Wether it’s for football phenoms, affronts to affirmative action or Rick Perry’s fiscal meddling, Texas universities wrangle their fair share of infamy. Now there is yet another dubious distinction for our institutions of higher learning to be, er, proud of?
According to a release (PDF) issued January 14 by the InfoStream Goup:
“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 you understood the previous statement, 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, an online dating service that touts itself as “the world’s largest Sugar Daddy website,” 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–um–“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.
Texas schools not only captured two spots in the 2012 ranking, but one Central Texas school leads the pack in annual growth of geezer baiting.
“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,” said Brandon Wade, SeekingArrangment’s founder and CEO. (Full disclosure: TM Daily Post is a graduate of Texas State University, but, sadly, has no Sugar Mama at press time.)
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,” descibes 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 “Sugar Baby” schools in the U.S.
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
16. Michigan State University
17. University of Ohio
18. Columbia University
19. University of Alabama
20. University of California Los Angeles