Tuition committee requests

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Tuition committee requests

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 54 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #595058
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Is it possible to compile a list of what Tuition committees request from parents?

    Besides for (or starting with):

    Tax returns

    Tax returns for business if familiy owned

    Cars owned and leased, if any.

    proof of monthly mortgage/rent payment.

    It would be helpful if you named the school or even area, but it is not required.

    Thanks for your help.

    #741798
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I’ve had two requests in addition to the items you mentioned.

    One school wanted a credit report. I had no real problem giving it to them.

    Another school wanted copies of our bank statements for the past six or twelve months (I don’t remember which). There I balked. While I understand the school’s motivation, it’s really not their business what doctors I see, which supermarkets I shop at and the like. I didn’t want them picking through it and seeing “Oh, they spent $12 at the bakery, then they obviously can afford luxuries…”

    Both schools were in the New York area.

    The Wolf

    #741799
    mewho
    Participant

    i have heard some schools ask what you do during the summer and also vacations.

    guess they figure if you can afford a summer vacation or mid year one you can pay more tuition.

    i did hear about someone once being told to eat less meat so they would nos spend so much at the butcher.

    shameful comment.

    #741800
    always here
    Participant

    inquiries can be made about the grandparents.

    #741801
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    SJS has mentioned that in a school in Teaneck, they ask if your child went to sleepaway camp, and warned that is grounds for rejection of said tuition request.

    #741802
    SJSinNYC
    Member
    #741803
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Many students go to Israel for summer learning or touring programs after 10th grade, and then there are expensive sleep away or touring camps in America (like Achva East/West). They are often paid for by grandparents as a “workaround” to tuition.

    But the grandparents likely won’t pay for tuition anyway, so all it does is keep kids out of these programs.

    On the other hand, I think it sends a message that tuition really must be a priority. At that age, kids can often get jobs in camp, so parents wouldn’t have to pay for their kids summer “babysitting” needs.

    #741805
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    inquiries can be made about the grandparents.

    Whenever I see that, I leave it blank. The last thing I want is for my kids’ school to call up my non-frum father and demand money from him. 🙂 Or my mother, who is frum but is disabled and has no money.

    The Wolf

    #741806
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Clever,

    Part of the problem is that people don’t prioritize tuition, forcing scholarship committees to ask for more and more information.

    The adage was always “buy a house before your kids are in school otherewise you won’t be able to afford it since all your money is going to tuition.”

    People increase their standard of living or buy more house than they can afford or decide their wife has to be a SAHM or their husband has to learn in Kollel or they have to support their SIL in Kollel or they have to eat chicken every night – heaven forbid they eat beans…tuition comes almost last.

    People don’t save up for tuition in thier earning years before school. People don’t understand how much tuition costs as a young family until it hits them squarely in the nose.

    #741807
    guy-ocho
    Member

    Many places will ask about summer arrangements, Pesach or other vacations(hotels). They will most probably ask how much you pay for tuition for other kids (if applicable). Some places will go so far as to ask where you shop for clothing. (to determine your lifestyle- such as whether you shop in Gap or Wall-Mart)

    #741808
    showerzinger
    Member

    My brother always jokes about sending his kids to public school and letting Oorah “rescue” them. These committees are absolutely out of control! Even Obama wouldn’t dare be that intrusive!

    Obviously, they are trying to catch the yechidim that are trying to slip through the cracks and rip them off…BUT at the expense of everyone else, who as Jews have a chezkas kashrus and lets be honest do you think if they could afford it they would intentionally take away parnassah from fellow Jews??

    As for what they consider “luxuries” is just wrong on many levels:

    Sleepaway camp is no longer a luxury since THE SCHOOLS say that the kids can’t be “hanging out” for the summer. You can’t have it both ways!

    KOSHER FOOD IS EXPENSIVE NEWSFLASH

    Not wanting to put your kids on a “fast food diet” that has proven to cause obesity is a valid reason to spend more.

    A vacation once a year that people save up for is very important family time (which the schools are so cheap on) and to charge someone full tuition when the vacation is a fraction of the break is just absurd.

