Emma Koenig has an amusing, well-executed blog. But you'd never know it from that Home and Garden section (?) profile, which can be summed up as: person who isn't you has $1,200 East Village rent paid by parents who aren't yours. Koenig, as is mentioned in between parentheses, "is anomalous [for her generation] in one respect: she has very little college debt, having received three scholarships along with a loan." This suggests that her parents were not paying her tuition, or at least not much of it, although it's ambiguous. It could be that what they might have put towards tuition went instead toward some post-college rent. A year of $1,200 still adds up to a lot less than one year of private college. But overshare in NYT lifestyle articles has yet to reach the point where you're provided with the bank login info for all individuals mentioned, so that you can see for yourself and summon the appropriate amount of outrage.
To aid in their decision-making on how much to help their daughter, Ms. Bass made a spreadsheet of all her daughter’s friends who were in the performing arts. “I wanted to see who was making a living, who was making a living in their art and who was being supported by their parents,” she said. In a graph of 45 young adults, only 3 were getting no help whatsoever, and those 3, Ms. Bass said, were working full time either in a restaurant or baby-sitting, and had limited energy left over to pursue what they had studied.
“It made me see that Emma’s social context was such that our helping with her rent was legitimate,” Ms. Bass said. “I didn’t feel like we were indulging her. I felt like it was a necessary fifth year of college where she had to stabilize herself without the structure and positive feedback of school.”In other words, this. I'm surprised, not that 42 of 45 were getting help (more than a little, sounds like) from their parents, but that Koenig and her mother were able to get this information. One of the biggest problems with the new order of presumed parental support is the lack of transparency. Or maybe that's changed - maybe with this new micro-generation (clinging to 28 here), the post-2008 economy has made situations that were plenty common pre- more socially-acceptable to discuss.
The commenters are completely right that Koenig's story isn't representative of her generation. But the value of a profile like this is that it demystifies how these trajectories can happen. It's a warning to those whose parents can't or won't provide $1,200 a month, but also to those whose parents will gladly do so, but who might envision adulthood involving a bit more independence than that set-up allows.