez said becoming a Sugar Baby is a better option than taking on a job while in school because it doesn’t impede a student’s schedule like a job does.

“People want to better themselves,” he said of its users.

President George Ross said in an email that he does not condone this type of behavior from CMU students.

“The existence of such a ‘service’ is deeply disturbing,” he said.  “To each and every one of our students, about whom I care deeply, I want to say: all of us were reminded last week just how precious — and vulnerable — our personal safety can be. And ‘sugar daddy’ situations are NOT safe. CMU in no way condones any such activity.”

History Professor Tara McCarthy said in an email that this is an extreme solution and fears this can harm a young woman’s future.

“I think this kind of dependence is dangerous, especially on someone you met online,” McCarthy said. “Women who are financially beholden to someone else in this kind of arrangement are at risk for exploitation.”

Owendale sophomore Holly Errer said she would not use the site because “it is disgusting.”

“If people are doing it just to meet someone to date, I think they should just wait and meet someone on their own,” she said.  “It’s not worth it. I would rather pay loans than have someone pay for me.”

Although Errer won’t become a Sugar Baby anytime soon, she said she doesn’t doubt that girls on CMU’s campus would take advantage of such an arrangement.

“If people are that desperate to get their tuition paid for, I could see them doing it,” she said.

8 Comments

  1. Derpington_The_Third says:

    >And a word to the wise:

    Oh, kinda like slut shaming! I like the hypocrisy!

  2. It is a joke and shameful that this is the cover of the newspaper today with the inauguration tucked on the back page. Is this really what people want to read?

  3. And people say chivalry isn’t dead….

  4. I agree with Pres. Ross, this kind of situation is not safe at all. It could quickly lead to all kinds of trouble someone probably couldn’t even imagine when they sign up. I can’t help but recall the recent MLive article about Theresa Flores and sexual exploitation surrounding the Detroit Auto Show. After falling into a crush and entering the guy’s house one day she wound up drugged, tricked, blackmailed and threatened into prostituting herself twice a week. It sounds to me like SeekingArrangement would provide a great semi-legal cover for pimps.

    Of course, not all these relationships will result in such extreme exploitation, but it’s certainly possible. Funny that Velasquez refers to sugar babies as “independent,” since, in my estimation, his “service” leads to an extremely dependent (and unhealthy) relationship. I hope graduates will find more constructive ways to pay off their loans. A web search for “paying off student loans” provides plenty of helpful resources. In addition, graduates can become more aware of the community that surrounds them. Perhaps their parents can’t help much, but there might be others who can. The more people who get involved, the easier it is on everyone. Later on, that graduate can help out when someone who supported them has a need.

  5. caringsocietyneededasap says:

    Tacky article.

  6. caringsocietyneededasap says:

    Catey I am sure you are no prize lol..

  7. chipskeptic says:

    Boy, everyone needs to grow the heck up. If they are legally consenting adults, it is entirely THEIR BUSINESS what they do.

  8. Male Rights Advocacy says:

    What’s the issue here? Every male who is college-aged has long since realized that woman only look for a long-term relationship after they’ve hit 30 and their looks begin to fade, so who cares if they just come right out and say they are only in it for money? Let them make these arrangements, it’s more or less what they do anyway, just for much more money.

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