Thank you to my reader (feel free to self-identify) who pointed out an article to me on a $15 million gift and added some point to ponder. The Solomon Schechter School of Essex and Union, New Jersey has received this gift from a alumni (a portion of the gift is dependent on bringing in matching funds, as is common with large gifts), the son of a founder of the school. The endowment funds are intended to ease tuition costs for middle-income families, enhance academic excellence, and improve the “bricks and mortar” facilities, school officials said. The fund (grant + matching funds) is eventually expected to spin off 1.25 million yearly for tuition assistance for 230 students.
Some interesting notes: The school has no debt! Their buildings are paid for. Hence the comment, "so we come to this gift in a position of financial strength." There has been a lot of talk of Endowment Funds in the Orthodox community, but (sorry for the gloom and doom), when we have mortgaged schools, Endowment Funds simply can't make a sizable dent in operating costs and tuition fees because the debt load is eating us alive. On a more micro level, imagine a scenario of two children each receiving a very large gift or inheritance from a parent, say in the $100K range. At the end of the year, the financial situation of the two siblings looks quite different. Why? Because one sibling used the funds to keep their family afloat, while the other didn't "need" the funds, but has now created additional income to enhance investments, education, and more.
Another interesting note is the tuition assistance method:
The school currently offers two kinds of tuition assistance — flat dollar amounts for middle-class grants (i.e., $5,000 for all middle-school students), which do not require full financial disclosure, and tuition assistance for those families requiring more significant aid. That process is more detailed and requires more disclosure.
Like the commentor who wrote me, I too have never heard a two-tiered method of dealing with tuition assistance. Certainly a method like this requires a great deal of trust in the parent body, but it is certainly a "kinder and gentler" way of providing more minimal levels of assistance. Interesting.
[Just a note to readers: I pulled yesterday's post off my blog, not because I had second thoughts about the discussion of Jewish philosophy as prompted by comments on VIN and a contrasting news story and an article on Cross-Currents, but because I received a comment for which I realized that the post and some of the underlying details would not being fully comprehended. As such, because of the emotional subject, I decided to pull the post down. I have so many interesting posts I'd like to make on financial issues, as well as a back log of guest posts, that I figured I'd just poll the post].