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March 10, 2014
As long as there have been rich old men, there have been sugar daddies and the young women who find them – and more importantly their money – attractive.

The relationship is usually sexual in exchange for many things – gifts, travel and most often money.

It's a dubiously moral transaction, obviously. However, in today's dubiously moral times, where the younger generation (like every generation) is bending or ignoring the social norms, an old business with a new slant has cropped up, taking advantage of such relationships via the online dating site.

One site in particular is the largest, www.seekingarrangement.com, and they target college students.

They claim over 1 million college students have signed up for the site that partners older patrons with younger partners – both men and women. Money is expected to be given over in "support" for the younger partner to attend school.

The organizers of Seekingarrangement.com say both Georgia State University and the University of Georgia are in the top 20 schools in the nation for fastest growing number of women signing up.

Given the pace at which college tuition is growing and stagnant wages – not to mention the Great Recession – money is tight all around. It makes sense for students to try to find alternate ways of paying for school.

The site promises: "Co-eds using SeekingArrangement receive about $3,000 a month from their benefactors, whereas Georgia students who do not have a Sugar Daddy graduate with an average debt of $23,089. The 37th highest in the nation."

But $3,000 a month? That's quite a lot. If I were still in college I might think carefully about how much debt I wanted to be saddled with (hint: I'm on the 20-year payback plan).

But does that mean it's OK to do this? It's just "dating," right?

Technology allows us to communicate with each other in ways we never thought possible even 10 years ago. The pace of advances online and in social media are astounding. And, often, it is the adult arena of the Web that leads the way in that technology. Ingenuity must come naturally to people whose lives are spent working around laws and morals.

One would hope these young people realize this is not "dating." There is another, much older word for this, one that does not hide behind euphemisms.

If you are going to work your way through college, it should be doing something you would not be ashamed to tell your future spouse, parents or children.

The Top 20 fastest growing "Sugar Baby schools" based on number of new sign-ups:

1. University of Central Florida – 474

2. Arizona State University – 409

3. New York University – 347

4. Georgia State University – 269

5. Temple University – 251

6. University of Colorado – 232

7. Kent State University – 219

8. University of Southern California – 211

9. University of California, Davis – 192

10. Texas State University – 189

11. University of Georgia – 185

12. Florida International University – 184

13. University of South Florida – 171

14. University of Arizona – 165

15. University of California, Berkeley – 153

16. University of New Mexico – 148

17. Tulane University – 137

18. Indiana University – 122

19. Michigan State University – 117

20. Louisiana State University – 113

MH 03-12-14

Editor, Milton Herald
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