Yeshiva Tuition – question for executive directors

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    What’s a reasonable expectation that parents should be required to pay per month from their salaries as a percentage of income that comes in per month? That is, what percentage of their after-tax salaries is reasonable to expect parents to allocate towards paying tuition? I realize that this is a broad question, but I’m curious what the response would be.
    Many of us parents are being squeezed uncontrollably by executive directors, tuition committees, etc. and I’m at a loss what is honestly realistic.


    1. What rate should be tuition be set at when a parent is unemployed and has no income?

    2. If a parent isn’t keeping up with their tuition, will the children be thrown out of Yeshiva?


    Question for ice cream store owners: when deciding on the correct price for ice-cream, what percentage of income, after taxes, are you expecting me to pay for ice cream?


    A very complicated question, since different families with the same income will have different needs. For instance, one may Ch”v have a child with special needs or medical problems that cost a good deal of money. An older parent may need help and care giving. And of course the everyday costs of life differ from place to place. Compare housing costs in Lakewood or Brooklyn with housing costs in OOT communities.

    And again, different yeshivas have different budgets and different priorities. A yeshiva with a new building and a high mortgage will need a higher income than one in older or remodeled quarters, and the number of parents who can afford full tuition will make a difference too.

    It would be a good idea if all yeshivas published a detailed yearly report on income and budget so parents could know exactly how much money is coming in and where it is going, letting parents feel informed instead of doubtful. For instance, doing remodeling or adding an addition instead of building a new building from scratch could avoid heavy mortgage payments and less financial strain on the school. It also helps if the school meets its payroll obligations in full on time. Financial strain on the teachers will prevent them from teaching at their best.

    This is something that demands our immediate and serious attention, since the welfare of our next generation depends on how we solve the problems of our mosdos.

    The little I know


    You are using the wrong yardstick. You are looking to establish a fair tuition based on your income. Well, I got news for you. What you are suggesting is like measuring your floor dimensions with a scale. the establishment of tuition is based on the projected school budget. The faculty in the highly populated areas like NY tend to be underpaid, and the administration well compensated. The costs of buildings, rent, etc. in these locales is also quite high. The expected tuition is intended to offset the expenses.

    I am no great admirer of yeshiva administrations. But if you expect them to offer you free or almost free schooling because of your financial straits, wake up and smell the coffee. In fact, the parents who lose their income mid-year due to job loss are apt to have trouble from the school. After all, your job loss is not their fault. Some yeshivos are quite rigid with disallowing students to enter the premises with outstanding tuition bills. This varies greatly, but I have personal knowledge of this being done. It is not a rare exception.

    Having disparaged the school administrations, recognize that schooling costs, and that you, as the consumer, should be shouldering part of that cost. Sometimes, schools have asked for parents to contribute time to helping out, sort of bartering. They may not always be fair, but they have a right to expect something.

    make a point

    What the yeshivah asks, is what is resonable. if they want to do you a favor and give scholarship that’s great , if not , there are many Yeshivot not in the standard you are looking for that are more than willing t btake your child. (Spoken from a Rebbe who hasn’t gotten paid, because parents have to pay their vacation homes and camps first)


    “there are many Yeshivot not in the standard you are looking for that are more than willing t btake your child.”

    Yeshivos with lower standards do not charge less tuition than yeshivos that have higher spiritual standards.


    A yeshiva should charge ALL parents the same tuition which is determined by the allocating the full physical and variable costs of ownership and operating the physical plant, paying all the rebbes, morat , administrative and support staff a living wage. It should be up to the parents to work with various charities to the extent they need financial support. Why is tuition different from rent, food etc. We don’t expect landlords and market owners to price their apartments and cholent based on the income of the leasee or customer. Let schools focus on education and don’t expect them to run a gemach. There are other mosdos who should take on that responsibility.



    Why do you assume when he said “not in the standard “ that he meant a lower standard?


    Rebbies and teachers complain about not making large salaries. I don’t get it. They only work, say, 5 hours a day and get two months off in the summer plus several weeks off for Jewish holidays during the year. What profession pays their employees a large salary and lets them vacation 1/4 of the year and go home at 3:00?


    Curiosity, are you for real? I only ask because your post sounds suspiciously like a troll post.

    Obviously, you don’t know any actual teachers, because otherwise you wouldn’t be saying things like “go home at 3:00.” The teachers I know do not leave right away – many of them stay late to tutor kids that need help, attend staff meetings, and so on. And even if they do go home at 3, so what? Are you counting the unpaid time they put in at home grading and correcting papers, planning lessons, and making phone calls to parents about how their little angels misbehave in class, or are not doing homework, or are failing the class.

    I’d say the teachers deserve a vacation just for putting up with the rude and misbehaving kids.

    make a point

    Im not talking about how much a rebbe gets paid we’ve accepted that when we sign up for the job. But why should I get paid late month after month because no one pays their tuition on time, but those same people are out on vacation ….

    There are yeshivas that have a lower standard in english /judaic studies, less extra room (no gym, cafeteria , big BM) maybe less administration , less therapist. And they give their children enough of the religious standard as every other school.


