Morgan Sullivan | Copy Editor
In a recent ranking of student sugar baby sign-ups on the SeekingArrangement website, UNT was ranked number 52 in the nation. The website allows students to put their college badges on their profiles if they use their student emails to sign up.
The website also allows students to find their own “sugar daddies,” people who exchange money for sexual favors, romantic encounters or other arrangements, in order to pay their tuition. With over 400 students now using their UNT emails for the site, this type of arrangement is becoming an increasingly popular way for students to afford their tuition and other living expenses.
Perhaps what’s most concerning about this is how cognizant it is of a bigger picture — one where students cannot afford to pay their outrageous, swelling tuition fees. Since the ‘70s, tuition has increased nearly 7 thousand dollars per year, with adjustments for inflation.
The average sugar baby in Texas gets a monthly allowance of $2,600, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. That’s nearly double what you would make working 40 hours at a minimum wage job, prior to taxes. Full-time students don’t have that kind of freedom.
The students who choose to make these arrangements shouldn’t be looked down upon or judged for their decisions. The system is the problem, not the people who try to make ends meet.
With looming thoughts of loans and debt constantly in students’ minds, it’s no wonder so many of them have turned to this kind of arrangement. Students aren’t allotted with the means to make the kind of money necessary to put themselves through school.
As a college education is increasingly necessitated, even for entry-level jobs, something must be done to ensure students can afford this required schooling.
Many students don’t even receive enough financial aid for a single semester, as the number of students applying for that aid vastly outnumbers the money available. This leaves a lot of students in awkward and vulnerable positions.
Honestly, spending a little time with a sugar daddy seems like a pretty sweet deal, considering how your tuition is on the line. Students turn to all kinds of activities to make ends meet — both legal and illegal.
Whether you’re selling drugs or hanging out with your sugar daddy, nothing seems too impractical when your future is at stake.
Students feel so pressured to graduate in order to be successful, yet the system often fails them in this quest. The financial aid system doesn’t work for the average student anymore, so sugar babies are only going to increase as much as tuition does.
According to a statement from UNT spokeswoman Margarita Venegas, the university “does not condone” these kinds of actions “since [the university] is committed to providing students with a safe experience.” But if colleges are so concerned with how students pay for their tuition, they should assert their power to change the system.
Until college can be affordable for everyone, students will continue to do whatever is necessary to pay for it. The sugar daddy phenomenon just happens to be a working option.
Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins