Sugar Baby infographic

As Louisiana legislators continue to search for a solution to restore TOPS funding, some students have taken finding tuition money into their own hands. Thirty-five University students registered at SeekingArrangement.com in 2016, a website that allows those looking for financial support to connect with “generous” men and women.

Seeking Arrangement defines an arrangement as a relationship “where people are direct with one another and stop wasting time. It allows people to immediately define what they need and want in a relationship.”

On the website, users customize profiles and explain the terms of the arrangement expectations. The user, known as a “sugar baby,” then connects with a “sugar daddy.” Sugar daddies are often older, wealthy men who will then pamper and support the sugar baby based on the outlined conditions of the relationship.

The website was founded by MIT graduate Brandon Wade as a way for rich men seeking pleasure and attractive women seeking money to each receive what they want. The average sugar baby receives $2,440 in monthly allowances, with some receiving more than $10,000 per month. The website received much media attention and scrutiny after it was discovered that former Congressman Anthony Weiner was a frequent user of the site.

Sugar babies are typically younger women — the website took a poll in 2013 and found that 44 percent of its sugar babies were college students.

Despite the website’s success, it has received much more backlash and criticism than traditional dating sites. Laurie Essig, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, was critical of the site while speaking to the Miami New Times in 2013.

“These [websites] are a way of commodifying women and their bodies,” Essig said.

She was critical of the “Sugar Baby” title because she said it “masks what might in fact be the sex trade in the language of relationships.”

The University is not unique in having students register as sugar babies in order to pay off student debts. LSU only ranks 64th on Seeking Arrangement’s annual list of the fastest-growing “Sugar Baby Schools.” Thirty-five students registered in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Altogether, 124 University students are currently registered.

Students seeking sugar daddies to pay for schooling is a national trend. Seeking Arrangement reported that more than 1.2 million students are registered seeking financial aid, the most in 10 years.

Many University students can empathize with other students registering. English freshman Kali Elftmann understands the hardships of paying for school.

“Money is hard, [and] TOPS is really screwing us in all honesty,” Elftmann said. “School is expensive, and you’ve got to get money however you can.”

Despite college sugar babies being prevalent across the country, many aren’t aware of the trend and may think a large number of University students on the site would be a bad image for the school. But undeclared freshman Hannah Graham doesn’t believe the 124 students are representative of the entire student body.

“I don’t think it really reflects poorly on LSU because it’s a personal decision,” Graham said.

“That’s not really the school’s business at all,” Elftmann added.

As Louisiana legislators continue to search for a solution to restore TOPS funding, some students have taken finding tuition money into their own hands. Thirty-five University students registered at SeekingArrangement.com in 2016, a website that allows those looking for financial support to connect with “generous” men and women.

Seeking Arrangement defines an arrangement as a relationship “where people are direct with one another and stop wasting time. It allows people to immediately define what they need and want in a relationship.”

On the website, users customize profiles and explain the terms of the arrangement expectations. The user, or a “sugar baby,” then connects with a “sugar daddy.” Sugar daddies are often older, wealthy men who will then pamper and support the sugar baby based on the outlined conditions of the relationship.

Seeking Arrangement was founded by MIT graduate Brandon Wade as a way for rich men seeking pleasure and attractive women seeking money to each receive what they want. The average sugar baby receives $2,440 in monthly allowances, with some receiving more than $10,000 per month. The website received much media attention and scrutiny after it was discovered that former congressman Anthony Weiner was a frequent user of the site.

Sugar babies are typically younger women — the website took a poll in 2013 and found that 44 percent of its sugar babies were college students.

Despite the website’s success, it has received much more backlash and criticism than traditional dating sites. Laurie Essig, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, was critical of the site while speaking to the Miami New Times in 2013.

“These [webistes] are a way of commodifying women and their bodies,” Essig said. She was critical of the “Sugar Baby” title because she said it “masks what might in fact be the sex trade in the language of relationships.”

The University is not unique for having students register as sugar babies in order to pay off student debts. LSU only ranks 64th on Seeking Arrangement’s annual list of the fastest-growing “Sugar Baby Schools.” Thirty-five students registered in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Altogether, 124 University students are currently registered.

Students seeking sugar daddies to pay for schooling is a national trend. Seeking Arrangement reported that more than 1.2 million students are registered seeking financial aid, the most in 10 years.

Many University students can empathize with other students registering. English freshman Kali Elftmann understands the hardships of paying for school.

“Money is hard, [and] TOPS is really screwing us in all honesty,” Elftmann said. “School is expensive, and you’ve got to get money however you can.”

Despite college sugar babies being prevalent across the country, many aren’t aware of the trend and may think a large number of University students on the site would be a bad image for the school. But undeclared freshman Hannah Graham doesn’t believe the 124 students are representative of the entire student body.

“I don’t think it really reflects poorly on LSU because it’s a personal decision,” Graham said.

“That’s not really the school’s business at all,” Elftmann added.

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