    #741809
    mewho
    Participant

    i always filled out the part about grandparents. i put in that they are holocaust survivors and we help them

    #741810
    MDG
    Participant

    I know that this may not be popular, but as someone who was a treasurer at a school, you have to realize that any tuition reduction you get is being funded by the public.

    While knowing where people shop and what groceries they buy may be a little too intrusive, having an accurate understanding of a family’s cash flow is necessary to understand their financial needs.

    Some people try the best that they can (and even more than that sometimes) and still cannot come close to paying. I highly respect those that make a valiant effort. They do the best they can, while living in the means that Hashem has provided.

    OTOH, Some people cry poverty, but spend $10,000 for a Pesach vacation. That is not fair, nor honest. If a relative paid for them, it’s less dishonest. If your kids’ chinuch is a primary need, then you need to prioritize it financially, including where to spend gifts. If it’s not a priority, then maybe try public school.

    I compare it to buying a new car. Don’t go to the Cadillac dealer and say I can’t afford it, so give me half off. The community has an obligation to help each other, but if someone is going to be wasteful, then I don’t see much obligation to help them.

    #741811
    MDG
    Participant

    cleverjewishpun said “You pay high tuition for a low quality education.”

    Education is costly every where, and people always complain about quality.

    I think that one big problem is the lack of parent participation. The parents, not the school, have the obligation to educate the child. The school is the proxy for the parent.

    #741812
    always here
    Participant

    “Some places will go so far as to ask where you shop for clothing. (to determine your lifestyle- such as whether you shop in Gap or Wall-Mart)”

    asked verbally? I’m just curious cuz that I can’t imagine that being on a written form.

    #741813
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    showerzinger,

    I know members of scholarship committees and unfortunately, families cannot be trusted anymore. Lets also realize that EVERY penny that you don’t pay for tuition is money that has to be raised via donations OR gets funded into tuition increases which overburden more and more families.

    Lets not forget that scholarships are tzedaka and you are supposed to avoid taking tzedaka.

    As for summer camps – your children do NOT have to be hanging around in order to avoid sleepaway camp. They can volunteer or work in day camps. And please note, the specific camps I referenced often run $5,000+ (up to about $8,000).

    Lets deal with these expenses one at a time:

    Cheap vacation – $500 minimum (including gas, place to stay, attractions).

    Cleaning help – usually a minimum of $1000/year (not a real necessity unless you have a disability or severe depression or something)

    Kosher food – beans are kosher and cheap. Eggs are cheap. There are many cheaper alternatives to chicken and beef, the most expensive parts of the kosher diet. You can easily save $100 month on your grocery bill if you try.

    Your attitude shows that Yeshiva tuition is not a priority. How is saving money at the expense of tuition ethical? And you wonder why tuition committees need to grill people?

    #741814
    guy-ocho
    Member

    Most of these things are not on forms. You have to degrade yourself to have an interview with the entire tuition committee. You sit there telling them about every single aspect of your financial situation. I feel that they should at least make them one-on-one interviews to spare the individual embarrassment rather sitting in front of 5-10 people

    #741815
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I think that tuition is so expensive only because of the high quality standards which have been forced on schools.

    I would happily send my kid to a school that had larger classes, no air conditioning, no science lab, no gym, etc. – if it existed.

    These cheaper options do not exist because the people who have more money would flee to the more expensive schools.

    So maybe you should pay some of my share.

    #741816
    Feif Un
    Participant

    SJSinNYC: While there are things that can be cut out, there are others that shouldn’t be. Yes, you can eat beans, and they’re cheap. But that doesn’t mean you should never eat beef or chicken. Just don’t eat them every other night. Vacations? People need a vacation sometimes, just to keep from going crazy. You don’t have to go to Israel and spend $10,000 on it. You can go somewhere more local, and spend less than $1,000 for a few days.

    I agree about camps – they are a luxury. Don’t spend money you don’t have to send your kids to camp, especially not when they’re in high school. Let them work at a local day camp and earn some money over the summer.

