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Sunday, August 01, 2010

How to Stop the Cat and Mouse Game

Hat Tips: Google Alerts

Over at Dov Bear this past week appeared a back and forth between Jennifer in Mamaland and a Yeshiva Administrator, and a Tuition Wrap Up by Dov Bear. In short, Jennifer in Mamaland hates the tuition assistance dance of gathering numerous papers, disclosing every detail in detail, and begging for a reduced rate. She'd prefer a "short form". The responding Yeshiva Administrator doesn't like the dance he has to do to get parents to pay up the money that they agreed to pay in their tuition contract. And Dov Bear is calling for Yeshivot to run themselves more professionally and take collections seriously.

It sure would be lovely to have an honor system and one would think that when you are dealing with a Torah observant crowd, you could rely on an honor system. But unfortunately that was not the case when my husband was in elementary (his father occassionally did some research for the mechanech), nor is it the case today. Case in point would be a recent suggestion from one imamother member to another on how to keep the kids out of public school (which the mother was contemplating after her school closed down this summer) when the money for tuition simply isn't there:

Anyways, I say fight the fight and make sure they stay in torah schools. Tell the schools that your trying to get into that you are getting money from a relative-- make something up, and youll be able to pay in..october.. and then october comes and tell them you dont have it and pay what you can...they can't kick you out- can they? Iknow in new york they are really snobby and its sad. Where I lived, you pay what you could but with one or two schools in the community, they had no choice but to accept you either way. But I just wanna say that eduacting your kids to be religious, Gd fearing Jews should be number one priority for all of us. So I would do whatever I could to send them to Torah Schools. [sic]


Ah, lies, deception, and outright theft: The foundation on which to raise a "Gd fearing Jew." There is no question in my mind that Yeshiva administrators have their plate full when it comes to administering a scholarship system in a way that maintains dignity while trying to maintain some fiduciary duty.

So, the cat and mouse game is nothing new and because it is nothing new, I'd like to present an idea that is sure to be controversial with a capital C-O-N-T-R-O-V-E-R-S-I-A-L. Controversial as the following suggestions might be, they are industry standard practice and should be considered for their merit as the billing and collection games are simply ridiculous (and, yes, I've had a bit of an opportunity to witness this song and dance from the inside. Getting the billing and collections game under control would go a long way towards creating financially stable programming. Additionally, these practices will allow yeshivas (and camps) to create real, usable budgets which allow staff and bills to be paid on time, every time. The budget need not be a guessing game (and you can shave numerous staff hours in the process) when you know just just about how much money you have to work with because:

1. The school has collected most of the money before the first day of school (and builds in a premium for money they will collect later, offsetting possible bad debts).

In my research of private schools, I've noted that industry standard for private schools (especially pricier private schools) is to collect tuition in large lump sums. Ideally a school collects 100% of tuition due before the start of the school year, on August 1st. Different arrangements prevail for those who cannot pay in one lump sum, and extra fees are attached for parents who do not pay in one lump sum. I don't know if charging extra fees is halachically permissible, but I have seen some Yeshiva schools do so also. Some schools collect tuition in 3 larger lump sum payments, some in two. Collections are generally done well before the end of the year.


Now I realize that going to a one lump sum payment won't be popular for a number of reasons (and instituting lump sum payment plan(s), rather than a lump sum payment plan must be accompanied by a trust relationship), but it seems to me that if most tuition was collected before the start of the school year, schools could mostly end this cat and mouse game of collections. Furthermore, schools would basically know how much they have to work with and could plan accordingly.


Obviously, such a plan would be unpractical for parents currently in the system who are living month-to-month, but instituting such a plan for 1st time yeshiva parents is well worth considering in my opinion.


2. Tuition assistance decisions were made before school contracts for the coming school year are signed.

This also appears to be standard industry practice for schools that offer tuition assistance, as most private schools do. The admissions process works as such:
  • Students apply for the following school year during late December, early January.
  • Students applying for financial aid complete tuition assistance forms in addition to admissions forms.

