As tuition continues to rise, students everywhere are finding unconventional ways to help them get through their four years of higher education.
In addition to working part time and receiving some financial aid, some students, particularly women, are seeking courtships from sugar daddies found online via websites like Seekingarrangement.com and Sugardaddyforme.com to help them pay for college fees.
These sites, which operate similarly to online dating services like Tinder and Match.com, allow sugar babies and daddies to tailor their profiles to reflect what they are each looking for.
For instance, some daddies may prefer to spoil their babies, while some babies may say that they are only looking to get paid to go on dates and nothing more.
Wishing to speak anonymously, Hazel, a senior communication studies major at Sacramento State, said she is one of a few girls on campus she knows of who have used an online website to find her sugar daddy.
In her profile, Hazel describes herself as a college student who is seeking mentorship from her sugar daddy, as well as some financial help with her monthly bills.
“(The sugar daddy) was younger, and he was handsome,” Hazel said, as she described how she found one of her recent daddies. “He wasn’t old and gross, so that’s why I messaged him back. He talked almost like a surfer guy. We sent emails back and forth first, and then once I trusted him, we (began) texting.”
According to Hazel, once a baby finds her ideal match — or matches — they often get paid to go on fancy dates and even vacations.
For some couples, courtship can be just one or two dates, while for others, a sugar daddy and baby relationship can last up to multiple months.
Junior psychology major Carissa, who also wished to speak anonymously, said she prefers going on dates and moving on.
“I normally go on the website and find someone who will compensate me for my time,” Carissa said. “Some guys look for long term babies and I don’t have time for that. But you can tell from their profiles, they’ll say something about how they want to have monthly allowances so I just avoid them. I go on a date, get paid and go home.”
Carissa said that daddies would also pay for their babies’ time, Uber rides to the date and the dinner.
“It’s easy. You just have to go to a place where people don’t know you or would recognize you,” Carissa said. “I feel like people I know would be way too judgemental if they knew.”
For some babies like Hazel, longer term relationships can actually be beneficial.
Hazel said her past relationship with a daddy was solely virtual, but she decided to end it when she felt the correspondence turned serious.
“It was getting to the point where he was expecting to meet up, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Hazel said. “I had to just cut it off, because I felt like I was teasing him. Every time he wanted to meet up I would get nervous and not go. I didn’t want to keep wasting his time.”
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of these babies spend their payments on tuition and bills as opposed to designer clothes, accessories, jewelry or other luxury expenses.
“Literally everything went to bills, like, nothing fun,” Hazel said. “That’s what I really needed help with, and that’s how I could justify what I was doing.”
Carissa, similarly, uses the money she gets from dates to help pay off her new car.
“I just bought a car and my parents put a down payment on it, but I have to make the monthly payments for it,” Carissa said. “I mostly use the money they give me to pay my bills. I have other bills that I use the money for, but it’s mostly just my car.”
Becoming a sugar baby has its perks, especially for college students as it seems like an easier and quicker way to make some cash on the side.
However, the most difficult part of the process is having to hide that side of their lives from everyone they know.
And for Carissa and Hazel, it’s even harder when each is in their own committed relationship.