Increasing numbers of UK students turning to 'sugar daddies' as the cost of university rises

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An increasing number of UK students are turning to "sugar daddies" to help fund their studies as the cost of university rises.

The website Seeking Arrangement allows young people to get in touch with a sugar daddy or sugar momma who will pay them exorbitant sums as part of their relationship, the Daily Mail reports.

The students who take part in the arrangements are called "sugar babies".

In 2017 the number of students using the website shot up, with the website reporting a rise of 30 percent.

The 2017-18 academic year is the first year to have a fees cap of £9250 (NZ$17,000) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in the United Kingdom estimates students will graduate with a debt of £50,800 (NZ$96,677).

Figures such as this make the prospect of making large sums of money to date older men attractive, Seeking Arrangement saying 75,000 UK students signed up to the website in 2017 alone.

One Sugar Baby, known only by the false name 23-year-old Bella, told the Daily Mail she was working through negotiations with a Sugar Daddy that could net her up to £1000 ($1903) per month.

She says she found the website in 2017 and signed up without thinking about the details of what the arrangement entails.

Bella has since met two sugar daddies and is currently working on an arrangement with a 39-year-old man.

"He wants a lady he can meet regularly, go on dinner dates and have fun with," she told the Daily Mail.

"The first time we met he gave me £250 [NZ$475] for a taxi, the second time it was £400 [NZ$761]."

Seeking Arrangement told the Daily Mail the average sugar baby receives £2730 (NZ$5195) in monthly allowances, making about £32,760 (NZ$62,360) a year.