  • Schools send out letters of commitment and tuition contracts.

  • Parents and students return letters of commitment, signed tuition contracts (and choose their payment plan), and a deposit for the coming school year.

  • By August 1st, parents pay a majority of their tuition for the upcoming school year. Even where there are payment plans, the first payment is often the largest.
Parents know what they are expected to pay before they enroll their children in school. Administrators don't need to constantly "juggle" because the ball isn't constantly shifting as most collections take place up front.

3. The amount available for tuition assistance is pre-determined before scholarships are provided and assistance is divided from that pot of money.

Fire away. I realize that industry standard might appear to be somewhat draconian and some might label it "goyish." But this cat and mouse game that Mr. Yeshiva Administrator over at Dov Bear is playing with parents who bounce checks or won't make good on the agreed upon amount is no better.

37 comments:

Lion of Zion said...

the most important point that came out of the whole exchange on dov bear is that tuition assistance programs need to be spun off and become independent from the schools. those families that need help should get it, but from a gemach or other third party and not from the school.

Lion of Zion said...

"extra fees are attached for parents who do not pay in one lump sum."

my son's school does this, but in the opposite direction. one lump sum payments are encouraged by offering a discount.

"I don't know if charging extra fees is halachically permissible"

what could possibly be the problem? (especially since there already is such a wide discrepancy on the tuition scale within a school)

ProfK said...

Wholesale adoption of the methods used by secular private schools regarding tuition assistance and how tuition is collected would only work if the admission policies of yeshivas were changed to be like those secular private schools.

First, those private schools clearly recognize themselves as being a want rather than a need. They are NOT looking to educate all children but only a select few. Their admission standards are based on X amount of tuition payment as the admission standard for the younger grades--if you don't have the money you're not getting in.

In the fairly recent past these private schools have been doing some public relations manouvering and will admit a highly limited number of "deserving" students whose parents cannot pay all or any of the tuition being asked for. Generally these students so admitted fall into the categories of "underserved/under-represented" segments of the population. The private high schools may also extend the "privilege" of attendance to students who have shown exceptional talent in some area deemed "worthy"--such as athletics or musical talent.

Second, the segment of a school's population getting tuition assistance is tiny in comparison to the vast majority of parents that pay full freight. That percentage never changes. The deficit, therefore, is also tiny, and can be easily covered by fundraising and "extra" donations by other parents.

This type of admission policy is NOT in affect in the yeshiva system--it is only private in the sense that it is not part of the public school system, but is not private in the same way that secular private schools are. A parent's ability to pay full tuition is not the first question asked--tuition assistance is dealt with only after a child is accepted into the school, because ability to pay is not the base requirement for acceptance.

To compare yeshivas and secular private schools is to be comparing apples and thermometers--they are not just two examples of the same item. Perhaps a few of the methods used for tuition collection might work in some yeshivas. But a wholesale adoption would not work, particularly where a yeshiva knows that X percent of its parent population simply does not have the money to pay full tuition no matter when or how you attempt to collect it.

Frankly, about the only system that might work is to have a formal two or three tiered school system:the highest tier would be only for those parents who can and would pay full tuition and would include the "extras" that that full tuition could bring. The other tiers would be for parents who couldn't pay the full tuition no matter how you schedule the payments and no, it would not be in the cadillac class in terms of amenities offered.

conservative scifi said...

My child's Jewish Day School partially meets these criteria, but the full-paying parents still subsidize the school. While I don't request tuition assistance, I know that the forms are due in February or March, and the contract for all students goes out in early April, so that in April of the year before School starts in September, a parent knows what they will owe for the year. You are usually given a week or two to sign and return the contract.

They begin billing either in a lump sum or in 10 monthly installments in June, so that by September when school starts, they have the June, July, August and September payments, at least.

On the third idea, I don't think they have a particular pool of money limited for scholarships. Based on the most recent 990 that is posted at guidestar, they state that about 1/3 of the students are on tuition assistance.

