1The art of the gouge:How NYU squeezes billions from ourstudents—and where that moneygoesFor the last three months I have been homeless, sleeping wherever I findshelter. Sometimes that comes after studying at the apartments of mycolleagues, some of whom suspect this situation is happening. Othertimes I have slept in parks or on trains.—PhD student, GSASI live on 2-5 dollars a day. That means two meals a day, andincredibly unhealthy food. I'm hungry all the time. Being so hungrywhile you're trying to work two jobs to pay your rent and still keepup with your coursework is practically impossible—and morecommon than you would ever think at a university like this.—junior, GallatinI had a full scholarship, but then they raised the tuition, so I was shortabout 2000. And when I asked the people in financial aid for help, theylaughed. The guy actually laughed. He couldn't believe that anyone wouldhave trouble raising such a small amount.So I was desperate. It's why I turned to [Seeking Arrangement], which isreally just a form of prostitution. But I had no choice. It was either that ordrop out.It was a hard choice; and I wasn't the only one who had to make it. When Ifinally got the nerve to tell my roommates I was doing it, they both toldme they'd been doing it, too.—FAS, Class of 2014I can assure you that the University will not proceed with any projectunless we are certain it is in the University's interest and is financiallysound. The Board is, as you know, filled with people at the top of their
2professions; I can similarly assure you that my fellow trustees and I takevery seriously our personal responsibilities and our legal obligations asthe University's fiduciaries to ensure NYU's financial health. And pleaseknow that the impact of budgetary decision-making on our students andtheir families is always at the forefront of our thoughts.—Martin Lipton, Chairman of the Board,letter to NYUFASP, 9/13/12Part 1: The Big Squeeze:NYU’s relentless cash extraction"You are nothing to them but 200,000"—Blog post by "Amanda Del," NYU student, 12/17/09Under Pres. Sexton (and, behind him, Martin Lipton, Chairman of the Board,along with Ken Langone and other powerful trustees), NYU has jumped toNumber One in the United States (and, for that matter, the world)—notleadership to brag about. For Mr. Lipton's NYU stands out, not as a "worldclass research institution," whose "peers" include Yale, Harvard and Columbia(as Pres. Sexton likes to claim), but as the nation's (and the world's) mostoverpriced university.This reputation comes from press reports, all accurate enough, on thevertiginous costs of NYU's tuition, room and board. Although it has beenmaking news for quite some time (Newsweek, in 2012, ranked NYU 4th amongthe nation's "least affordable schools"), the story has exploded since thesummer of 2013, due largely to the growing crisis over student debt, andimportant studies by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Business Insider.Thus CNN, CBS, NBC, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic,CampusGrotto, Gawker, the Washington Post, the Daily Mail, and U.S. News &World Report, among many other outlets, have all variously hammered homeNYU's status either as the second most expensive (after Sarah Lawrence) or"the most expensive college in the country," as Huffington Post sarcasticallyreported ("Congratulations, New York University!").We note that such reports are "accurate enough," because, as troubling as theyare, they inadvertently downplay the problem here, in several ways—not least
3of which is the unhappy fact that NYU costs even more than they suggest (aswe shall see).Secondly, in merely ranking NYU in terms of outright costs, those articles omitNYU's exceptionally dismal record on financial aid and student debt. That NYUhas the nation's worst financial aid (as the Princeton Review has beenreporting since 2009), and "creates more student debt than other nonprofitcollege or university in the country" (as the Village Voice reported in 2011), arefacts unmentioned in those surveys of tuition rates alone.Finally—and surely most important—all that reportage has subtly prettified thepicture, by failing to dispute the myth, hyped endlessly by NYU, that NYUdevotes that revenue to education.The myth"Big growth in facilities and a 2.8 billion endowment have transformed NYUfrom a decent commuter school into an elite institution in the last couple ofdecades. Tuition is reasonable compared to other places, but living in NewYork costs a lot."Thus Forbes, in 2012, tried to explain NYU's sticker price, and in so doing reechoed the inevitable talking point that NYU has been "transformed into an eliteinstitution" by all those billions spent on real estate. Ranking NYU as thenation's 5th-most-expensive university (despite its "reasonable"tuition), Forbes tacitly ascribed the high cost both to that "big growth infacilities," and to the pocketbook demands of "living in New York."That spin reaffirms the line that Pres. Sexton, Mr. Lipton and their flacks havepushed nonstop for years: that NYU has, thanks to their big spending, "grown"into a "world class research institution," offering an education comparable tothose at Yale, Harvard and Columbia—and that is what our students, and theirfamilies, have been paying for.Pres. Sexton made that case in pitching "2031" before the City Council: "Half ofmy undergraduates work two jobs," he said (with some exaggeration), "and Ihave 500 undergraduates that works [sic] three jobs while they're going toschool.Now what are those kids telling us by doing that? First of all, they're tellingus that they're industrious as well as smart. But they're also telling usthey really like the quality of an NYU education, because of our locationalendowment [i.e. Greenwich Village], and because of the quality we'reproviding.
4"So as high as our tuition is," he concluded, "our students manage to do itbecause they want the quality."The factsThus Pres. Sexton drew a happy picture of our students' desperation, treating itnot as an institutional emergency but as a sort of advertisement for the brand.His blitheness troubled City Council Member Dan Garodnick: "But is there anyway to actually protect these students?" he asked.What is it [in the Sexton Plan] that will limit further need of your students to takeon two, three [jobs]—as 'industrious' and impressive as that is, to limit theirneed to do that?To this the president replied at length, vis-a-vis "the issue"—"one to which Idedicate my life"—of "enabling every talented student who should be at NYUto be at NYU," etc. As they concerned financial aid at NYU, his claims were, ontheir face, preposterous. Relatedly, we raise another question that the CityCouncil Member could have put to him: "As high as [the] tuition is" atNYU, how has it improved "the quality" of education there?Hardly at all, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2002, when Pres.Sexton took the helm, the magazine ranked NYU at #33 among America's"Best Colleges." In 2014, after thirteen years of Mr. Lipton's policies, NYU hadsoared to #32.Our students, and their families, have paid—and are still paying—dearly for thatuptick, NYU's tuition having more than doubled since 2001, risingfrom 23,336 to 46,170, an increase of 21,834 (or 52%).(We note a similar disconnection between price and "quality" at NYU's bestknown professional schools: NYU Stern—today the nation's most expensivebusiness school, although its complex rankings overall are much the same asin 2001; and NYU Law School—today the nation's second-most expensive,although its ranking, by U.S. News & World Report, has, since 2007, droppedfrom #4 to #6.)Thus NYU has, demonstrably, not been spending all those millions to improve"the quality" of education here, but, primarily (as we shall see), on real estate,and NYU's top officers. The maintenance of those two bad habits in particularcompels the Board to keep NYU's price as high as possible, and to enlargeNYU's clientele (i.e., the student body) to a size beyond the capabilities, oraspirations, of any "elite institution."Those numbers offer us another way to grasp the Board's indifference to "thequality" of education here: NYU's acceptance rate today is over 34%—a figure
5six times higher than Harvard's (5.9%), five times higher than Columbia's(6.9%), and double that of Mississippi Valley State University (16.1%). Nowwith over 40,000 students, NYU obviously ranks, not with Yale, Harvard andColumbia, but with such absorptive giants as the University of Georgia andOhio State.How NYU pulls in more paying customers"Given our selectivity, getting into NYU is difficult," claims NYU's PR machine,in one more bald departure from reality. Despite such hype, it is quite clear thatNYU absorbs so many "clients" not to "enable every talented studentwho should be at NYU to be at NYU," but only to maintain that flood of revenuewhich Messrs. Lipton and Langone, et al., have squandered on non-academicpurposes.Under that topdown financial pressure, NYU has long deployed a range ofcontroversial tactics to increase enrollment all throughout the schools. Facultyin Steinhardt and Social Work—two schools whose high revenues are annuallysiphoned off to other sectors of the university—complain of the administration'svarious attempts to lower admission standards for their MA programs, andotherwise enlarge the ranks of paying customers. ("They are forever looking fornew gimmicks to draw students in," observes a Social Work professor.)Other tactics are more troubling still. To increase profits from NYU Poly,especially its ever-growing MA program, NYU resorts to a broad range ofdoubtful practices to lure more paying customers from India, China, Turkey andelsewhere abroad. Because such practices have lowered Poly's academicquality, and caused much student suffering (as reported last year by the NewYork Post and Bloomberg News), last month three graduate students called fora school-wide discussion of the problem, in flyers that they started handing outon campus.Apparently that topic is taboo. Within minutes, the students were confronted,and their protest halted, by campus security, who detained them briefly forquestioning, and wrote up an "incident report" to document the crime. (Thestory was reported by the Daily Beast.)Meanwhile, NYU has long jacked up its undergraduate numbers through theLiberal Studies Program, "which kids are often accepted into instead of theprogram they wanted," posted "sally305" on College Confidential in 2012. "Thisis a big bait and switch. It functions essentially as a community college 'feeder,'and forces kids to re-apply as juniors to their program of choice." NYU, sheadds, "intentionally created mystery about it, going so far as to not have awebsite for several years. (It does now.) The admission standards aresometimes lower, and NYU does not include them in the stats it supplies forrankings."
6Many Liberal Studies students, and the parents of such students, feel that NYUmisled them. "Once he was accepted (without any sort of financial aid) we wereunsettled by some of the things we read about the LS program," posts oneparent. "I guess the bottom line is that he felt duped, applying for a programand finding out later that it is not considered as rigorous as the other colleges atNYU." "He is unaware that many—most?—of his fellow students are in theprogram because they were placed there not by choice," posts another. "I amtroubled by the fact that NYU didn't spell out all the aspects of the program inthe application information.""Essentially, to me," writes one disappointed student, "it's kind of like highschool (with harder coursework)," "Had I known exactly what it was & how itlimits me academically," writes another, "I don't think I would have come toNYU,""We all know NYU is money-hungry"While making clear that NYU is an unusually expensive ride, the press has notconveyed a proper sense of how relentless, and ingenious, NYU really is atsqueezing cash from its community. For that, one needs to hear from thecommunity—especially the students:1. all they want is your money.2. all they care about is your money3. you are nothing to them but 200,000That is not the rant of some eccentric malcontent, but a complaint that comesup endlessly on social media, in online reviews, throughout the blogosphere,and in the student press: "NYU just wants your money . they don't care aboutyou!" "We all know NYU is money-hungry." "NYU wants your money, and youwill graduate feeling suckered." "NYU is a scam. don't go there." "NYU is allabout the money, but they use none of [it] to support undergrad education."And so on.Certainly, NYU has also garnered many glowing reviews that make no suchacerbic statements, or refer to cost at all—testimonials by some more fortunatethan others, because they never need concern themselves about the cost, oreven notice it. We also note (and with no little pride) that those who haveassailed the soaring costs and exploitative practices at NYU have often stillpraised NYU's professors.In any case, NYU under Mr. Lipton's Board has earned a reputation as auniversity less interested in education than in cash extraction. Beyond thosehuge sums for tuition, fees and housing, it seems that there is no amounttoo small for NYU not to charge for it. For students who don't live in NYU
7housing, "it costs us forty bucks to use Coles during the summer," notes asenior in CAS.* "They even charge 100 for orientation," protests a formernursing student.NYU Local has exposed the student meal plan as yet another of NYU's "bigass rip-offs," while Dailyfinance.com advises students not to use NYU'sCampus Cash: "Students (or relatives) can top up their cards online, but theyhave to pay a 2 fee every time they do so."Some students tell of petty charges that seem tantamount to fraud: "A fewweeks into my stay I lost my room key," writes a former student who had visitedfrom Ireland. "I was told that the replacement fee would be 100."As this figure was wildly out of sync with my expectations I asked my friendsif this were indeed the correct figure. Good thing I asked—the cost was 25.After three days of futile efforts to try [to] resist paying the fee I finally toredown the A4 sign that showed the cost to be 25 for the key in question.Did I get an apology? Hardly; this could result in 'judicial consequences,'I was told.Such random bites suggest an institution driven by a mercenary need so greatthat even NYU's tuition, fees and housing costs can't satisfy it—even thoughthey also are too high; and NYU misrepresents them, too.*Even faculty with "family memberships" at Coles must also pay, 10 a head, to bring their children there on weekends."The sky-rocketing costs of tuition""Nia Mirza, a 19-year-old from Pakistan preparing to embark on her freshmanyear, was stunned to discover that the 64,000 annual price tag (includingtuition and the estimated cost of expenses) she thought she would be payinghad mysteriously risen to 71,000, after she'd already committed to the schoolvia early decision."As Gothamist (among others) reported in late March, Ms. Nirza was (and stillis) protesting that "mysterious" increase, with a student petition calling it unfair:"The cost of attendance (annual) was suddenly raised after students [paid] theenrollment deposit. This was done without any notice at all; it was just observedby students who reviewed their financial aid package[s] on their 'Albert'portals."According to NYU, the costs are increased every year by a small percentage.Even if this is the case, the cost should have been increased way back inJanuary and not when the quarter of the year has already passed, and whenstudents have planned their budget according to the cost of attendance
8mentioned when they were given their offers [emphasis added].Although Ms. Nirza calls on NYU to cancel that increase, "the point of thispetition is to condemn the sky-rocketing costs of tuition, which is only affordablefor students from very wealthy backgrounds."We are against the amount of debt that students are forced to incur whilestudying at NYU. We are against the over-pressurization of parents. Wedemand a drop in NYU's tuition fee.Posted on Change.org, the petition (#NoFairNYU) has, as of this writing,garnered over 5,000 signatures."HELP!"This is not the first time that an individual student has gone public over NYU'stuition. In August of 2012, the Village Voice reported the predicament of seniorJohnny De Vito, a CAS honors student who, despite a scholarship (and a job atan airline consulting firm), needed 12,157—now—to pay his fall semester bill.Out of desperation, Mr. De Vito made a poster ("HELP!"), featuring the bill, andtaped it to a light pole in Washington Square Park: "Please consider givingme advice or encouragement as I figure out how to pay for the firstsemester of my senior year."Last January, Tisch sophomore Jeremy Harris learned suddenly that he wouldnot receive financial aid, despite a glowing record: "In just a year and a halfJeremy has already been a summer RA, thrived as a baritone in a top-notch acapella group (the Mixtapes), worked several days/nights a week at theResource Center, all while keeping up phenomenal grades and honing hisacting and dancing skills." With only days to find 7,864, Mr. Harris turnedto gofundme.com (and raised that sum from other students).While those were cries for personal help, Ms. Nirza's effort is the first formalprotest, by a lone undergraduate (in her case, a prospective undergraduate), ofNYU's too-high tuition overall—and the first to protest the deceptiveness ofNYU's charging practices.* Her protest helps us see how NYU has minimized,and otherwise obscured, the true cost of an education here.*NYU's Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) has now embraced Ms. Nirza's cause.The fine print:How NYU makes even more than we've been toldLet's begin by noting that Ms. Mirza will be paying more to go to NYU (andeven more than she expects) because she is an international student—adifference that the press has overlooked.
9On the one hand, international students pay a slightly higher tuition (or "tuition& fees") than their US peers; and that margin will grow notably next year. Forthose students, the total for this academic year is 46,460, while US studentshave paid 46,170: a difference of 290. Next year—when "all costs related tostudy at NYU will increase approximately 5%" (according to the Bursar'sOffice)—international students will pay 48,783, while their US peers willpay 47,750: a difference of 1,033 (an increase of 256%).The more it grows, the more significant that difference is, not least because thepress has based its calculations of the cost of college in the USA on the ratesfor US citizens. With that blind spot, the press has slightly understated NYU'stuition—and greatly understated how much NYU charges overall.Consider CAS. This academic year, the total cost for US citizens is 64,304,and, for international students, 73,696—a difference of 9,392 (or over 14%).The difference is about the same throughout NYU's schools.An international cash cowNYU is surely not alone in charging international students more than UScitizens—a practice now widespread at "flagship public universities across thenation," as the New York Times reported in 2012. That year, for example,international students at the University of Washington were charged 28,059for tuition, "about three times as much as students from Washington State"(and over 15,000 less than NYU's tuition then). Students from abroad also paymore at certain private universities.However, NYU's practice is, in several ways, not comparable to what goes onat other schools. While international students at our public universities "helpunderwrite financial aid" by paying higher tuition, there is, of course, no reasonto believe the surplus serves that purpose here.And NYU's surplus is vastly larger than at any public university, or any otherschool, thanks to the domestic intake of the Global Network University. "In the2013-14 academic year," NYU's website tells us, "NYU attracted 11,164international students, a 19-percent increase over the previous year"—faroutstripping USC, Purdue and the University of Illinois, whose internationalenrollments had surpassed NYU's just the year before.That year, all those students each paid some 9,000 more than the Americansattending NYU, thereby making NYU at least 100,000,000 in such extrarevenue alone. That would be enough to put 540 students through all fouryears at NYU—and save them, in interest, somewhere between
10 34,698,240 and 72,270,900—if NYU spent it on financial aid instead of realestate and bureaucratic salaries.What are the students paying for, exactly?While our international students pay significantly more than those at otheruniversities, NYU also stands out in another way, since those charges are notjust the highest in the country but also the most unclear.What exactly are those students (and their families) paying for? Other schoolsdon't hide that information. On its web page for "Tuition & Fees," Purdue hasthe rate for international students ( 30,804) right beside the rate for USnonresidents of Indiana ( 28,804), making the 2,000 difference unmistakable.Under "Tuition & Fees," the University of Illinois has the rates for internationalstudents ( 31,626- 38,764) right under those for US nonresidents of Illinois( 30,796- 35,800), so that the difference ( 830- 2,964) is as clear as day. Onits web page, USC clearly lists the two administrative fees— 100 and 185—for international students (who pay the same tuition as the others).Now turn to NYU's web pages for "Tuition and Fees," and there you will findnothing on those higher costs for international students—no indication thatthere are such higher costs, much less any explanation as to why. TheAdmissions Office doesn't mention them on "Tuition & Fees," nor does theBursar's Office mention them on any of its dozens of web pages ("Tuition andFees"), each noting the tuition rate (and one or two fees) for a particular NYUschool, program, center, institute (with separate pages also for undergraduatesand graduate students).And anyone who seeks that information on a guided tour of campus also willnot find it there. In the Admissions Ambassador Handbook, used by the studentguides to answer any questions (their supervisors warn them not to stray fromit), the section on "Tuition & Fees" includes a "Total Budget with Housing" forCAS, one for Stern, and one for Tisch—and none for international students andtheir families, although thousands of them take those tours each year.Rather than list their tuition/fees under "Tuition and Fees," NYU lists them on"Estimated Expenses," a web page run not by Admissions or the Bursar but by"Global." Thus the only way to notice the much higher charges for ourinternational students is to compare that page with any of those others, or withthe budgets in the Handbook—yet that comparison will not explain thedifference. For example:This year, for students from abroad, the total cost for CAS is 73,696: 46,460 for "Tuition & Fees," 24,000 for "Living Expenses,"and 3,236 for "Health Insurance."
11This year, for US students, the total cost for CAS is 64,304: 46,170 for"Tuition & Mandatory Fees," 16,064 for "Room & Board," 1,070 for "Books &Supplies," and 1000 (!) for "Personal Expenses."The difference in tuition rates— 290—is clear enough, as is that 3,326 forhealth insurance. Those costs add up to 3,616— 5,776 less than the 9,392extra that NYU charges its 11,000 students from abroad, in "LivingExpenses."And what are they, exactly? What makes "Living Expenses" ( 24,000) so muchmore expensive than the total cost ( 18,134) of "Room & Board," "Books &Supplies," and "Personal Expenses"? Does NYU charge its internationalstudents more for housing, books or meals? Or do they need certain things for"Living" that Americans don't need? If so, what are they, and why does NYUdemand so much for them?Unclearness by design (1)We might regard the chaos of accounts at NYU as a result of mereincompetence, if such indecipherability were not a tactic commonly deployed byiffy vendors of all kinds, to make their over-charges both invisible andinexplicable. (Most—by far—of the online complaints by patients at NYULangone concern its billing practices.)With that in mind, we note that NYU may actually be charging its prospectivestudents even more than they now think. If Nia Mirza, the Pakistaniundergraduate-to-be, was shocked to find, from whatever letter NYU had senther, that her first year would cost her family 70,974 (as opposed to 64,000),she ought to check out Global's web page, "Estimated Expenses," which putsthe price at 73,696.In any case, the dizzying unclarity of all those price-lists doesn't obfuscate thecost for international students only, but for all prospective students. While otheruniversities post their annual tuition, NYU blurs the cost for its American marketby posting the price per semester (on the Bursar's web pages), and—evenmore misleadingly—the price per course (on the Admission Office web page),giving the impression that "tuition" here is only a few thousand dollars.NYU also misleads prospective students, and their families, by telling them toput aside 1,000 for their "personal expenses." Whereas that would have beenenough when Jimmy Carter was in office, or would be enough in Little Rocktoday, it's nowhere near enough to pay for laundry (no dry cleaning),transportation (subways only), cellphone, toiletries, cleaning supplies, the oddsnack, and a movie now and then, for nine months in Manhattan, in thiscentury.*
12And that assumes nine months without a medical emergency. While posting thecost of health insurance for its international students, NYU doesn't do so for itsUS applicants. On none of its web pages, nor in the Handbook, does NYU notethis mandatory annual expense for US students (or, therefore, that such costshave been increasing: Crain's New York Business reported, in 2012, that NYUhad raised the price of student health insurance premiums by 33%—anincrease three times larger than Columbia's).*For students at the School of Medicine, "personal expenses" come to 4,500.The (largely hidden) burden of NYU's health insuranceAs its name implies, all NYU students are required to buy NYU's MandatoryPlan ("This plan cannot be waived"). Now costing 2424 per annum ( 1212 x2 in registration fees), this plan mainly offers "access" to the Wellness Center,plus "limited coverage" for some ER services and mental health outpatientvisits.For fuller coverage, NYU also offers two optional insurance plans: "Basic,"for 2094, and "Comprehensive," for 3236—with deductibles of 5000 innetwork, and 10,000 out-of-network. Those plans don't cover routine dentalcare, or "eyeglasses, hearing aids, [or] examination for the prescription or fittingthereof."*With such essential care excluded, and those high deductibles, NYU'scoverage is one more expensive proposition for our students. (It seemsespecially costly for our international students, who are apparently required topay not only for the "Mandatory Plan," but also for the costlier— 3236—ofthose two plans that NYU calls "optional.")And, for all too many seeking medical attention here at NYU, those costs areonly the beginning; since the "care" that they receive at NYU's own facilities—the Wellness Center, and, for those who buy the STU-DENT plan, the walk-inclinic at the College of Dentistry—is all too often insufficient, and sometimesmakes things worse, requiring them to pay for proper care elsewhere.*According to the "Tuition & Fees Worksheet" for the School of Law, this year those two plans cost several hundreddollars more— 2,568 and 3,974—for full-time students there.NYU's January squeezeSince Pres. Sexton's installation in 2002, NYU's tuition costs have shot upevery year, "far more than the inflation rate," as one student journalist noted in2009. Between 2002 and 2011, tuition spiked an average 5.08% per year,between 2002 and 2011, with further increments, since of then, of roughly 4%.
13Beyond those annual increases, NYU has given the tuition lemon yet anothermighty squeeze, by charging separately for courses taught in January.Introduced in 2008, the "J-TERM" was devised exclusively for its financialbenefits—although NYU, as ever, sells it as "a distinctive learning experience."("During this time, students can take advantage [sic] of intensive study at oneof the foremost research and teaching universities in the United States," etc.)The mercenary point has been apparent to our students—especially those whotransferred here from schools that don't charge extra for their intersessionclasses: "The tuition for the 3 week January term is included in the fallsemester at Hampshire [College]. At NYU, which basically just wants yourmoney, taking a January class is like an additional 4 thousand dollars. No thankyou."That was in 2012. This year, those courses each yielded 5156 fromundergraduates in CAS, Liberal Studies, Gallatin and Nursing; atPoly, 5316 from undergraduates, and 5808 from graduatestudents; 5916 from Steinhardt graduate students: 6224 from Gallatinstudents; and, at Tisch, 6200 from undergraduates, and 6280 fromundergraduates. (Those prices are especially impressive, since those coursesare taught on the cheap, by non-tenured faculty who each make roughlywhat one student pays for that "distinctive learning experience.")Although lucrative at first, reportedly the J-TERM soon cost NYU money, asstudents started using it, along with advanced placement credits, to graduateearly. In any case, the trick is widely played throughout the Global NetworkUniversity, with NYU/Abu Dhabi serving as a hub:Current NYU New York and NYU Shanghai undergraduate studentshave the opportunity to take January Term (J-Term) courses with NYUAbu Dhabi. Courses
Part 1: The Big Squeeze: NYU . making news for quite some time (Newsweek, in 2012, ranked NYU 4th among the nation's "least affordable schools"), the story has exploded since the summer of 2013,