    #741817
    always here
    Participant

    I got my job at the Yeshiva from my tuition interview!

    when it was learned that I was ‘just’ a housewife, who had worked at this same Yeshiva a number of years previously, & they had a position that needed to be filled, … hashgacha pratis!

    #741818
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    MDG,

    I understand your point, but sometimes it just goes too far. One school, as I reported, wanted all of our bank statements for the previous six or twelve months. While that may sound innocuous enough, keep in mind that we pay doctors from our checking account as well. It’s not the schools business to know which doctors I see. This is especially so since you can learn a lot about a person based on what doctors you see. It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure out that if someone in the household is seeing Dr. X and Dr. X is an oncologist, that someone in the household is facing some serious issues. But the point is that it’s none of the school’s business if someone is seeing an oncologist, a psychiatrist, a physical therapist or any other doctor. And, furthermore, even if the school *must* know (for some reason that I can’t fathom), can they guarantee me that the info will remain confidential? All it takes is one gossip in the office to start spreading rumors (even if the rumor may be true).

    And it’s not just medical issues. Similar issues can be raised with payments to attorneys, accountants, marriage therapists, etc. All of these things can reveal lots of information to the school that they frankly have no business knowing.

    I appreciate the need for a tuition committee to have a good idea of a family’s finances in the aggregate — but when they start getting down to the individual transactions, I felt that there was simply much too invasive and had the potential to violate my privacy in ways in revealing things that the school had absolutely no right to know.

    I know that some may say that if you’re asking the school for charity, then you have no right to privacy at all. I disagree — vehemently.

    The Wolf

    #741819
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Popa, what do you call cheap? There are schools in Lakewood for $5,000. How much cheaper can you get?

    #741820
    trak443
    Member

    I am on a tuition committee, and I developed a one-page form, that asks for all the basic details. I can tell from that one page EVERYTHING I need to know INCLUDING which families are telling the truth and which ones are faking poverty.

    #741821
    guy-ocho
    Member

    “I would happily send my kid to a school that had larger classes, no air conditioning, no science lab, no gym, etc. – if it existed.”

    Bais Mikroh Elementary in Monsey has a very high quality curriculum and standards, however they manage to cut back on costs by implementing some of the things you mentioned. (from your list the only one they have is A/C.) This should be your first choice if you live in monsey. Being a Bais Mikroh alumni and Parent, I can assure you that in no way are the kids missing out by lacking an indoor gym or a high tech science lab.

    #741822
    mewho
    Participant

    trak, perhaps u should share it with other schools

    #741823
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Feif, people need to actively reduce thier expenses (I’m not saying eat beans every night, but definitely scale back) while increasing their income. Now, not everyone can do this feasibly, but people should be coming up with long term solutions to pay tuition rather than rely on tzedaka.

    As a full time working parent, some form of daycamp will be neccesary, especially in younger grades. But it certainly won’t be fancy camps if I can’t afford tuition.

    Vacations are wonderful, but in most cases, shouldn’t be taken if you are living off tzedaka.

    #741824
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    guy-ocho, they allow corporal punishment. That’s not something I would ever permit, so caveat emptor.

    #741825
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    trak443:

    Can you copy & paste the form?

    Thanks.

    Popa: It depends if you are in or out of town. OOT may only have one school that accepts everyone. In town if you don’t like the expensive school, send to the cheaper one.

    #741826
    showerzinger
    Member

    SJSinNYC-

    “I know members of scholarship committees and unfortunately, families cannot be trusted anymore.”

    SO DO I . And I’m saddened that you feel Jews are no longer trustworthy. MAYBE if they didn’t feel so violated by these committees they wouldn’t be so elusive??

    “Lets not forget that scholarships are tzedaka and you are supposed to avoid taking tzedaka.”

    Funny how these same schools preach that you should go into learning, thereby GUARANTEEING themselves no chance of collecting tuition. And also funny how when it’s Abba/Tatty/Daddy who is taking the Tzedaka to LEARN it’s Ok but for kids chinuch it’s not???

    And please note, the specific camps I referenced often run $5,000+ (up to about $8,000).

    Wasn’t talking about those. How about the 2-3,000 BEFORE scholarships??