I agree that these are good ideas for any school. I also agree that these would likely make a torah education impossible for some families who would not receive tuition assistance.

tesyaa said...

This type of admission policy is NOT in affect in the yeshiva system--it is only private in the sense that it is not part of the public school system, but is not private in the same way that secular private schools are.

ProfK, I know you had a post on how yeshivas are not the same as other "private" schools, but I'm not buying it. They are COMPLETELY private. The only difference is that most parents view yeshivas as the default choice for their children's education, like most non-wealthy Americans view public schools as the default choice for their kids.

But this is a quirk of frum society that developed over the past 40 years. There is an imperative for religious education; there is NO imperative for a religious and secular education that keeps frum kids segregated from the rest of the population.

It's this desire for segregation at all costs that keeps people from exploring options like afterschool tutoring, afterschool Orthodox Hebrew schools, and charter schools. It's shortsighted financially, and it's kind of sickening.

Miami Al said...

When did the obligation to give your son a Torah education move from the father to the Yeshiva Board?

Why is ability to pay not considered? Why aren't the parents expected to sacrifice for the Yeshiva education that they claim is so important for their kids?

Is the woman that is suggesting "lying" to the Yeshiva to get an education she can't afford, and not paying the bill, a Gd Fearing Torah Jew?

Avi said...

Tesyaa - with all due respect, what are you talking about? We have over 2000 years of history where we were separated from non-Jews. Most of the time it wasn't by choice, but whenever there was an opportunity to mix with non-Jews our Sages made new rules to enforce separation - for example, the rules on wine, among others. You can say that today's public schools are welcoming, pluralistic masterpieces that don't preclude teaching your children Torah, but the notion that Torah observant Jews educate their children with non-Jews is NOT a common one historically.

tesyaa said...

Avi - um, we go to the workforce with non-Jews and we're happy to send our kids to Ivy League schools with non-Jews. We hire non-Jewish babysitters for our kids, for goodness sake (so Mom can work and earn tuition dollars).

And in the past, we never provided costly education to our kids, on par with what our government provides to American children. We're trying to provide what the government provides through huge amounts of taxation, and we're telling ourselves that it's no big deal.

Either give up the secular studies (as the chareidim do), or seriously reconsider the idea of total segregation.

JS said...

I'm just horrified at the suggestion on imamother which mentioned lying and cheating in the same breath as raising God-fearing Jews. It is this exact attitude that makes me feel our yeshivas are a joke and are merely raising Jews who look Jewish, but don't know how to act Jewish. Maybe people should have spent more time listening to the haftorahs leading up to tisha b'av (you know, all those ones about false piety...).

SephardiLady, your suggestions are all good, but you left out one thing, without which, any suggestion will ultimately fail. The yeshiva has to be willing to turn someone away. It's like the imamother commenter said, "they can't kick you out- can they?... they had no choice but to accept you either way." Without the real threat of kicking someone out, it's impossible to implement any other suggestion.

To ProfK's point, I think she's right. The schools are not run like private schools. They're not run like businesses either. For some reason, no matter how educated Jews are and no matter how professional they are in their workplace, when it comes to running communal organization, all sense goes out the window.

Miami Al said...

JS,

Sure the women on Imamother lie, sure they steal, and urge others to steal. They openly covet the belongings of others, and gossip and falsely accuse people of things based on dress code...
But NONE of them would eat food with a Triangle K on it.

Lion of Zion said...

JS:

"I'm just horrified . . ."

i've commented before that i admire the positive attitude you generally express on this subject. but i think you are in for a rude awakening when you come face to face with what goes on.

"The schools are not run like private schools. They're not run like businesses either."

uh-huh. they combine the worst parts of each.

AVI:

"with all due respect . . ."

with all due respect, stop repeating the artscroll version of the history of what you term "torah observant" jewry

JS said...

Lion,

I'm not naive. I know what goes on. I suppose I'm most horrified that the people who write or say this kinda stuff don't even see the contradiction. And yet, if you mentioned stealing a gemara from the local seforim store these same people would be aghast. Their Judaism is a social construct, not a set of moral laws to live by. It's socially acceptable to steal from your neighbors and communal organizations. It's not socially acceptable to steal from the local bookshop owner. They don't even realize it's both stealing. This is how far we've sunk.

