News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. (WRDW) -- Your college-aged daughter may be looking for more than love this Valentine's Day. More college students in Georgia are looking for a "sugar daddy" to pay their tuition.
This isn't your grandfather's website ... or maybe it is. The creator of SeekingArrangement.com says his website is place a where younger women, mainly college aged, go to find rich older men.
"SeekingArrangement.com is a dating website that matches sugar daddies with sugar babies," said Brandon Wade, founder and CEO.
"College has become so expensive for you women that they feel like they have to seek help from somebody else," said Indura Martinez, a senior at the University of Georgia.
Martinez receives scholarships, loans, help from mom and still works a part-time job to make ends meet.
"The way that I'm living my life and the stress that I've put myself through just to pay my bills and feed myself I can understand how someone would be driven to that," she said.
She isn't a sugar baby, but plenty of her classmates are at UGA.
According to SeekingArrangment.com, UGA now ranks eighth in the country for the most college sugar babies and 148 members claim to be students. No. 1 on the list is another school in the Peach State -- Georgia State University -- with 292 sugar babies calling themselves GSU students on the site.
"In Georgia, perhaps the sugar daddies/sugar babies lifestyle is more acceptable than in other parts of the country," Wade said.
"Why are college students drawn to your website?" News 12's Elizabeth Owens asked.
"I think there are a lot of reasons. First off all, the cost for a college education is very expensive. College tuition has really gone up much faster than inflation or even the cost of living adjustments," he said.
Wade is right on the money. According to the College Board, this school year the average overall sticker price for students that don't receive any financial aid rose 3.8 percent to a record $22,261. Tuition accounts for about half of that increase. Public university tuition and fees alone rose 4.8 percent to $8,655.
"It's all about companionship, I guess, but I really don't see how someone could give thousands of dollars a month and only want companionship," said UGA student Rachel Quester.
The site's terms and agreement prohibits anyone from promoting illegal activities and bans escorts. Yet, one has to wonder with some the wording in profiles: Is it legalized prostitution?
One profile reads, "Forty-six years old. I am looking for a young, attractive female who can take care of my sexual needs. In return, you will receive a comfortable monthly stipend. My budget, $10,000 to 20,000 monthly."
"My mother is a housewife and she gets a monthly allowance from my dad, so money is always exchanged within a relationship. The question is whether it is a business transaction or is it a relationship? And that's where we draw the line," Wade said.
There are definitely no lines when it comes to age on SeekingArrangement.com. Middle-aged men and even seniors state they want a young babe.
"It grosses me out. Honestly, how big the age difference," Quester said.
Maybe an even bigger ew factor? Forty percent of the sugar daddies on the site are proclaimed married men.
"It's funny you should mention how it's immoral and things like that. I sort of remember some of the passages from the Bible and there is this section that says knock and it shall be open unto you and ask ye shall receive," Wade stated. "Men simply want beautiful women and women want men with means."
News 12 did reach out to several sugar babies in the CSRA, but none wanted to go on camera.