'Sugar Daddies' paying for Florida students' college tuition
5:39 AM, Feb 3, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - More college students are choosing to bypass their parents, even student loans when it comes to paying for college tuition.
More than 1,000 Florida college students have found a way to get through college for free.
As college tuition continues to rise, some students are now turning to self-proclaimed "sugar daddies" to pay for school.
That includes one student at Florida Atlantic University. The student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said "My dad was a stickler on education, so I was going to go whether I wanted to or not."
She obtained a scholarship to pay for school, but when her grades dropped and she lost the scholarship, she didn't want to tell her parents.
"My parents don't know anything about this. They don't know anything about how I'm paying for college.... they think I have a really good job," the student said.
Her parents don't know she has a sugar daddy paying for the several thousand dollars per semester that it costs for her to go to school.
"The privileged have their parents. The underprivileged have grants. The intelligent have scholarships, but what about everyone else in between?" said Leroy Velasquez with Seekingarrangement.com.
Seekingarrangement.com is the world's largest sugar daddy dating site, matching wealthy benefactors to young women, or sugar babies, who can benefit from their success.
"A lot of people get genuine satisfaction out of giving," said Velasquez.
Like any dating website, men and women post profiles listing what they do and don't want in a potential partner. The added detail, however, is how much a man is willing to spend on a young woman each month. Allowances range from $1,000 to $20,000.
"What woman can say that she doesn't like to be spoiled," said Velasquez.
The FAU student that NewsChannel 5 spoke to for this story found a match not long after making a profile.
"He's maybe like 15 years older than me," the student said.
But is it safe? The website claims it is one of the only dating sites that actually runs background checks on every applicant.
"What we always suggested is that these people first meet and set the term of the arrangement to make sure their relationship goals align," Velasquez said.
Relationships range from platonic to casually dating, even some marriages have resulted.
Our FAU student says she's taken a break from school and lost touch with her sugar daddy.
But, with plans to go back soon, she already knows how she plans to pay for two more semesters.
"I might go on the site again," she said.
The University of Central Florida tops the national charts of schools who gained the highest number of sugar babies in 2013, now with more than 600 sugar baby students.
Seekingarrangement. com also says FIU has 409 sugar baby students, The University of South Florida has 525, Florida State University has 372 and The University of Florida has 292,
New York University tops the charts for most sugar babies in the country.
The website says there are more than one million worldwide.