Miami Al said...

Avi,

What ACTUAL planet were the Jews "separated" from the Goyim like that? Did our sages institute "rules" (meaning, someone wrote them in a book, but we have no clue how well they were followed) to separate us to "avoid intermarriage?" Yes. That also means that intermarriage was enough of a problem that they were banning of eating meals to avoid it.

Jews were almost always educated with the local populace to whatever level was permitted, albeit much less than now, plus the Jewish education. There is a SMALL gap in Eastern Europe where their was some intensive Jewish learning, but unclear how much of that was real and how much were a few example that people pretend was the entire populace.

In Moorish Spain, the Jews were integrated educated professionals. In In Germany, Rabbi Hirsch was warning Jews that their non-Jewish governesses/nannies/whatever might take the children to Church on Sundays.

The Nazis had to purge the schools of Jews (my grandmother was thrown out of her school for being a Jew, and not the only one, but it wasn't shutting down the school). In Poland, the Jews learned trades and attended University with the gentiles.

Universal public education like we have in the United States is new. Jews taking advantage of whatever educational opportunities are around them dates back AT LEAST to the Roman sacking of Judah/Judea.

You think RAMBAM learned Aristotle's work from a Cheder?

Izzy said...

The premise for this post is based on a straw horse - that the comment quoted from imamother is in any way representative of a general attitude or trend. The fact is that that message board is full of some really loony moms. I don't know any nicer way to say that. Some of the comments that I see quoted from that site on relationships, family dynamics, sex, and other various topics makes one wonder about the mental stability of some of the site's members. I am not saying that parents never try to game or manipulate the tuition system. The fact is that an adversarial relationship has developed between the parents and the schools regarding tuition. While there was little agreement in terms of solutions among the hundreds of comments on Dovber regarding the tuition issue last week, one thing that is clear from the comments is the almost universal negative attitude the parents have towards the schools regarding tuition.

Lion of Zion said...

PROFK:

"private schools clearly recognize themselves as being a want rather than a need. They are NOT looking to educate all children but only a select few"

then perhaps while private schools and jewish schools differ in the collective sense, they are very similar on an individual basis.

yes, private schools are collectively selective in the sense that they don't aim to educate all children, whereas jewish schools are collectively inclusive because of the general consensus that all jewish kids should be in jewish schools.
but on an individual basis there is no jewish school that accepts all jewish kids and in one way or another they are all selective like the private schools.

thus while a jewish day school/yeshivah may be a need, specifically a mir or ramaz education is a defiantely a want.

"about the only system that might work is to have a formal two or three tiered school system"

to continue with what i just wrote, for practical purposes such a tiered system already exists for jewish schools, we just don't acknowledge it. for example, where i live MO families can reasonably choose from a large number of schools that range from $7.5 to $20+k. why is it a need rather than a want that everyone should get to go to the $20+ schools?

gil student (hirhurim) once had a post about seeing a kid in shul with short pants. this made him realize that it doesn't matter in his community how much $ someone has. the father that can't afford new pants for his son sits in shul with the machers.

this is truly something special. but the flipside (as JS or Tesyaa pointed out recently) is that families of such disparate financial means living together creates a sense of high expectations by those who think that what the others have is normal and the standard.

Bklynmom said...