    Lets deal with these expenses one at a time:

    “Cheap vacation – $500 minimum (including gas, place to stay, attractions).”

    Why do not people not deserve a vacation,if not only to stay sane?

    “Cleaning help – usually a minimum of $1000/year (not a real necessity unless you have a disability or severe depression or something)”

    OR because BOTH parents have to work.PLEASE don’t judge people! Does everyone you know who has cleaning help disabled or severely depressed??? I DOUBT IT

    “Kosher food – beans are kosher and cheap. Eggs are cheap. There are many cheaper alternatives to chicken and beef, the most expensive parts of the kosher diet. You can easily save $100 month on your grocery bill if you try.”

    The SCHOOLS need your extra $1200 so THEY can serve fleishigs EVERY NIGHT(most yeshivos do)???

    “Your attitude shows that Yeshiva tuition is not a priority. How is saving money at the expense of tuition ethical? And you wonder why tuition committees need to grill people?”

    My attitude is that IT IS A PRIORITY! Being able to eat supper or have a few days with your kids is not SAVING MONEY! Peopel work to support a family,NOT to pay tuition. Unfortunately, family and sanity don’t matter to some of theses committees as long as they can wring you dry of every last cent you COULD give up!

    #741827
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Wolf:

    I know this is a sore subject, but I would think a school would want to make sure that they are not being taken advantage of, just like you would want someone whom you gave tzedaka to should be “checked out”.

    I agree with you, though, that privacy of the applicant must be maintained. The question is where is the balance.

    #741828
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “I know members of scholarship committees and unfortunately, families cannot be trusted anymore.”

    SO DO I . And I’m saddened that you feel Jews are no longer trustworthy. MAYBE if they didn’t feel so violated by these committees they wouldn’t be so elusive??

    There are halachos regarding checking people out before they can obtain Tzedaka. Once again, it is a matter of balance.

    “Lets not forget that scholarships are tzedaka and you are supposed to avoid taking tzedaka.”

    Funny how these same schools preach that you should go into learning, thereby GUARANTEEING themselves no chance of collecting tuition. And also funny how when it’s Abba/Tatty/Daddy who is taking the Tzedaka to LEARN it’s Ok but for kids chinuch it’s not???

    Agreed. And?

    Its like I say: when you have skin in the game, all of the sudden the rules change.

    The SCHOOLS need your extra $1200 so THEY can serve fleishigs EVERY NIGHT(most yeshivos do)???

    Gemorah Mefureshes. In addition also see the Taz’s Tayina on his FIL the Bach (IIRC).

    And Ein Hachi Nami, complain or vote with your feet.

    #741829
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I know this is a sore subject, but I would think a school would want to make sure that they are not being taken advantage of, just like you would want someone whom you gave tzedaka to should be “checked out”.

    GAW… I fully understand the need to make sure that the family is on the level. However, I was just giving an example of a situation where I felt it was too invasive and too much of a breach of privacy.

    The Wolf

    #741830
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    shower,

    As a community, standard of living has risen. So yes, a ton of people have cleaning help. But they shouldn’t because they are living on tzedaka and don’t need it to survive.

    There are a lot of ideal that schools preach. Learn full time, stay at home moms or moms as teachers, give a lot of money to tzedaka, volunteer your time with bikur cholim etc etc etc. Many of them are mutually exclusive. If your husband is learning in Kollel and the wife is a SAHM, barring family support or government services, you will starve.

    I don’t know what schools you send your kids to (and maybe that’s a boys school thing) but none of the schools I went to had dinner service.

    What you are missing is that for every dollar you don’t pay, someone else is paying. Would you take $500 from a tzedaka organization to go on vacation under normal circumstances?

    If everyone really tried to pay for tuition, either rates would drop or money would be given (by rich donors) to other causes.

    If the attitude is that people work to support family, not tuition, then tuition is NOT a priority. There are other options you know…not as ideal as a yeshiva setting, but definitely options.

