The physics student, who gave his name as Zhu Lijie, posted a notice on a bulletin board at Peking University offering 1,000 yuan ($130) to a woman who would pose as his girlfriend for the trip home for the holiday, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The advertisement said the woman should be "an honest, kind and similar-aged girl with a diploma."
The Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Feb. 18 this year, is the most important family holiday in China.
Xinhua said Zhu had told his parents, who were pressuring him to get a girlfriend, that he had been studying too hard and had no time to meet a potential partner.
Peking University officials and the police have warned women to be wary of such advertisements.
Wang Jisheng, a professor with the Psychology Institution of the Chinese Academy Sciences, was quoted as saying Zhu was trying to show filial piety to his parents but was only cheating them.