At a time when the rising cost of a higher education threatens to price out low-income kids, a new world of services catering to wealthy college students has emerged.
The Boston Collegiate Consulting Group will offer its services to do anything from decorate a student apartment to line up for NBA tickets, for a fee of $300 a month, or $3,600 a year, the Wall Street Journal reports in a profile of the fledgling company.
Several Boston-area students who spoke to the Journal said they had hired BCCG to complete tasks such as buying and shipping 300 bottles of a Merle Norman perfume to Saudi Arabia, waiting for a plumber, and paying off a speeding ticket.
AJ Rich, founder of BCCG, told the The Huffington Post this type of concierge service has always existed, but the business models were antiquated. He views what his company does as "empowering" students by not babying them and argued its services are actually a bargain. "Our competitors charge three times as much," Rich said.
There's now an entire industry built around waiting hand-and-foot on wealthy students, from high school through their college careers -- all for a hefty price. While College prep counselors can cost $28,995 a year, these new concierge services can help students, say, arrange for the installation of a bidet in an off-campus apartment, as BCCG did for one student, according to the Journal. (Rich said the bidet had more to do with culture than luxury.)
If a student feels she needs assistance getting into the ideal sorority, she can hire a professional image consultant for $300 an hour. Rushbiddies, one such service based in Manhattan, will help young women prep for sorority rush, ABC News reports.
At some schools, a student who would rather not live in a shabby dorm can elect to reside in a resort style housing community, complete with plush carpeting, BBQ grills and a high-tech gaming lounge.
Andy Moore argues in a bit of outrage at BroBible that college shouldn't come with a butler; it should be a time when everyone is on the same playing field.
"What makes college, and freshman year especially, so great and so important are the myriad little ways you learn how to take care of yourself," Moore wrote. "Doing laundry, cooking a grilled cheese with an iron, balancing schoolwork with throwing a birthday party."
Indeed, the growth of luxury services for wealthy college students resonates harshly at a time when fewer resources are going towards helping less well-off students afford college. And those who are able to make it are leaving with a record level of student debt and defaulting at a higher rate than ever before.