    #741832
    trak443
    Member

    re:my form

    1. I offer it to mosdos that request it. It usually requires some explanation and directions for the first few parents.

    2. it has two boxes on the side of the page. i put the same unique (in my school, only i know the code- i encourage other schools to do the same) alpha-numeric code in both boxes. the top part with the family name and the code, gets ripped off and filed. the bottom part (95% of the form) with the second matching with the matching code gets submitted to the tuition committee for review. it’s double-blind. the tuition committee has no idea who they are discussing, and i never reveal the names of the people on the tuition committee. i’m the only one (in my mosod) who knows the identity of all people. TOTAL tz’nius.

    #741833
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    TOTAL tz’nius

    Except for you, of course… but then again, I suppose SOMEONE has to know. 🙂

    Kudos for your efforts at making it as private as possible.

    The Wolf

    #741834
    guy-ocho
    Member

    SJSinNYC you are helplessly misinformed about the corporal punishment.

    #741835
    eman
    Participant

    I served on a tuition comitee and came across the following cases

    1. People working in family businesses making “bubkes” but living well.

    2 A person who’s husband I knew was self employed showing W2 forms and refusing to show tax return with Schedules A-C filled in

    3. Someone who changed jobs the previous year and showed w2 form only from 1 employer.

    This happened a number of years ago and I have not even mentioned these families to my wife.

    When I have rejected these families on shiduchim, my wife doesn’t understand what is going on.

    #741836
    commonsense
    Participant

    I think that the committees need to do a home visit. I think seeing how people live helps to know if a person is telling the truth.

    #741837
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    TOTAL tz’nius

    Except for you, of course… but then again, I suppose SOMEONE has to know. 🙂

    Kudos for your efforts at making it as private as possible.

    The Wolf

    I second. Good idea if you don’t require an interview.

    #741838

    So now the question is, what happens if the family is being supported by outside sources. Outside sources mean anyone besides the parents of the child in question. Does that count towards what is considered “income”?

    If someone wants to give a gift to their children and take them away for a few days of vacation, should that be counted against a family’s tuition break? What happens if it is someone totally unaffiliated with the family? Where do you draw the line?

    #741839
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    So now the question is, what happens if the family is being supported by outside sources. Outside sources mean anyone besides the parents of the child in question. Does that count towards what is considered “income”?

    If someone wants to give a gift to their children and take them away for a few days of vacation, should that be counted against a family’s tuition break? What happens if it is someone totally unaffiliated with the family? Where do you draw the line?

    Like Chai Lifeline taking a disabled child’s sibling on a trip? Doesn’t count.

    Like Grandparents paying to take their children & grandchildren to a hotel for Pesach? Maybe.

    Like Grandparents paying for their children’s seven figure home so the child can learn in Kollel? Probably.

    Each case needs to be judged individually. I’m just trying to get the questions asked.

    #741840
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    jewish and working, thats what local schools are starting to close in on. The theory being that the grandparents may pay for the tuition instead of the expensive summer camps or Pesach trips (and the paternal grandfather is obligated to pay for his grandsons chinuch if the father can’t right?

    guy-ocho, so the parents who have told me their kids have been hit in the school are lying? AFAIK, the school allows the rebbeim to hit kids as punishment.

    #741841
    BoomYear
    Participant

    To Wolf’s comments above about not wanting to turn over bank statements etc,.:

    I think that Yeshivos and Day Schools should focus on accurately identifying income (true income including gifts from family in exchange for participating in family businesses) and number of children. There is no need to look at expenses — policy should be something like:

    Income of X

    Allowance of Per Child Expense (maybe age adjusted) of Y

    Yields Tuition of Z

    If someone agrees to pay Z then fine.

    If someone wants to pay less than Z they should need to explain special expenses or circumstances. Otherwise, why should the yeshiva care whether family money is spent on mortgage, meat, internet access, cleaning help or vacation. Let the family decide!

    #741842

    What’s all the fuss about? I agree that tuition is outrageous and I’m one who has “bared all” to get a break (never bank statements)

    But…where does everyone get off saying that we shouldn’t have to cut corners.

