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Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 12:02am
As college expenses continue to rise, paying off the debt can be more challenging than getting the degree.
"I have friends that are already graduated and they tell me that they can't find a job, and they have all these loans that they have to be paying. They are working these minimum-wage jobs, and all their money goes to the loans," said Luis Nevarez, student at UTEP.
According to CNN, in 2011, the average student loan debt was almost $27,000. The U.S Department of Education says more college grads are having a harder time repaying those loans.
This might explain why more and more struggling college students across the United States, including here in El Paso, are turning to dating websites that help them find a "sugar daddy," an older, rich man who will pay them for sex or companionship - money the student can use for school.
"I just think it's a bit extreme, and there's other ways to find funding for your schooling, and what not. So, you don't really need to go to such extents to find an education," said Christian Mata, student at UTEP.
SeekingArrangement.com is just one of many websites that pairs sugar daddies and sugar babies, and membership is free. But is this legal prostitution? Many student users don't think so because most of them say they don't have sex with their sugar daddies - they're simply spending time with an older man who wants company and is generous.
"Well, I guess that's very sad for students who go into that," said Emanuel Luevano.
The website says it discourages users from offering money on a per-date basis to avoid operating like an escort service, and argues, it's not illegal to pay someone to spend time with you.