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Posted on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 10:09 a.m.

Students from U-M, EMU sign up for 'sugar daddies' to help pay for college

By Kellie Woodhouse

Hundreds of college students throughout Michigan are signing up for 'sugar daddies' to help pay their college tuition, the Detroit Free Press reports.


According to the Free Press, 80 students from University of Michigan have signed up for the service, 84 from Eastern Michigan University and 108 from Michigan State University. That's an increase from sign-ups last year.

The website,, pairs 'sugar babies,' or students with an .edu email address, with paid companions, or 'sugar daddies.'

“College should be an opportunity to expand the mind and experience new things,” founder Brandon Wade said in a press release, according to the Free Press. “While some may argue that these women are just using men for their own personal gain, I believe that they are proactive in pursuing a higher education.”

Read the full article.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

Are we really arguing that prostitution doesn't disproportionately hurt women? Though we like to think that women always choose this path empowered, how many more women are pressured into doing this because of financial, self-esteem, or family issues? Though I know these articles tend to bring out the trolls of Ann Arbor, I am disheartened by these comments that act like this kind of thing doesn't matter. It does.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

Am I correct in my impression that the staff doesn't understand what's going on or am I missing something?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

If these women can find suckers to help them pay their bills with no strings attached, more power to them. Now if only us men could find similar suckers, that would be nice. Any interest in a SugarMamas website?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

Just saddens me, our oldest using her brain is in a MD PhD program first 4 years on a scholarship & now grants & such, the youngest in Nursing, neither had to resort to these tactics and we don't have money tree out back either. It doesn't HAVE to be done this way, you just have to work harder to get where you are going.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:20 p.m. reporting this Detroit News "story" just gives the website more PR. Seems quite simple - these students are selling themselves for tuition money. Can you say "prostitiute"?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

Where's the gay guy version of this? Man, when I was 19 I would have instantly signed up to have a sugar daddy pay for school....of course, in 1978 there was no internet...and really no sugar daddies to speak of...


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Maybe the sugar daddies will become baby daddies. Their baby mamas will be sugar babies. The sugar daddies will have babies with sugar babies. Babies with babies. Then, the sugar daddies could enjoy paying child support for eighteen years. Higher education. Right.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

Paragraph 3 refers to the "daddies" themselves as *paid companions" - if the "babies" are paying the "daddies", they're kinda getting the short end of the arrangement.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

Lol...hows your moderation practices working out for you again?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8 p.m.

I am seeking a Blimpy Burger Daddy for quintastic times. Must be female.

tom swift jr.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

This article has been posted and reposted on nearly every online site in southeast Michigan. This isn't a new situation, this has been going on for years and years. The recent crackdown on prostitution ads by Craig's List has made it necessary for sex workers to redefine the relationship they are offering. The use of the term Sugar Daddy became more widespread at that point. This website took advantage of this and provided a central location for prostitutes to propose services using these terms. Driving sex work underground using new terms doesn't change it, make it safer, or make it better. The titillation factor in this story was just too hard to pass up for those sites that depend on clicks for revenue.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

"The titillation factor in this story was just too hard to pass up for those sites that depend on clicks for revenue." I did not find the story titillating. However, your use of the inherently charged term has me re-thinking my position.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Sounds like a "win-win" to me.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

I have got to imagine there is an IRS agent reading this and going "hmmm, the Gift Tax limit is $10,000 so anything over that is Income. Where's my Search Warrant stamp?".

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Pretend it's a loan. I witnessed a scammer walk off with millions that way and the IRS did bupkus.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Your moderation guidelines are a joke. Don't copy news articles from other (more reputable) news organizations, especially ones that are about sex, and delete comments that refer to the sex in the article. Unless you actually think "sugar daddy" is a CEO at a sugar refiner, lol


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

i think he misspelled "provocative" as "proactive"


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

I need a sugar momma


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Sad story all around, Sad glamorization of objectification of young women. Sad predatory behavior by men,, positively reinforced by Sad free publicity for sleazy business. Is this business one of your advertisers, Why would you run this story in this congratulatory manner?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

djacks24 - I do believe you've got to the heart of the matter here. If it's mutually beneficial and nobody's being exploited or forced to do something against their will (and certainly nobody else is being harmed) what exactly is the problem? These are educated people making decisions for themselves.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

