Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moriah's Crackdown on Tuition Thieves

See email from Moriah below.

Glad to see them taking some action against those who would steal from the communal pot in what they call "self-scholarships".  We can debate how much scholarships should be baked into tuition but I think we can agree that the system should be fair to everyone.  A scholarship committee should look at all applications and make decisions on how much to award based on need and how much scholarship funds are available.  People should not be allowed to take it upon themselves to give themselves scholarships.  Not allowing children into classes should certainly be a last resort but it's an option that should not be taken off the table.

PS they finally posted the 2012-2013 tuition schedule.  See link on the right.

The Moriah School
August 2, 2012
14 Menachem AV 5772

Dear Parents, 

We at Moriah are very fortunate to be part of a school that is committed to being at the forefront of educational innovation, providing our children with the very best education around. Balancing the realities of the cost of education with the needs of our parent body, especially during these challenging financial times, our dedicated Financial Aid Committee works hard to ensure that every family who wants the opportunity to be part of Moriah is able to afford to do so.    

Unfortunately, a recent phenomenon has emerged, whereby parents avoid the financial aid process and deviate from the payment amount and/or the payment schedule that they have committed to.  We have coined a term for this type of unilateral action -- "self-scholarship." As you can imagine, self-scholarship is extremely damaging to our school, since tuition is our primary source of income and unexpected shortfalls directly impact the school's budget and ability to achieve its goals. It also is damaging to the wider school community, as it directly impacts the price of tuition and forces an additional burden on those in the majority who labor to pay tuition in full or responsibly seek assistance through proper channels.    

As this phenomenon has come to light, we are now putting in place a new policy to collect on outstanding balances, so that our school can be in a stronger financial position. Over the next week, we will be contacting those families who have accrued obligations via self-scholarship; a payment schedule will be offered and consequences in the case of default will be communicated and enforced. Moving forward, all tuition payment obligations must be met in a timely fashion or children will not be allowed to join their class until balances are cleared.     

For those of our parents who have chosen to self-scholarship due to financial stress, we understand that applying for financial aid may be a difficult and perhaps demoralizing process, but avoiding the process altogether is unfair to our school and to the larger school community. Moriah is fortunate to have a Financial Aid committee that dedicates countless hours to creating standards and assessing every case with extreme care. They deliver creative and sensitive solutions that incorporate both the best interest of the school and of the families who are requesting aid.    

Moriah is constantly striving to move forward and improve. While this new policy may be difficult for some of our families, we hope the community understands the need for having such a policy in place at this juncture. Let's continue to work together to ensure that our children get the best Jewish day school experience possible.    

Thank you,    
Evan H. Sohn  President, Board of Trustees    
Jay M. Goldberg  Chairman, Board of Trustees