    Especially you, showerzinger

    “Vacations are a necessity, camp is a necessity, good food is a necessity”…you mean school isn’t? Do you call the utility company to get a break? Do you negotiate at the grocery store?

    Do you call the sleep away camps for a break? (which btw, @over $2000 for a half summer has gotten out of hand)

    If you do the math, 28 days of camp is costing you about $75 a day, where approx 230 days of school is costing you about $35 a day (full tuition) Be happy that there’s even an option of a break.

    I hear people complaining about money and tuition all the time yet they don’t hesitate to ie. drive cars that cost $400-$500 a month, as opposed to $300-$400 a month; vacations that cost a fortune; landscapers, take-out food for shabbos, home renovations, etc.

    None of these are necessities. You don’t NEED a fancier car, you don’t NEED to take your kids to Orlando, make your own coleslaw & potato kugel and buy cold cuts in the package. Have the landscaper come every other week instead of every week.

    I’m sure most of you here grew up with less “luxuries” or what you’re calling “necessities” than we’re living with today.

    #741843

    SJSinNYC:

    So where does it stop? What happens if the great-grandparents want to take the family on a vacation? A rich uncle? Is that allowed? Or do we say that the family should forgo the vacation on principle? Don’t forget that benefactors in question might not offer to pay the tuition instead.

    I guess the question I am asking is where do we draw the line? If a complete stranger hands over tickets to someone taking tuition assistance does the person need to reject the gift out of principle?

    Also, can you please show me the source where it says that the grandparents are obligated to teach their grandsons Torah?

    #741844

    gavra_at_work:

    I tend to disagree with asking grandparents for money. Once the child is grown up and has his/her own family they are responsible for their own family. If the grandparent want to help out, either with paying tuition or taking the family on vacation, then that is the grandparents will and the tuition committee should not chase after them asking for money. Except for pure donations.

    If you want to reject the tuition assistance since the Father/Mother of the child have no fiscal responsibility (i.e. have a seven figure home but have no idea on how to create an income to support such a lifestyle) then I agree. But if you are rejecting the family due to the fact they were born rich and have generous parents, even though they themselves are poor, I think is just plain wrong.

    I agree with the sentiment regarding the parents and the seven figure house

    #741846
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I guess the question I am asking is where do we draw the line? If a complete stranger hands over tickets to someone taking tuition assistance does the person need to reject the gift out of principle?

    That’s why it has to be a case by case decision.

    Also, can you please show me the source where it says that the grandparents are obligated to teach their grandsons Torah?

    Keddushin 30a.

    #741847
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I tend to disagree with asking grandparents for money. Once the child is grown up and has his/her own family they are responsible for their own family. If the grandparent want to help out, either with paying tuition or taking the family on vacation, then that is the grandparents will and the tuition committee should not chase after them asking for money. Except for pure donations.

    Agreed. And even pure donations should not be solicited strongly.

    If you want to reject the tuition assistance since the Father/Mother of the child have no fiscal responsibility (i.e. have a seven figure home but have no idea on how to create an income to support such a lifestyle) then I agree. But if you are rejecting the family due to the fact they were born rich and have generous parents, even though they themselves are poor, I think is just plain wrong.

    Once again agreed (surprise). Depending on what the “generous parents” are providing, the school has the choice not to offer a scholarship as well, to “force the hand” of the parents.

    In addition, if the family is “cash poor”, a system should be set up to transfer equity to the school, instead of an outright scholarship.

    #741848
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Thanks GAW.

    JAW22, the thinking is that grandparents who want to take their grandkids on vacation should make sure their basic needs are being met. If they aren’t, they should first address the basic needs.

    Its a sticky situation. No one is being rejected for having rich parents and not being able to afford tuition. They are losing a portion of their scholarship for sending their kids to fancy camps (or taking fancy vacations) when they can’t afford schooling.

    #741849
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    SJS: Part of the issue with grandparents helping is that they don’t necessarily do it for their children, but for themselves.

    For example: They want to show off their grandchildren, so they take them to a hotel for Pesach & buy them yom tov clothes, but don’t care if they wear rags the rest of the year.

    That’s why it has to be on a case by case basis.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 54 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.