It’s not hard to imagine what a parent would do to give their children the best chance for success in life. In the case of rich parents, they may spawn rich kids, but parents also have other ways to ensure their child has a productive yet stress-free life.
We’ve already heard of wealthy parents hiring expensive tutors to help prepare them for important college-entrance exams, but ensuring their children get even more of an advantage in life begins as early as middle school.
Ben, a 27-year-old living in Brooklyn, has an Ivy League graduate degree and works as a freelance writer, according to the New York Post (Ben, as with everyone in this story, asked that his last name be withheld).
But to add to his otherwise unsteady income, he gets paid $350 to write 500-word assignments for the parent of a 13-year-old middle schooler who found his services on Craigslist.
“[The mom and I operate] under the polite fiction I write a paper that is to be used as a ‘guideline,’ but I think we all know that’s not true.”
One financier in the Battery Park neighborhood of New York City has an eighth-grade daughter in a public program for talented children. While the financier’s daughter is busy juggling her “intense field hockey season,” her father recruited his own personal trainer, who has a degree in biology, to help his daughter with her lab assignments for $200 an hour — double her normal fitness rate.
“We all have assistants, right? I explained to my daughter it was the same thing.
“She’s a hard worker, but she was incredibly stressed out and stretched thin. I don’t believe that homework assignments necessarily groom you for success.
“[The trainer] had her B.A. in biology, so it was a good fit. And my daughter appreciated that she had a bit more free time. She understood that this was a one-off thing for an extraordinarily stressful time in her life. She doesn’t take it for granted.”
Of course, there are some who find the whole situation unethical despite the large amounts of money being offered.
Joelle, a 25-year-old editorial assistant who has tutored part-time since college revealed how parents only offer more money when you tell them no:
“It’s definitely become more common for parents to ask if I would just do the assignment. I won’t do it, just because I feel like it’s cheating.
“I charge about $75 an hour for tutoring, but I’ve gotten offered $100 a page for high school work. When I say no, they just offer more money.”
Despite the massive amounts of money some parents are willing to burn to get their children good grades, it doesn’t always pan out.
One Northern New Jersey mother explained how she spent $1,500 to pay a Columbia engineering student to do her son’s high-school physics assignment:
“My son had never seriously struggled in school until this class, so I became obsessed with fixing his GPA, which had started sliding, rather than actually getting him to understand the material.
“They were supposed to use blocks of wood and rubber bands to make a car. This guy took the materials and created the equivalent of a Tesla. It was awesome, but also very obvious my son didn’t do it.”
The mom eventually threw away the $1,500 project and made her son do it himself. He still ended up with a C in the class.