Cheating schools out of tuition money happens in every school that charges tuition. It certainly happened in my non-Jewish prep school.
Disclaimer--I was on a scholarship, but one that was given willingly by the school, without even an application, because my test scores were really good, so it was really a merit scholarship (and my parents were clueless immigrants who had no money and the school knew that). The school could afford to turn kids away, but gave scholarships to the smart ones, the kids from poorer families, and kids whose parents made themselves look poor to get the aid.
As an aside, every scholarship recipient in the high school was required to work in the school. Not the parents, the kids. We helped out in the library, the offices, set up science labs, stuff like that. Every kid who got money from the school towards tuition had to spend 4 or 5 free periods a week working.
I had a friend whose mother told my parents she filled out two income tax returns--one for the school to see, the other a "truthful" one, to file with the IRS.
Repulsive as that sounds, it is even more repulsive when it happens in the yeshiva system--the system we rely on to teach our kids the proper way to live their entire Jewish life. Even more repulsive, at least in my opinion, because there are other alternatives, which have been discussed here repeatedly. Jewish education is important, but it can be obtained at home, after (public) school, from tutors, in the summers, in lower-cost yeshivas, etc. Of course, when you have been told by a "friend" that if you send your child to a public school, he will certainly, without any doubt, marry a non-Jew (except a less-flattering word was used), it's a little bothersome. Our children are in a lower-cost yeshiva for now, but we will be looking at the charter school and public high schools when the children are the right age. Thankfully, my prep-school experience (being a poor immigrant kid among the very wealthy) taught me to not give a @#%& what others think and just to do what's right for me. I wish yeshivas taught more of that.
The solution to the tuition problem has to include teaching people to accept alternatives in education, to think for themselves and do what's right for their family, truthfully and honestly. But that's the answer to so many things, isn't it?
I don't comment often, but when I do my comments tend to get long. Sorry!

Lion of Zion said...

also (and this is not directed to you profk), as long as so many people who bow down to the altar of universal day school/yeshivah education continue to support restrictive admission policies (on non-financial grounds) it is difficult for me to take them seriously.

someone who says that no child should be rejected on financial grounds but then doesn't want his kid in a class with kids from families that are non-frum, less frum, BTs, sephardim, russians, persians, divorced, etc. loses credibility.

IRS said...

One caution I'd add to the dialogue is that there is a danger of generalizing too much from letters / dialogue like the above (which I would describe as extreme even though the attitude may be prevalent in certain communities) and combining with a mish mash of policies and approaches from various schools and communities that adds up into something which represents no version of reality for any particular school.

In particular, in contrast to some of the comments above (which I'm sure are true), I know that the school my children attends has tightened up scholarship requirements pretty dramatically over the past few years AND will turn families / children away if they don't pay or play games.

Just a thought.

Der Rabbiner said...

1. Discount for paying in full vs paying in installments is Ribbis, an issur d'oraysa. It makes no difference if you word it as fees for paying late or a discount for paying early, it's still ribbis.

An alternative that is not ribbis is an "early registration discount". Anyone who registers early must pay in full before a certain date. After that date anyone who registers does not get the discount whether they pay in full or in installments.

2. Perhaps the schools have the moral obligation to educate all Jewish children in Torah and mitzvos, even if their parents lie, cheat, and steal. However, their day should end at 1 pm when the Rebbe goes home. What halacha requires us to pay for the secular education of our brethren? Perhaps I should start a tzeddaka campaign to raise money for my tuition at Yale so that I don't have to go to CUNY.

I'm not saying the kids should go to public school, I'm saying they can't get in to yeshiva secular studies without paying full. Maybe they should just go home and self-study.

Der Rabbiner said...

3. I'm not sure I'd trust yeshivas with that much money upfront. If a yeshiva budget is $10 million, and they collect it all before the start of the school year, there are no expenses yet, so the money is "free and clear". The guys who can't balance their household budgets and have credit card debt are not exactly the type of folk you want to promote to money manager status. Not to be offensive, but I'd fully expect to see the money get siphoned off, as one guy asks to "borrow" from these unneeded funds "just until the school year starts", while another guy "taps into the fund" to buy a stock that is about to go through the roof (according to the email from "Kipplingers" he got) and plans to put the money back "before anyone notices".

Heh heh

Der Rabbiner said...