    Yeshiva aren’t saks fifth avenue. Parents send their kids to yeshiva because they don’t really have a choice. Yes, tuition should come before expensive vacations or bungalows. Should parents have less kids because yeshiva costs are too high? If people in the frum NY are a had guts they’d send their kids to public school, to boycott the tuition costs. It’s pretty obvious which crisis will be covered in the Jewish publications.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Parents send their kids to yeshiva because they don’t really have a choice.

    I think one could have a better attitude and view it as a privilege to give one’s children a Jewish education.

    Of course, it is an obligation as well, but still, why does that put the impetus on the schools?

    Someone gave an analogy of an ice cream store. Ok, poor analogy, because ice cream is a luxury, and a Jewish education is a necessity.

    How about a grocery, a landlord, a clothing store, etc.? Are they required to operate at a loss because they deal in necessities?

    Tuition is, for many families, a tremendous financial burden, and people are frustrated. I get that. But it’s really unfair to bad-mouth the mosdos which actually do give many parents breaks and educate their children for below the actual cost, because of a misguided perception that they are obligated to swallow even more.

    Should parents have less kids because yeshiva costs are too high?

    Someone making that choice depends on their level of bitachon. Hashem prepares the finances for each child as they’re born.



    I’d say the teachers deserve a vacation just for putting up with the rude and misbehaving parents.

    The little I know


    Correct. A school should not be a gemach. Ideally, other organizations should serve the role of assisting parents with tuition costs. Trouble is, that is a fantasy. There are no such organizations. So it won’t happen. If these hundreds or even thousands of kids end up in the street, a generation is lost, and the community would need to tackle a huge crisis. So that’s not the answer either.

    These same yeshivos conduct countless fund raising campaigns. They train the students to collect tzedokoh at various times of the year (debatable whether this is good or bad chinuch), and they have various events including dinners, chinese auctions, mailings, and other events. This should spread the financial burden away from tuition. But sadly, this does not happen.


    You have a valid point. The clocked hours often do not reflect the amount of time invested in the job. Yeshivos know that,, and compensation is calculated that way (though it is still usually way too low). But there is a painful reality. There is a huge (though shrinking) percentage of melamdim, rebbes, teachers, etc. who lack training, and are utter failures at doing the job well. They may have a greater knowledge fund than their students, but that is nowhere close to the top of the list of qualities and skills needed to teach a class. We have large classes, and classroom management is a mammoth task. The time that gets invested in discipline, enforcing rules, etc., is destroying education time. Truly trained faculty make lesson plans that captivate the students who want to attend, participate, and absorb the material. Kids are not so “bad behaved”. Teachers are just unable to manage them because they don’t know how. Kollel for a decade has never prepared anyone for a classroom, though it may have enhanced one’s Torah knowledge.

    Being a rebbe requires individual attention to every single talmid, including connecting with the parents. Nachas calls are not a staple, though discipline calls are frequent. Watch what happens when a kid discovers the rebbe extending a caring hand. Presto, the “bad behavior” vanishes. I’m not preaching here. I just would like to see our mechanchim and parents more aware of what chinuch is. I promise you one thing. It is not synonymous with discipline.


    Takahmamash – I’m not trolling. I don’t really agree with your argument, lots of professions have to take their work home with them and deal with rude customers and difficult situations. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called “work”. Even if teachers work 45 hours a week, every week (I doubt it), they still get to take a good quarter of the year off. The typical median full time US salary is $51k x 75% = $38.25k. That makes teachers salaries seem not so far fetched. In fact, if you look at the wages per hour that public school teachers make per the US Dept. of Labor, it is beyond regular white collar administrators, and almost as high as the category of engineers.


    Unless yeshivas charge on a sliding scale meaning richer people pay MORE and I dont mean full tution, I mean 3 x 4 x 5 x or more the regular tution to subsidize those that cant pay. its wrong that people are avoiding paying. There is only so much tution people can reasonably pay.

    Unless new funding sources are found (Like a communal tax which is very unliley) the situation will remain


    exec dir told me anywhere from 12-15% another told me no more than 10% – I may be wrong about this but a yeshiva being considered a public charity has obligations to the public it serves – and a yeshiva does “serve” the public – at least in stated mission. some yeshivas file a publicly available tax return or financial statement and some do not. The yeshivas/mosdos that don’t file for public viewing must take the position they are exempt from filing because they are a congregation (like a shul). I don’t know if that is correct but presumably this is done so no one will see what faculty gets paid.


    What profession pays their employees a large salary and lets them vacation 1/4 of the year and go home at “3:00?”

    Sports, entertainment, banking. In fact, in the sports world, there are those who earn on the scale of 8200 times as much per hour as the average teacher. I await your reply in the thread you started specifically for this discussion.


    In Central NJ, there is a grant which caps your tuition at most of the local schools at a percentage of your income. I believe that depending on the amount you make, it runs from 15% to about 20%.
    This does not determine how much you pay – it caps it. So if you have only one child, you likely won’t hit the cap, and will pay the full amount. If you have multiple kids, you’ll probably hit the cap.

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