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College Official Accused of Offering Scholarships for Sex

College Official Accused of Offering Scholarships for Sex
Suada Kolovic

Securing the funds needed to attend college can be challenging. Luckily for the majority of students, they can rely on financial aid experts for guidance. Regrettably, not all students are so fortunate: An Idaho community college administrator stands accused of offering scholarships to students in exchange for sex.

Idaho police arrested Joseph Bekken, 36, the head of financial aid for North Idaho College, on suspicion of procurement of prostitution and other charges in connection with ads he posted on Craigslist offering "grant money" in exchanges for sexual favors from students who attended the two-year college in Coeur d'Alene, according to authorities. Bekken told police no federal funds were involved in his propositions and that he had not been involved with any other students. In a statement Wednesday, NIC President Joe Dunlap said the college "has worked alongside law enforcement from the very beginning of the investigation. I am grateful for the knowledge and training of our staff, which resulted in a swift and decisive response to this incident." Bekken also faces charges of bribery and using a computer in a scheme to defraud. (For the full story, head over to Reuters.)

What do you think Bekken’s penalty should be for using his position to solicit students for sex? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And don’t forget to conduct a free college scholarship search on, where you’ll be matched with scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities that are unique to you!

Comments (91)
cf 3/24/2015
I feel like he should not be behind bars. Because it takes two for a relationship to jump. If the teens came on to him and he got hard then it wasn't his fault. They were active just as well as he was . they need to notify the parents about their children sleeping with grown men and do something about it.
V.L.M 3/10/2015
When I read this; I was furious on how an official of Financial Aid abuses his power to take advantage on incoming freshmens. He should be put in prison and never be a school official. It was also sad to see that his offer was accepted. To me this looks like that there is not enough Scholarships opportunities that would help pay for college tution. Colleges need to lower the tution rates or something to make college more affordable or else this might not be the last time we see this immoral act.
Ammo 3/9/2015
Honestly, this is no surprise to me. I can say that I have had enough of feeling stunned with the "out-of-the-ordinary" occurrences that happens in this world and never the less, damn near, right in our faces. This just proves that regardless of a title, people will be people. you can have an official professional smile in you face every day, that you laugh and joke occasionally-you feel you know this person. Someone you're so comfortable with, you would never imagine the things they may possible do behind close doors, why they do what they do and what and/or when they choose to reveal eventually. I'm sure "Mr. Behkken" knew that he was gonna get caught doing something as malicious as offering students scholarships in exchange for sex. If I was to punish him, I would see where his guilt lies. I'll give him the benefit of a doubt and let him decide the term of his sentence pass 5 years; then I'll multiply that by the # of charges.
Miguel M. 3/3/2015
What I read was pretty bizarre. This is something I've never expected to read from, especially when the accuser is the head of financial aid to North Idaho College. If I were to penalize Joseph Bekken, first I'd make sure he won't be working at any other school or academic organization ever again. Second and foremost, sentence him in prison for a few years. The reason I'd say this is cause why would the financial head of NIC would offer scholarships in exchange for sex from students? No good man would do such a thing. Very sick and cruel thing to do. I'd rather work for my stuff and be proud of myself for it.
ema H. 3/3/2015
Disgusting. There goes another employment title you cannot trust. Is this how college officials view us?
Ana G. 3/3/2015
I find this very wrong. Although some people may not be able to afford college, this should not even be a way in anyone's mind to get a scholarship. When I saw this in my email, I opened it because I was seriously disgusted by it. Any man who would even think of using someone like that because he knows they are desperate is a very sick individual. He shouldn't get the life sentence or anything like that. I mean, don't get me wrong, he needs SOME jail time but maybe this man needs to be admitted somewhere because it sounds like he has some serious issues. I am honestly ashamed of being a part of the world today. The world is a scary place and it seems some people are willing to do just about anything to get what they want. People like that just make it harder for people to trust the good people in the world.
some student 3/3/2015
When I saw this in my email, I opened it because I would do it. It is wrong, but students do other things to get money for college. One for example is working as a topless maid, in which they make easy money. I think that if I made the choice of accepting his offer, it was on me, and I could walk away from it. It's not like if whoever was a victim got abducted and forced to have sex with him.
Freagahn F. 3/1/2015
I'm gonna be a college freshman soon and if this is what I'd have to do to get a scholarship to go then I'll pass.
Christine C. 3/1/2015
I find this very wrong. Why give yourself away to someone just for money? I mean yeah college is expensive but there are other scholarships and other ways to get money than this. What if some of these vulnerable and desperate girls were still virgins? What if they had strong religious views but this was the last resort that had to get money so he made them go against everything they believe?! This man could've possibly taken away a lot of girl's innocence because of his greedy need. Did he really have to stoop that low and go after young girls. Some who didn't know better?! And could he not find a lady his age to do him or be with him that he was that desperate?! This really REALLY disgusts me. Makes me think some of these girls have no self worth and frankly are means for doing this. I'm so disappointed in my generation. It's majority the teachers fault but sadly it's the students fault to. He shouldn't have to stoop that low for sex and neither should they for money.
Not consensual 2/28/2015
This cannot be considered consensual sex. Many students depend on grant money to procure their education and are under such duress over it that they make unwise decisions. You're talking about youngsters barely out of high school with no real knowledge of how the world can really be. This is a flagrant abuse of power. History has many such abuses of power. Add in the fact that this is a sexual offense and we're talking about a sexual predator/offender. They have a better than 90% recidivism rate, meaning he will continue his sexual misbehavior. Therapy does little to help this rate. He needs prison... a lot of it.
John H. 2/28/2015
All you people saying they didn't do anything wrong and it was consensual.... do you realise that prostitution is a crime?
Cyndhia R. 2/27/2015
I think that people like this should stay in jail for this type of crime. I dont think its fair what this person did. He took advantage of many students that wanted to simply succeed and were looking for scholarships because they have no more money to pay for their education.
WhoCares 2/27/2015
They are all adults. Does it really matter whether he sleeps with his students or not, after all it was consensual
Anonymous 2/27/2015
I honestly don't see what the problem is. Bekken didn't force the students to do anything. The chose to. I think that if the students really thought it was wrong he would have got caught a long time ago. It's free money.
Anonymous 2/26/2015
Never lower your standards to a piece of scum, sometimes it's difficult in life but this is not the way to go.
Anonymous 2/26/2015
I don't see the problem. he never forced anyone to do it. I would have done it. Free money and he isn't bad looking. I would have jumped all over that.
Anonymous 2/26/2015
I would freeze all student aide to this school, to teach them a lesson. Probably administration will pay a closer attention to their faculty. What a character and moral this school build in our future generation. I will fire all staff involved and bring to justice. What a disgrace they brought to their families....
anon 2/26/2015
This is what rape and porn culture looks like. Where violating yourself and others is a value. How proud we mustbe for this great contrubution to the 21st century. How empowering!
giselle carrasco 2/26/2015
This man clearly took advantage of people. He is skum and nasty and it is sickning that he thought he could get away with this.
Adrian S 2/26/2015
What's done in the dark comes to the light. You are exposed and there is no grant money worth your sexual values, it ludicrous to even accept something like that, I know we fear being in debt but God said forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
no name 2/25/2015
Honestly I feel like these students are grown so they can make their own decisions so I don't think he is taking advantage of them and I feel like people having sex with mass ppl for no reason in college we all know college can get wild so I rather do it for money at least I'm gone gain something from it ppl have meaningless sex all the time so if u gone do it u minds well gain something from it plus porn ain't nothing but ppl getting paid for sex n these students are getting paid for sex to do something positive like pay for college
Anonymous 2/25/2015
I would do it
Mia W. 2/25/2015
I believe students SHOULD be held responsible for giving/accepting sex for scholarships. Yeah, maybe they are stupid young adults, but they're still young adults nonetheless. As a young adult, you are required to make more responsible decisions and the ones that did this nonsense DID NOT show responsibility. Morality should always come before necessity.
Ash A. 2/25/2015
Yes, blah blah blah consensual but you guys need to realize that teachers and other faculty of schools are supposed to be people students go to for help - not to be manhandled and taken advantage of especially in a sexual way. The fact that people think students should be held responsible for this is ludicrous.These are young adults they legally yes are adults but mentally nooooo ! Imagine if your young son or daughter gave sex to pay for something that we deem to be a necessity ?
ANONYMOUS 2/25/2015
well maybe you all should investigate how EXPENSIVE college is too.. have to do what you have to do to pay tuition off. It was HIS money and the COLLEGE students are old enough to make decisions I would have done it.
CR 2/25/2015
Swag Boy, what's the bigger picture?
Sharon A. 2/25/2015
This is disgusting. Broken trust!
ANONYMOUS 2/25/2015
Free money? I would've done it.
Breanna B. 2/25/2015
Bekken, you are the rot below the scum in a pond. You are the worst kind of person. Taking advantage of desperate, impressionable young students trying to make their way in this world might as well be considered rape. You disgust me. I hope you never see the outside of a prison again.
Michael H. 2/25/2015
This is a cruel injustice in my opinion. A well trusted member of the college using financial rewards to "treat" himself is not right on any level. I cannot even fathom any reason why he would even think that this is acceptable. I know that some students suffer greatly financially, but selling themselves for scholarship makes this basically prostitution on the students part and cruelty towards all parties involved.
B 2/25/2015
I am a current student at the college. The accused has been arrested been charged multiple felonies, and is facing possible future state and local charges along with federal charges. The matter is currently under investigation by the authorities. His previous employment at another college in Arizona is also being investigated by federal authorities. Put aside this individual and his doings, the college is an excellent school. The staff and faculty are very inviting, friendly and helpful to current students and prospective students.
Jaya M 2/25/2015
This is wrong in every way- however this question opens up to more questions- why do students need to restort to having sex to pay for college? You should never have sex for any exchange of goods but the inflation in prices of college is making students take different measures for education.
franza 2/25/2015
I would do it for tuition. College is so expensive that it would be worth it.
Monica C 2/25/2015
I think this is by far the most disgusting thing I have heard. This man is very desperate and thinks he's going to get ale thing out of offering this. He is crazy for thinking this is going to work because students are obviously in need for money but for them to go this low to get it. I think it's just absurd and he needs to serve a well amount of years in prison.
Mary 2/25/2015
While soliciting sex is certainly disgusting, I have to admit that I've been screwed for a lot less...
Swag Boy 2/25/2015
Yeah its disgusting, unethical, and unorthodox, but in all honesty, these are college students were talking about. They are smart enough to make their own decisions and know the pros and cons. If they are doing it on their free will then by all means its their fault, not the teacher himself. He's not actually going out and raping underage people... but then again people get all hyped when one black guy gets killed when they don't even look at the big picture behind it. America is a joke. we live in the shadows of the facade of human liberty and rights.
Pastor Tony L. 2/25/2015
I have a daughter that will graduate in may from Loyola N.O.If this man can prey on our youth and steal their self worth, im sure it did'nt start with college age students.I would like to see him get 25 to life.
Jamie J 2/24/2015
Well I'm very disappointed. People are so desperate for the funds to go to college that they will be willing to go to great lengths to get that. He knew very well what he was doing and it makes me sick to my stomach. He should be locked up for a great amount of time for pressuring these girls to have sex with him just so they can become something of themselves by going to college. It's not right by any means and he should be punished accordingly.
Thomas H. 2/24/2015
i dont think its right
Phantom O.G. 2/24/2015
Perhaps this is saying that College prices are to high and people are desperate and willing to do anything to get to college and make it through.
Taylor S. 2/24/2015
I'd do it. College is expensive... And anyone who doesn't realize that they are swiping free money is just blinded by the morals of society
Venky B 2/24/2015
It is disgusting to what level people can stoop to satisfy their carnal desires by misusing their official position. It is an indication of the moral turpitude American society has sunk in. If this is the situation I am afraid of applying for scholarship for my children. The person concerned should be given exemplary punishment.
Charles 2/24/2015
Okay. How could someone do that to another person? I understand there are lots of sick people out there but really? It's unbelievable that someone would do that to others because they know they have the advantage and the fact that students would do it, I mean it's crazy. I understand that college is expensive and such but to get grants or scholarships for sex? Nope. Not me. I would've actually try to earn mine instead of having sex to get it. That's low.
Mike G. 2/24/2015
Although illegal, I would have taken the offer, college is expensive and you gotta pay the bills somehow!
Mike Creighton ( 2/24/2015
I say allow Mr. Bekken's punishment to be of a bold action, remain as part of the faculty, with no salary, court ordered to hold Skype sessions for "x" amount of years, to exploit the cons of power and privilege. I believe good can come from his mistakes, and lessons to be learned as a student on this sort of deception ! May shake up the faculty members who engage in such ethics ?
AlexZander C 2/24/2015
If he used his own money to fund adults in college in exchange for sex, then its not anyone else's business. there are other ways to gain funds. The choice theirs to make after all. The pricing of school in proportion of its practical worth today is already immoral. At this point its war , no? As long as the rights of the two parties are not violated, it fair gain. Don't like it, combat it. Bring these prices down, or befit these people yourself, else your opinions hold no practical weight. Now If the funds are not his.... Don't mess with money when it's not yours
William C 2/24/2015
It is not worth it to have sex with a man or woman to get money for college ... There are plenty of scholarships you just have to find them and the people who said they would. Just know your character is being judged in these comments. Second, what If this man or woman at your college had an STD then what? You probably didn't think so much into that saying I'll do it I'll do it. Basically it is not worth it to bring yourself down a level just to get ahead in life.
Kadeem Holmon 2/24/2015
Blame President Barack Obama. College should be free to all willing Americans.
MLB 2/24/2015
For those of you on here who said you would do it... I am shocked you would be willing to sell your body to some selfish perverted stranger for scholarships you may or may not get out of the deal. If he is crooked enough to do this he would be crooked enough to ruin your entire life through blackmail or other means. My goodness! Where are your morals?! Who taught you that your are nothing more than a piece of meat to be fawned over by perverts? Where is your sense of self worth? I find this disturbing and a very sad commentary on what our society has become.
Jazz 2/24/2015
I would have definitely entertained the idea. Whether or not I would have actually done it is another matter on, say, if I had too many loans to repay. College is getting so expensive, it's almost like going to grad/law/med school. Now imagine that burden on someone whose going to be attending both... And with the way humans are, this is practically easy money like those "No Essay" scholarships that everyone rushes for instead of the 500 word essay scholarships & etc. that require more brainpower and effort. It's not like the majority of college students AREN'T participating in some form of sexual activity. Besides, they aren't high schoolers--underage and (more) foolish. They are, by law, adults now. I mean, this is practically economics here. It would have been a win-win situation unless he was scamming them. People have to realize that these sorts of things happen, many of which don't get reported because, again, win-win situation. Morals don't count when it comes to money.
ak 2/24/2015
right on
JL 2/24/2015
Not only did he abuse his power and privileges as a finance specialist at the school, but he also took advantage of vulnerable college students by enticing them to have sex with him to satisfy their financial needs. Moreover, the fact that this occurred just shows how much of a financial burden college students have which influenced his behavior. The education system in our country undoubtedly needs reform, and we need to look into the deeper issues that cause these things to happen in the first place.
LUKAS F 2/24/2015
I don't see what the big deal is. Seems fair to me. It's the exact same thing as athletic scholarships. If you are good at something, in this case sex, they should get scholarships for it.
Miss H. 2/24/2015
Have some respect for yourself? Apparently you don't have a very sound concept of how the world works. It's very easy to be very desperate with the current state of the economy and the insane prices of college. And how do you see this as an attestment to the people who agreed to the offer rather than to a man who took advantage of young women with nowhere else to turn? And on a complete side note, if he was offering good money, I would have sooooo taken that deal.
Genialman 2/24/2015
I think this is indignating. He used the need of the students to get personal (And how personal) satisfaction, betrying the mission for the school he works for, and betraying the principles of Justice and Compassion in which colleges stand for in base to give financial aid for those who need it.
Jessica L 2/24/2015
Just another pathetic man preying on the young, innocent and vaunerable. Disgusting and so unfortunate!!! Prosecute so he can suffer embarrassment and humiliation he sadly deserves.
Adam C. 2/24/2015
I believe this just goes to show the levels of on professionalism and proprietary schools across the nation! this is coming from a student ambassador attending College. I think professionalism should be number one in anyone's agenda on any given day. he should be penalized to the maximum extent of the lawin which he violated and then be banned from any involvement in any educational facility Nationwide.
Mahin A. 2/24/2015
I personally think that taking the offer in a state where prostitution is already illegal should already give people a thought that would say "maybe I should just back off from this perverted man."
Mahin A. 2/24/2015
I personally think that taking the offer in a state where prostitution is already illegal should already give people a thought that would say "maybe I should just back off from this perverted man."
Tierra 2/24/2015
That's actually really messed up as if people don't have enough to worry about
nicole r 2/24/2015
No different than people getting paid to do pornography. They're receiving money for doing the same thing.
Nicole 2/24/2015
Craigslist? Does he not know there are official websites for people looking to be or find a sugar daddy?
Melissa C. 2/24/2015
That is vile and disgusting to offer scholarships exchange for sex?! Even if some people struggle for school funds, I don't think anyone should go that low and take that offer. Work hard to get what you want don't just take trash someone offers you.
MD 2/24/2015
That is truly disgusting but very tempting to do because college is definitely not cheap. But if you want to help people pay for college with scholarships, you shouldn't have to ask them for sex. Either you give them the scholarship or you don't. Forcing people to do dirties deeds for you knowing that there desperate is totally wrong. You are in the wrong profession if you be going around doing all that mess.He should get 5 years and community service.
Luke T 2/24/2015
I would do it too. Money is hard to come by. As for his punishment? I think that he should be made to pay for tuition for a year for all freshmen students.
Madison N. 2/24/2015
The fact is that's with how much college is costing now a days and with how much college is going to cost in the future it is not a far fetched idea at all to believe that many people parents, women, and men would be up for this if it ment alleviating some of the pressures of loan payments. This is something I would do to to take care of my children's school so,they wouldn't be faced with a decision like this ever.
Sumit, Sumit Barua (SB) 2/24/2015
This is disgusting like a hell. I think the appropriate action for that person to be register as sex offender and should go to prison. Otherwise the person should receives life imprisonment or let the person label as scammer in society.
Spelman Dad 2/24/2015
What an idiot. I have a daughter at Spelman College. I would file a lawsuit. It is so sad that there are all Types of unethical means to attract students to pay For college. I am so glad he was busted! Financial Aide is a very serious matter.
Ahmasi J. 2/24/2015
That is horrible. There are students that might be underage, that might go that school.
AD 2/24/2015
Considering the fact that college is very expensive and its almost impossible to get a scholarship. I would definitely do it. I would get it in writing first though.
PT 2/24/2015
How much did he offer? I would do it for 20,000
KY HSS 2/24/2015
Castrate and banish from all college campuses
Zachary L. 2/24/2015
Another sickening reminder of the society we currently live in.
Crystal M 2/24/2015
If college wasn't as pricey, then this story wouldn't even be on here. People go to college to find great careers afterwards, but then theres this debt that you have to pay off. "Congratulations you graduated, now you can spend years paying off that money you owe us."
Zachary Latorre 2/24/2015
Another sickening reminder of the society we currently live in.
KPW 2/24/2015
I think what he did was cruel and barbaric, according to the article, he clearly used his employer as a front for his sick and immature behavior by using college students in order to satisfy his or someone else’s outrageous and preposterous libidos. I can’t imagine what this did for school that he represented as well as himself. His behavior was unethical. To think that he went to college and succeeded in getting a job in his chosen field (not like some who graduate and have to work at a fast food restaurant), and then loose everything that he worked for, just for greed, power and dominance. I think a psychiatrist should closely examine him because he is mentally sick and incapable of making any logical, sound and ethical decisions. He needs mental help. I also think that the courts should not allow him around any learning institutions of any age and he should be labeled a sexual predator.
Ryan M. 2/24/2015
I find it absolutely horrific that he would think of doing such a thing. However, I find it even more sad and heart wrenching that people made in God's image would even consider defiling themselves like that if the check was big enough.
Anna Danny 2/24/2015
That is very wrong no one should have to sell their bodies for financial aid. People shouldn't even think about it. He probably had many different diseases and he is just a very sick man. Sadly there are many others like him. People need Jesus.
Angel Z. 2/24/2015
In all honesty, I'd do it. College is expensive as hell and if he had a good offer, I'd give in, especially if he's good looking at that . Lol jk
gina 2/24/2015
The things people do now, is just disgusting. i understand that people are in need of certain things but in no way should anyone make someone make them feel less, especially sell themselves like that. Have some respect for yourself and be humble.
Leslie 2/24/2015
I have two children in college. I'm 56 years old with a decent paying job in Engineering. I don't see retirement in sight. That is because I am college educated with 2 degrees, and going bankrupt sending two children to state colleges.I have the opinion that the future of America is that we are creating a caste system that rewards the wealthy and their prodigy. Where is all this scholarship money? I haven't seen much.
tulip 2/24/2015
I would have taken him up on his offer.
Hannah S 2/24/2015
That's disgusting. Preying on people who are trying to obtain an education and better themselves is subhuman. I hope he gets a lengthy sentence.
Paul 2/24/2015
He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law regarding sexual predators of under age females. And ensure he will never be employed again, in academia or otherwise. At 36 years old, it should be a crime to not grow up.
Anon M. 2/24/2015
While soliciting sex is certainly disgusting and an abuse of his power, the fact that it would be appealing to people is not a reflection upon the easiness of women, but upon the overpriced fees of college. Even though I, personally, would be disgusted with myself after the fact, I might very likely take him up on the offer, if the grant money were high enough, because the amount of debt I'll be graduating with is even more nauseating.
Jordan A. 2/24/2015
The prospect of offering scholarships for sex exploits a broken financial system to a new and disgusting level. Having to be in debt to loan providers is bad enough, but using prostitution to further an already unacceptable system is not even remotely OK. He should be punished for regular charges of prostitution as well as any additional charges pressed by individuals, parents and the community college. Despicable.
jessie k 2/24/2015
Thats a shame!
Yttrium Y 2/24/2015
I don't think it would really be worth it.
Nick K. 2/24/2015
ST, ID means Idaho? Because if you would do it it should spell "I'd do it!"
Sophie G. 2/24/2015
I think that soliciting sex is illegal and inappropriate.
St 2/24/2015
We make it simple and match you to college scholarships you qualify for.