Hi a2grateful. Please note that we are not reinforcing the site nor advertising it. Rather, it is the presentation of a topic that appears to be in the presence of local Universities. We welcome you to provide your views on the site and student involvement as you have done.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

Sad that you see the men as being predatory towards women, when it is actually the women are being encouraged to prey on the men.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Perhaps you are assuming a few too many things. Young men can be students as well as older women can be wealthy. The term "cougar" comes to mind. Please do NOT assume that it is just young women. You know what they say when you "assume" something!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

Ms. Woodhouse: Here are some definitions from for words you have chosen to use in this story: Sugar baby: A young female or male who is financially pampered/cared for by a sugar daddy or sugar mama in exchange for companionship (i.e. sexual favors). Sugar daddy: A man (usually older and well-off) who financially supports a younger woman (or man) in exchange for sex and companionship. As you or your moderators have been duly offended, please state your definitions for these terms, so that we might understand what this story really means. Please share your "higher education" interpretation.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Thanks for adding your voice a2g, but please sure to take the time to review the full article featured on the Free Press if you have not already done so.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

KW: "I suggest you visit the website . . ." Sorry. I'll pass. Might catch a virus . . .


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

Maybe some investigative reporting is needed to clarify the true nature of the "arrangements" that you are glamorizing with free publicity.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

Sugar daddies and sugar babies are not words I chose. They're words used specifically by the company. I suggest you visit the website ( for further definitions.

Bertha Venation

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

Another modern take on the world's oldest profession. O!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

I can't wait to sign up! allows you to sign up with a free account! I would be more than happy to help a struggling young lady at UofM pay her tuition. :)


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

Why is's moderation attempting to stop people from calling a spade a spade? I don't even have to say what most people consider this sort of behavior to be. Everybody knows what I'm talking about. This is not altruistic, entrepreneurial behavior. It is what it is. I quote Justice Potter Stewart in the famous 1964 case, Jacobellis v. Ohio: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it."


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

"Sex" and "Prostitution" are not supposed to exist in OZ and discussing it in this forum will only disturb the inhabitants.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Higher Education Reporter...way to track down, and repost these top-notch university stories for us.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Hi DNB- From a reader perspective I can see how posts like these can have a stark contrast to deeper issues within the higher education community; however, that is one of the unique aspects of higher-ed coverage as it involves not only the in-depth side of University business, but the student community as well. So while one day school administration may be making headlines to a multi-million dollar construction project the next may be a student protest or flash mob. For that reason I personally find higher education an intriguing topics to follow even if I do not have the same vested interested as university employees and students.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

Thank you. Unless you were being sarcastic. If that's the case, I suggest you look at's full body of education work and not one aggregation.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

It seems legit, until you view the site. Without signing up as a 'Daddy', the women presented as seeking arrangements appear to be, oh, professionals of some type. Who else uses 'XXX' or 'Bunnyluv' or the like in a user name, along with a barely dressed profile picture? And who has the cash to pay $5k to $10k a month for a 'companion' in LA? Maybe the students mentioned in the article are different, but it appears to be a front.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.



Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

why is it sick? young women taking advantage of older men? :)


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

I sure am glad the Free Press is still "On Guard" scanning "dating websites" for "news" .

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

......and that scans them for "news." I, personally, think that the A2 higher education reporter should at least report on the student code of conduct at UM/EMU/MSU or is it a case of "no loco parentis"? A-Maize-ing.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

Seems like a lot of embarassment for a college degree that doesn't even guarantee you a job nowadays.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

it may not guarantee you a job nowadays, but it never did. A college degree does, however, guarantee that you have better chances at a better job (or any at all). Also, someone with a college degree makes, on average, $1 million more in their lifetime than someone without a college degree.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Can you blame them? Have an "old man" they call "daddy" pay them for "companionship" so they can pay tuition verses taking out student loans and maybe finding a job that pays more than 30k a year...hmm seems like a tough decision....


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Also known as the "skeevy scholarship".


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

Skeevy, as in disgusting, distasteful, nasty, sleazy? (Slang definitions) or Skeevy, as in skivvy: underwear, esp. a set consisting of undershirt and underpants, or just underpants? (Google definition) Regardless, it appears we have defined the "nature" of the business, as well as its price.