AUSTIN -- With the rising cost of tuition, many college students are looking for ways to pay for school, and an unconventional trend is growing in Texas. While the concept isn't new, it's gaining popularity with college students, especially at the University of Texas and Texas State University.
Tuition for a full-time student at UT is about $5,000 each semester. Full-time students at Texas State pay more than $3,700. Those numbers can add up even more quickly if students' parents can't help foot the bill.
"My parents had split, and my mom was having trouble with child support with my siblings and stuff, so I was working, like, five jobs to help," said Ari, a 20-year-old college student who wanted to pursue a dance degree at Texas State.
That degree was out of the question, until Ari discovered SeekingArrangement.com.
"SeekingArrangement.com is the world's largest sugar daddy dating website, and we specialize in mutually beneficial arrangements between wealthy benefactors and attractive people," said Leroy Velasquez, public relations manager at SeekingArrangements.com.
The terms of the arrangements are up to each person and can range from companionship, to relationships, to romance.
Ari signed on to be a "sugar baby" on her terms.
"I'm a virgin. We're not doing it. We're not doing anything sexual," Ari said.
A man 15 years her senior sought out to be Ari's "sugar daddy."
"Every time he would fly in, we would hang out, and he would just give me money," Ari said. "He was like, 'Oh, it's just gas money,' and it would be, like, two and three hundred bucks here and there. And I'd be like, 'Oh, cool.' And then each time he'd come, he'd give me more money, and we'd go do anything I wanted to do."
With help from her sugar daddy, Ari enrolled full time at Austin Community College.
"As long as you're not compromising your morals, and you're OK with what you do, I think it's a good idea," Ari said.
Becoming a sugar baby is catching on. Each year, SeekingArrangement.com releases a list of the fastest growing sugar baby schools in the country.
Texas State is the tenth fastest growing school in the country, with 189 new students signing up in 2013. That's a 92 percent increase from the year before.
UT is ranked number 30, with 88 students signing up last year.
Five other Texas schools are on the list, including the University of North Texas at number 24, UT Arlington at number 55 and the University of Houston at number 68. The number one fastest growing school on the site is the University of Central Florida.
There are a total of 10.8 million college students on the site.
SeekingArrangement.com officials say since the agreements don't guarantee any sexual interaction, it is not considered prostitution.