Is this what it’s come to?

An article, published in The Seattle Times by Michael Vasque, reported a new trend used to pay off those high tuition costs. “Sugar” dating is the concept of finding a wealthier, older “Sugar Daddy” or “Sugar Mommy” who provides one with a monthly allowance of sorts and of course, dates. According to the article, this arrangement often involves a (married) older gentleman and a younger woman.

A few employees at South Seattle Community College had some responses.

1) Why should we care?

2) According to University of Washington President Michael Young, “In inflation-adjusted dollars, it costs as much to educate a UW student today as it did 20 years ago, but the state now only picks up 30 percent of the cost” (as cited in “Wash. university presidents: Budget cuts hurt,” 2012).

3) Women who say they want help with tuition also claim to be seeking “travels and friendship” (as cited in Vasquez, 2012, para. 10). Therefore, this has nothing to do with state funding or lack thereof…

4) What does this say about how students are choosing to spend their money? Is this a funding issue or a morality issue?

As educators, should we care that students may be resorting to drastic measures to pay for tuition? I believe the answer is YES. I wonder what can be done at a higher level to ensure that students are not locked out of an education? In this financially precarious time, how should Student Affairs Professionals respond to this and what needs does this article actually address? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


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