4. In the Orthodox Jewish world, almost no one knows how much they will be able to pay (and how much scholarship they will need) 9 months before the start of the next school year. The ones who have businesses live from one business cycle to the next - if business is good, you will see him and his family hitting every restaurant in NYC, flying to EY to be oleh regel on Succos and/or Pesach, buying new cars and clothes etc - and of course paying full tuition. But if the business swings south two months later, suddenly they are eating their own leftovers, the daughters aren't going to shul anymore because they didn't get the erev shabbos manicure, and of course the yeshiva is not getting the tuition checks they expected. This is just one segment of the yeshiva-going population, but the truth is that they are all the same (with some exceptions) - instant gratification (because Hashem gave us success now) and no thought to save for future to smooth earnings (because we have bitachon that Hashem will give us what we need when we need it).

The point is, if everyone fills out the tuition contract in December, you're going to have about 75% of them brought in to be revised in September.

Lion of Zion said...

DER RABBINER:

"In the Orthodox Jewish world, almost no one knows how much they will be able to pay (and how much scholarship they will need) 9 months before the start of the next school year."

excuses.

if someone can commit to 30 year mortgage they should be able to handle budgeting for next year's tuition.

tesyaa said...

Girls really skip shul because they didn't get a manicure?

I mean, I never got a manicure in my life, but if my daughter wanted one for a very, very special occasion I'd probably say sure. But every week? Oh well. We're talking about a different planet than the one I live on.

Der Rabbiner said...

Are you reading what I wrote or just looking for parts to nitpick? I exaggerated for comedic effect - but just got heckled.

I am not agreeing with any of these excuses. I'm just pointing out the reason why tuition contracts are signed after school starts. Mine is sitting on the kitchen table right now and no one is in the office to take it from me if I'd sign it now. (full tuition payer here, so you can't nitick that :p

Anonymous said...

I think contracts and payment in advance is a terrific idea. No college in this country lets students register until tuition for the semester is paid. It also will instill some financial discipline. If you know that when your first child starts kindergarten you will have to pay up, you start saving when the child is born. Yes there might be some changed circumstances between when the contract is signed and the tuition is due, but that can be addressed by requiring receipts and financial records showing exactly where the money went. If you had large out of pocket medical expenses or got laid off that's different than spending money on a vacation or new furniture. Of course, for this to work, schools have to be willing to deny enrollment.

Anonymous said...

Der Rabbiner: Are you saying that in the Orthodox world people spend all that time in Yeshiva and never heard about the 7 fat cows and 7 lean cows or that they just never learned what that meant?

Mike S. said...

The traditional practice was that those who could afford it were required to hire m'lamdim privately, and the community hired them for those who were to poor. The rabbinic literature is full of discussions of families gaming the system for at least 800 years; this isn't new.

Some schools use a tuition service that requires an agreement to allow direct withdrawals from the parents' bank account. Doesn't completely solve the problem (e.g. if the parent doesn't have the money in the bank or pulls it out) but it does reduce the number who play games mid year.

In general the Orthodox community needs to increase the emphasis on the Torah's standard of honesty, and reduce our toleration for dishonesty.

Anonymous said...

"We're talking about a different planet than the one I live on."

tessya,
if you live in bergen county then you are on the same planet.
just walk on cedar lane and see how many nail places there are and see how busy they are on erev shabbos. there are alot of women from keter torah, cby, and even the other shuls ( but maybe not to the same percent) where the mothers and daughters get their nails done every shabbos. or almost every shabbos.

Shoshana Z. said...

B"H we are not signing contracts for the new school year or cutting checks. My four children and I are spending this week setting up our classroom (the basement), buying a slew of new pencils and glue sticks, and selecting books from the public library that will comprise our science curriculum for the first month of classes. Our Jewish learning went on all summer (why stop?) so that's just an accepted part of life. We are starting our 7th year of homeschooling next Monday morning, b"H! I can see plenty of eyes rolling out there in cyberspace... But I am telling you in all sincerity - I don't know how we would survive financially or spiritually if our lives revolved around the painful money and ethics discussions that pepper this blog week after week. There are plenty of you who can't or won't consider this. But anyone who does want to know more about Jewish homeschooling should feel free to email me at shozo (at) earthlink (dot) net. Don't assume its not for you until you take the time to investigate the process.

