As tertiary students prepare to head off to uni for 2021, some are finding nifty ways to pay for their studies.
It’s a far cry from thankless hospitality jobs and the life of 2-minute noodles many of us may recall back in our uni days, but it begs the question, how would you react if this was your daughter or son?
Gaining an undergraduate or post-grad degree in Australia comes with a hefty cost, and it’s a debt many of us spend years repaying long after we enter the workforce.
As a bit of a refresher, a bachelor degree will set you back about $20,000 to $55,000 depending what field you’re looking to enter (and that’s the figure left over after the Commonwealth kindly foots part of the bill).
Then of course there are the living expenses…the accommodation, the books, the groceries and more.
If the uni of choice happens to be in a major city like Sydney or Melbourne, the cost of studying quickly adds up, which is apparently why some students are seeking alternative arrangements in the form of ‘sugar dating’.
So what exactly is sugar dating and is it as bad as it seems?
According to the website SeekingArrangement, which describes itself as the largest sugar dating site in the world, sugar dating is all about people “seeking mutually beneficial relationships on their own terms”.
It involves pairing ‘sugar babies’ with ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘sugar mommies’ who offer ‘mentorship and comfortable lifestyles’.
We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about exactly what that might entail, but bear in mind members must be a minimum of 18-years-old to register.
Meanwhile, news.com.au journalist Michell Andrews offered an insight into her sugar baby experience here, while SeekingArrangement CEO Bradon Wade puts it this way on the company website:
“Every successful relationship is an arrangement between two parties. In business, partners sign business agreements that outline their objectives and expectations. Likewise, romantic relationships can only work if two people agree on what they expect, and what they can give and receive from each other.”
A press release from the SeekingArrangement claims there are currently 200,000 sugar babies in Australia, many of whom are studying at university.
In fact, they note students at some of the country’s top universities are among their members, and that’s particularly the case in Sydney in Melbourne where living expenses are notoriously high.
“Australia’s high cost of living has always been a subject of contention,” Bradon Wade explains, “and this is a serious concern among university students who struggle to take up part-time jobs to cope financially thanks to hectic course schedules”.
Yes, that’s all true, and has been for several decades, but is sugar dating really the solution to an affordable education crisis? Go on, share your thoughts…