Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
It’s called the “Sugar Baby Scholarship,” and it promises recipients an average of $3,000 a month in “allowances and gifts from their Sugar Daddies.”
All a needy college student has to do is visit SeekingArrangement.com to sign up.
The dating website has just released its annual list of the “Top 20 Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools” and the University of New Mexico is right up there at No. 16, with 148 new student sign-ups last year. That’s a big increase over the previous year, according to the site, and a total of 247 UNM students are either seeking or have landed sugar daddies.
The school showing the biggest increase was University of Central Florida in Orlando, followed by Arizona State University in Tempe.
One sugar baby who goes by the name “Meg” on the site is a UNM psychology major who lives in Albuquerque. She learned about the site from her roommate, another sugar baby with a “pretty consistent” sugar daddy.
Meg, a junior, signed up in May to supplement her income from a part-time office job. She told the Journal that she’s been dating a sugar daddy from Texas ever since and he even took her to Las Vegas, Nev., in August. She said she gets between $1,000 and $3,000 a month from her sugar daddy.
Meg takes issue with those who characterize the arrangement as just another form of prostitution, although she readily concedes that many people look at it that way. Her 47-year-old sugar daddy, she says, “didn’t even talk about sex at first. It was just like any other guy I would’ve dated.”
In her view, the website is just another way to meet new people and sugar daddies or sugar mamas are just lonely people “looking for someone to spoil.”
The site features a photo of a young, attractive blonde reclining with a laptop on a big pillow with $20 bills falling all over the place. Her hair is splayed across the blue pillow, and she is wearing either black panties and bra or a black bikini with a midriff-exposing tank top that covers most of the bra.
The caption reads: “College tuition is on the rise, and more students have discovered the new way to avoid student loan debt. Through SeekingArrangement.com, college students can connect with wealthy benefactors, otherwise known as Sugar Daddies, who will help pay for tuition.”
The site stresses that these are mutually beneficial relationships: that a student gets needed assistance with the costs of higher education – perhaps avoiding onerous student loans altogether – while the sugar daddy’s need for companionship is satisfied.
Another photo caption explains: “In the wild, wonderful world of dating relationships, ‘arrangement’ is shorthand for what we call a ‘mutually beneficial arrangement,’ or a ‘mutually beneficial relationship.’ This kind of relationship, well … it’s a beautiful thing. Why? Because it works. All successful relationships are beneficial to both people. They’re all two-way streets, where each person gives just as much as he or she gets in return.”
It’s not necessary to be a student to pick up a sugar baby “scholarship,” but 42 percent of recipients are, according to Jennifer Gwynn, the website’s director of public relations.
UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said it is impossible to verify the validity of claims made by the site. She said she was told by someone at the site that UNM’s No. 16 ranking was determined by the number of unm.edu emails provided by Sugar Babies. Anderson said there are 86,000 such UNM addresses, many of which do not belong to students.
“We would have to take their word,” Anderson said.
She said, though, that there is no need for a UNM student to seek a sugar daddy. Relative to many other universities, UNM is “very affordable,” student debt is comparatively low and the university operates a website dedicated to finding jobs for students.
A search of the “Browse Sugar Babies” link on the website turns up no Albuquerque-based young women. “Browse Gentlemen” – also a sampling of a few dozen names – locates one Albuquerque man. According to his profile, Dan, 41, is 5 feet 11 inches tall with an athletic body. His lifestyle budget is “negotiable.” He’s worth between $2 million and $5 million, and is looking for a female Sugar Baby, “someone to have fun with.”