William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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WHAT HAVE WE COME TO? – AT 10:43 A.M. ET:  This story is centered in New York, but google "sugar daddies," and you'll see that the practice it describes is growing all over the country.  It is not a pretty picture, and it makes us wonder who is getting all that financial aid from wealthy universities.  From the New York Post: 

More New York City co-eds are turning to a new source of income — sugar daddies — to cope with the rising cost of their college tuition, surprising statistics released yesterday reveal.

And the majority is enrolled at New York University, according to the sugar-daddy dating site SeekingArrangement.com.

Nearly 300 NYU co-eds joined the site’s service last year seeking a “mutually beneficial” arrangement with rich older men — a 154 percent jump over 2011.

It was the second-highest number of new members for any college in the country.

Hundreds more young women from Columbia, Cornell and Syracuse universities also have recently signed up for the service, the site said.

“I’ll admit that I’ve thought about doing something like that,” said a Columbia junior who gave only her first name, Karen.

“It would be easier in some ways than working, taking classes and then spending years paying back loans.”

Alex Cranshaw, 22, who graduated from NYU last year, said three of his female classmates had sugar daddies — including a woman whose benefactor financed a whole semester in Madrid.

“He funded her tuition, paid for her housing, gave her spending money and paid for her airfare,” Cranshaw said.

“She told her parents she got a scholarship. They had no idea.”

And...

The average co-ed “sugar baby” receives about $3,000 a month in allowances and gifts from her sugar daddy, enough to cover tuition and living expenses at most schools, said Jennifer Gwynn, a spokeswoman for the site.

In New York City, where cost of living and learning are higher, sugar babies can fetch as much as $4,000 a month.

COMMENT:  The story is discreet enough not to mention in detail what the sugar daddies expect in return.  Use your imagination.

Annual expenses at some private universities are now approaching $60,000, and some students are getting desperate.  I think this is an awful situation.  The cost of college is vastly out of control, especially when you consider that the "school year" actually lasts less than nine months.  And yet, the mainstream media rarely asks any questions.  After all, these are noble institutions.  We must not question.

January 15, 2013