The sugarbaby students of Minnesota


I didn’t exactly work my way through college—I lived at home, and mowed many, many, lawns in the Florida sun, among other unpleasant jobs. They were paying the princely sum of $5 an hour for sheet metal roofing, and it only took a few weeks of that to make enough to pay the $1,000 or so yearly tuition of my late teenage years.

Those days are long gone, of course, and now average annual tuition runs $25,000 or more (it varies wildly, of course). Most people can’t work their way through college. That said, if you’re a winsome lass with malleable morals, you can find employment of sorts, as a sugarbaby, a female whose tuition (and other expenses) are paid for by a sugardaddy, in exchange for, well, “companionship.”

I know, this is just a variant of the oldest profession, but it’s gone from stories of “that one girl” on campus to a distinct sub-culture. NYU is most notorious for its sugarbabies, with around 1,300 students (about 5% of the female students there, to put things in perspective…many classes would have at least one such student/sugarbaby).

Of course, 2018 tuition at NYU is over $50,000, and is a private, for-profit university with a notorious reputation for putting the screws to the students. You’re not going to scrape together that kind of money mowing lawns. I know, it’s not my business how a young woman wants to make a living but this strikes me as wrong all the same.

What about our state schools? These are built and supported as a public benefit. Tuition at University of Minnesota is a “mere” $14,000 or so, surely they don’t have a sugarbaby community?

The bittersweet life of sugar babies at the University of Minnesota

NYU is private, and I haven’t read their mission statement, so perhaps creating whores sugarbabies is one of their goals…but were the taxpayers of publicly funded UM told their money was going to increase the number of people in this profession?

Again, stuff happens, so I suppose “that girl” has always existed on campus. We don’t have many of them at UM, right?

Ava is one of the 542 students at the University of Minnesota who were registered on…

–“Ava is a fake name, and I’ll avoid mentioning the several sites that specialize in supporting this profession.

UM has the same enrollment as NYU, tuition is about 33%, and we have about 50% of the sugarbabies…that’s a surprisingly high number. Can we get a handle on how many sugarbabies we have around the country?

Approximately 3 million college students in the United States are registered on…

–that’s JUST ONE SITE.

Perhaps not all sugarbabies are female (or identify as female, whatever, bear with me as I make a possibly false assumption about gender here), but that translates to around 15% of college students.

Are there truly no “leaders” in higher education willing to take a look in the mirror and ask about their own responsibility for doing this?

“I found it exciting. It felt good getting paid money,” Ava said. “It was kind of fun in a weird way. I would feel hyped after using it.”

A Minnesota sugarbaby gets about $100 for a date, which need not include much beyond dinner. I suppose one such date is harmless enough if that’s all that goes on, but…these are still formative years, I’m not so sure our young ladies’ education should include an expectation of being handed money directly from males, particularly since this expectation is far less likely to be valid as one leaves her 20s. Perhaps I’m a bit old-fashioned in this regard, I concede.

Granted, I suspect many sugarbabies ae discarded after a few years, and then the university discards them a few years after that, perhaps…what is the only job experience they have after they receive their all too often worthless degree? Is it such a stretch to worry about what profession they’ll have no choice but to enter? It’s not like I haven’t identified a clear link between prostitution and student loans before.

In case the gentle reader is wondering how the sites are sure they’re getting college students, well, students get free memberships by using their university-provided e-mails. Um…should our universities be in the business of validating prostitution credentials?

I’m sorry to ask so many rhetorical questions here, I’m trying not to be judgmental as so many concerns come to mind.

Sarah Polowin, a graduate of Carleton University in Canada who wrote her doctoral thesis on [a sugarbaby site[ in 2017, found that money is the primary motivating factor for college students using the service.

I concede I haven’t read the thesis, but I had to chuckle at the Ph.D. level conclusion there of “prostitutes do it for the money.” Yeah, no kidding. For what it’s worth, I think the article is wrong here, as it appears to be a Master’s thesis…I’ll chuckle less, conceding that kind of result is indeed Master’s level.

I also note she writes of the phenomenon in Canada…this issue is not strictly an American problem.

The article dances around the negative impact on the students who engage in this practice, beyond the usual “this one whacko became a stalker…” story one would expect.

I know my blog is read by far more than the clicks I get directly from Blogspot would indicate. Anybody out there know, is, or better yet was, a sugarbaby? Please contact me, I’d love to ask a few questions about how all this works out.