Trinity has the highest number of “sugar babies” of any college in Ireland, according to figures released by a US-based dating website that often sees young women paired with wealthy older men.
The Irish Mirror today reported that information released by seekingarrangement.com shows a rise in the number of Irish students turning to “sugar daddies” to fund their third-level education.
Some 762 Trinity students have signed up to the website, where they can earn up to €3,000 per month in “mutually beneficial arrangements”. Dublin City University (DCU) had the second-highest number at 681.
University College Cork and the University of Limerick were the third and fourth highest for signups, with 660 and 601 signups respectively. University College Dublin had 579.
Kimberly De La Cruz, a spokesperson for seekingarrangement.com said: “Ireland continues to embrace the ‘sugar dating’ lifestyle, as is evident in the number of SeekingArrangement users growing every year.”
“We expect this trend to continue as more people learn about the benefits of ‘sugar dating’, and get swiping fatigue from the other online dating options”, she added.
Seekingarrangement.com links potential “sugar babies” to rich clients, offering services in exchange for money.
The company’s website says it “delivers a new way for relationships to form and grow. Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies or Mommas both get what they want, when they want it”.
The figures come as students in Ireland grapple with the second-highest tuition fees in the EU, as well as spiralling rent costs in the cities.
Earlier this month, research conducted by Bank of Ireland found that students have an average of under €10 per day in disposable income.
Last month, a survey carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that more than half of students in Ireland skip lectures for paid work, an increase from one in five in 2017.
In a press statement at the time, Paul Bailey, the head of communications of the Irish League of Credit Unions, said: “At a time when they should be focusing on their education, it’s worrying to see that greater numbers are skipping lectures and sacrificing time spent on their education in order to earn some extra money.”
In August, Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor courted controversy after she advised students to use their SUSI grant to cover the cost of rent.
The maximum monthly stipend a student can receive from SUSI is €600. Last month, the average rent in Dublin surpassed €2,000.