May 28, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

More on Tuition Assistance

Thank you to the Jewish Link for providing a forum for the community to discuss the issue of tuition assistance.

It has been a few decades since my affiliation with our community yeshivot scholarship committees. From reading the many LTTEs and articles, it is evident that the information required on the application is more detailed now than it was decades ago.

Were there families who might not have received the full amount of assistance they requested? Sure. But the dialogue between the scholarship committee, the parents and school business office were, for the most, part respectful. Everyone involved understood that the school needed to adhere to fiscal responsibility, yet be sensitive to those requesting financial assistance. If the family requested a meeting with the committee, it was granted in person. I am told that now the process is completely impersonal. Committees do not meet with anyone (disclaimer: that may not be true of all schools). If clarification is required, it is handled over
the phone.

So, where do we go from here?

Devorah Vaynman mentioned it in her Part II article and Michael Rader wrote a detailed article on a solution that seems to be working.

I must point out an error in Gershon Distenfeld’s article, where he writes, “lay leaders of schools will not be leading the charge here.” Ironically, on the page before his article is a solution that lay leaders adapted and it should be further explored.

If Westchester Day School, Maimonidies and Bruriah have implemented a tuition assistance program based on AGI, I would like to hear from other school lay leaders why they haven’t tested or adopted it (I am sure The Jewish Link would publish any response anonymously, if requested). If the AGI application is available to Mrs. Vaynman, I would ask that she test it and see if the assistance outcome was better, the same or worse (obviously the process, pain and humiliation is much less).

I want to thank all those who serve and have served on tuition assistance committees (I guess, formerly known as scholarship committees). It is probably the only committee that no one asks to volunteer for (and if they did, we’d have been suspect of their agenda).

Lastly, I want to thank all those families blessed with the ability to pay full tuition and those who go above and beyond to support scholarship events (breakfasts, golf outings, on-line campaigns etc.), including those who received tuition assistance and, with hakarat hatov, donated whatever they could (to me, that makes the greatest impression).

Let’s all pray that we are blessed with good health and improved financial situations.

William Hochman
Fair Lawn
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