Swipe right to... pay for college?
Now here's an interesting way to avoid student loan debt... Photo credit: iStock.

With how expensive college is nowadays, sometimes students have to come up with their own creative ways to pay for their education. And with the total number of student debt owed reaching over $1.2 trillion, many new students are finding ways to not rely on lenders in ways that may be considered outside of the box.  

 

In a new press release from the online “mutual benefit” forum (AKA the sugar daddy version of tinder) Seeking Arrangement, they released their list of the top schools with students taking advantage of their service in order to find wealthy benefactors to pay for their tuition in return for, well, companionship.

 

This list broke down which schools had witnessed the most new members at the end of 2017, with Arizona State University nabbing the top of the list (352 new students; 1361 total), Temple University in second (328 new students; 1201 total), and NYU coming in third (316 new students; 1529 total). The release goes on to say that average allowance given to these collegiate sugar babies from members of Seeking Arrangement is $2,800 per month.

 

Regardless of your views on organizations like this one, you have to admit that number is pretty impressive.  

 

 

 

But, what’s the catch?

 

To be clear, Seeking Arrangement does not force any of their members to exchange anything after meeting people through their site. But according to spokesperson Brook Ulrick, the site is doing it’s best to attract students looking to take advantage of relationships with these kinds of beneficial dynamics.

“We offer students free premium memberships,” explains Ulrick, “sugar babies can actually use the site for free, but we give them updated features and get them featured on the site’s dashboard for free which is paid if they sign up using their university IDs. That’s how we’re able to track them and what Universities they come from.”

While many students are getting help from sugar daddies and sugar mommies, Ulrick stresses that Seeking Arrangement is a dating site first and foremost. Any compensation paid to a sugar baby from a sugar daddy, or mommy, is a byproduct of an agreement set up by two consenting adults.

“It’s a dating site just like any other, but it is unique in that we want people to talk about the time and the money they want to spend in a relationship beforehand,” says Ulrick, “that’s how you’re going to find someone who is going to meet your expectations. Those expectations are often times financial, but this is a site about relationships on your terms. It’s more so about the convenience of a relationship that doesn't end in matrimony, that doesn’t have traditional expectations, and can kind of bend the norms.”

Ulrick believes that setting up these kinds of couples through their site will only help everyone involved. “A lot of sugar daddies like having like having sugar babies in college or university because it shows that they are ambitious,” she explains, “it’s also an investment in their future. So rather than just handing over money or gifts, they are actually investing in this person. Most sugar relationships, whether or not they are seeing each other, their friendships usually last much longer than when the sugar babies are in college. Because there are no traditional relationship expectations, they don’t really break up ever. Usually it’s just the terms don’t work out. Then they have a friend for life.”