Avi said...

@Shoshana,

While homeschooling is not a choice that makes sense for everyone, nobody on this blog is rolling their eyes at you. Good luck!

Lion of Zion said...

SHOSHANA:

ditto to avi.

part of the problem why the tuition problem will never be solved is because we are looking for a universal panacea when in fact there may be a few solutions, each one best for different families. i am always in awe of families who have the hutzpha to make educational choices based on what they think is best for their familiy rather than what everyone else thinks is best for their family.

Offwinger said...

It's not huptzpa. It's SECHEL.

Paying Parent said...

None of these ideas can work if schools are not willing to turn children away. I think that one thing that has to be considered is outsourcing the scholarship process. Every school submits to an independent body how many "partial scholarship spots" they have available (I say partial because I don't believe in somebody payig nothing). Some schools may have more due to the need to fill up a class, etc. The scholarship body assesses each family's situation in depth, determines a "need rank" and then holds a lottery for those spots from the families with the greatest need. Then they can fundraise for the remaining group or that group can fundraise for themselves. This dissuades parents from actively seeking scholarships because it removes the "choice" of where to send. There is nothing that states we have to send a child to Noam specifically. Also it consolidates the yeshiva expenses of fundraisers, scholarship auditing, etc.

Miami Al said...

P.P.

Actually, if it isn't a collusion problem, you might have the BEST solution for Bergen County.

You could absolutely do need based assessments via third party, but the beauty is that it doesn't matter. You sell off your remnant class space in a reverse auction. Now, every student is profitable, costs are kept under control, etc.

OTOH, a family that can afford very little might be left out in the cold... but they RW schools will take them, this is for the prep schools only...

Bonus, there is an incentive to make more and pay more... full payers pick their school, the more scholarship, the less you pick. If there are students being left out, then you go to the big machers in town and find a solution (pay to setup another class SOMEWHERE for them)...

What's nice is that now you are dealing with ACTUAL poor people, not CPAs that are "poor" in Teaneck.

Paying Parent said...

hey thanks, miami al :)
I think that is the first time you haven't knocked one of my comments.

Scraps said...

My parents lived without a lot of luxuries they could technically afford with their incomes in order to pay full tuition for their children. The only time in 13 years of pre-college education I was on any sort of scholarship was when I spent two years in a private prep school to fill a gap in years of Jewish education available, and I was on a partial academic scholarship which I had to take a really long test to qualify for. I didn't have to work at the school but I did have to keep my grades up to a reasonable standard to continue to qualify. There were very limited full and half scholarships, with smaller academic scholarships also being offered based on how one scored on the admissions test as well as need. Also, if one was offered a smaller scholarship, it was a dollar amount off tuition, not a percentage. The dollar amount didn't change, even though the price of tuition went up with each grade of schooling.

How many yeshivot would be willing to limit scholarships to those who qualified academically? (Not to mention, what kind of hue and cry would there be if yeshivot instituted such a policy? I can only imagine...) The private prep school I attended for those two years determined how much money they could give out in scholarships beforehand and awarded scholarships accordingly. We used to joke that you could tell who got in because they were smart and who got in because they were rich, because the smart kids were all on some form of academic scholarship. :-P

I do not know what the answer is, or if there even is an answer. I think that LOZ has it right, that there may not be a universal panacea and each family will have to figure out a solution that works for them. I know that my earning power is sadly nowhere on par with my parents', so unless I marry rich (which I am NOT counting on, for the record), I am already strongly considering the possibility of having to home-school any future children I may have for at least part of their academic careers. I am a realist, and I know that at the rate tuition is currently rising, I will be priced out of the market. It's sad, because I know my parents sacrificed a lot to send me to whatever Jewish schools were available to them, but I have to face reality now if I don't want a rude awakening later.

tesyaa said...

My parents lived without a lot of luxuries they could technically afford with their incomes in order to pay full tuition for their children.

Scraps, your parents did choose a luxury: private schooling for their children.