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Imagine you’re a college student, struggling to pay steep tuition and living expenses.
Mid-bite of boxed macaroni and cheese, you stumble upon the option of joining a free, “mutually beneficial” online service that promises to pair you with a wealthy man or woman who will chip in for school costs.
Would you do it?
Apparently, an increasing number of Florida college students are taking up the offer.
Four Florida universities — Florida International University in Miami-Dade, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of South Florida in Tampa, and Florida State University in Tallahassee — made the Top 20 list of fastest-growing “sugar baby” memberships for SeekingArrangement.com, a website with more than two million users worldwide.
The site matches “sugar babies” — who may or may not be in college — with well-to-do “sugar daddies” who are willing to help support them.
What do the sugar daddies get in return?
Companionship, the website says.
The University of Central Florida has the fastest-growing membership of all Florida schools, coming in at No. 4 on the SeekingArrangement.com list. UCF has 291 students using the site, 221 joining in the last year.
The University of South Florida ranked No. 5 on the list, with 212 new users in 2012, followed by No. 7 FIU and No. 14 FSU with 187 and 111 new users this year, respectively. FSU is new to the Top 20 list.
Many schools in the Top 20 are located in the South, a fact site organizers attribute to the economy in the region.
The Top 20
The following is the list of the Top 20 Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools, by new sign ups in 2012:
1. Georgia State University
2. New York University
3. Temple University
4. University of Central Florida
5. University of Southern Florida
6. Arizona State University
7. Florida International University
8. University of Georgia
9. Indiana University
10. Texas State
11. Kent State University
12. Penn State
13. University of North Texas
14. Florida State University
16. Michigan State University
17. University of Ohio
18. Columbia University
19. University of Alabama
20. University of California Los Angeles