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Forum -> Household Management -> Finances
Tuition Breaks and Tomchei Shabbos
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 10:38 am
Pesach time, there was a lot of discussion about tzedaka organizations and qualifications.
Posters were insisting that those who need are approved for Tomchei and other tzedaka organizations and no one gets turned away, there's plenty of money for all the needs.
And the only ones who don't get approved are those too embarrassed to ask.

Imo tuition breaks are a form of tzedaka. Less embarrassing maybe but still.
And yet, there are all these posts about the hoops jump through and the humiliation to get a tuition break.
Is Jewish education less important than meat and wine for Yom Tov?

I don't get it. There's enough money to make sure that every kollel family gets a new dress and suit and shoes (from expensive stores). But not enough to help every child get a Jewish education without killing the parents.

It's just horrifying how we expect parents to humiliate themselves for tuition.

Granted I'm coming from a perspective of 18 year old car held together by cable ties but prioritizing paying my reduced tuition as long as my car is drivable. I don't have luxuries but stop making tuition breaks a humiliating experience.

Ftr, we do get Tomchei Shabbos. And its amazing to me how respectful they are, careful of my dignity compared to schools when I pay a significantly fraction of tuition.
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amother
Eggplant


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 10:43 am
Here's the difference:

Tomchei shabbos is subsidies and funded by people who are volantarily choosing and deciding to give. Nobody is forced to contribute.

A school's expenses are mostly funded by the parent body thru tuition. If some parents are paying less, it directly causes other parents to pay more. So a family that is taking expensive vacations and getting a tuition break is causes their fellow families to pay more. And that's why there probably should be more scrutiny with tuition breaks.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 10:46 am
amother Eggplant wrote:
Here's the difference:

Tomchei shabbos is subsidies and funded by people who are volantarily choosing and deciding to give. Nobody is forced to contribute.

A school's expenses are mostly funded by the parent body thru tuition. If some parents are paying less, it directly causes other parents to pay more. So a family that is taking expensive vacations and getting a tuition break is causes their fellow families to pay more. And that's why there probably should be more scrutiny with tuition breaks.


Ok. But there's a huge difference between expensive vacations and luxury cars and demanding credit card statements to look line by line exactly how much one spends on drs, therapists, and such.
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amother
Eggplant


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 10:53 am
amother OP wrote:
Ok. But there's a huge difference between expensive vacations and luxury cars and demanding credit card statements to look line by line exactly how much one spends on drs, therapists, and such.



Obviously the point is to see if there are expensive car payments, luxury items, fancy vacations, expensive sheitels, ect. Unfortunately very personal items are on the cc statement as well. Do you have a better suggestion? Is there a better system that you know of?
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chestnut




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 10:58 am
amother OP wrote:
Ok. But there's a huge difference between expensive vacations and luxury cars and demanding credit card statements to look line by line exactly how much one spends on drs, therapists, and such.

Do you really think schools are interested in your therapy, Dr, and mikvah spending?
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amother
Chambray


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:02 am
They’re looking for frivolous spending money.
spending on clothing, shoes, expensive car payment, vacations, food restaurants,

Luxurious that don’t need! Without those you’ll be able to afford full tuition!!!!!!

Basically they’re finally realizing people take brakes but live luxuriously on the school’s expense. And they’re cutting down on that
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amother
Green


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:07 am
amother Eggplant wrote:
Obviously the point is to see if there are expensive car payments, luxury items, fancy vacations, expensive sheitels, ect. Unfortunately very personal items are on the cc statement as well. Do you have a better suggestion? Is there a better system that you know of?


This is a rationalization. Those who are looking to game the system will just separate out such expenses onto a different card and not share it with the tuition board.

You are essentially punishing those who really need it. They either have to humiliate themselves, or endure additional financial hardships.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:08 am
chestnut wrote:
Do you really think schools are interested in your therapy, Dr, and mikvah spending?


If my monthly credit card bill is $4k and I show them that piece. And I say its medical, food, clothing, car insurance, gas, utilities, filters, phones, toiletries and therapy. For a family of 7.
Why do they need a line by line.
Where are my hiding luxuries within that 4k number?
Asking for more than a basic breakdown was agreed to be humiliating on the other thread, yet shrugged at
Even Tomchei Shabbos doesn't ask for that.
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amother
Green


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:09 am
chestnut wrote:
Do you really think schools are interested in your therapy, Dr, and mikvah spending?


Well, it seems like it. They can go about this in a different way, I.e. ask for bank records, but are choosing to go after credit cards.

This suggests they are after these little details.
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:09 am
amother Chambray wrote:
They’re looking for frivolous spending money.
spending on clothing, shoes, expensive car payment, vacations, food restaurants,

Luxurious that don’t need! Without those you’ll be able to afford full tuition!!!!!!

Basically they’re finally realizing people take brakes but live luxuriously on the school’s expense. And they’re cutting down on that


I said this on the other thread and I'll say it again.

The vast majority of people asking for tuition breaks really really need it. This claim that "everyone is asking for breaks while living the high life" isn't true IRL

I look around and those of us in the under 35 crowd are struggling to much.
Renting tiny apartments with no hope of every buying our own house, even a small old one. Dressing our kids in hand me downs and buying cheap from target. Driving old cars (mine is 16 years old). Using cheap used baby equipment (my graco car snap n go car seat is almost 10 years old). Serving cheap pasta during the week and chicken only on shabbos.

The people I know who spend on luxuries do NOT ask for breaks and consider it beneath them and demeaning to even fill out the scholarship application.
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amother
Green


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:10 am
amother OP wrote:
If my monthly credit card bill is $4k and I show them that piece. And I say its medical, food, clothing, car insurance, gas, utilities, filters, phones, toiletries and therapy. For a family of 7.
Why do they need a line by line.
Where are my hiding luxuries within that 4k number?
Asking for more than a basic breakdown was agreed to be humiliating on the other thread, yet shrugged at
Even Tomchei Shabbos doesn't ask for that.


Exactly. And another thought, what happens if someone sponsors your therapy or vacation? I know some parents who tell their kids to put it on their own credit cards, and they will pay the bill/or send them money to pay the bills.
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amother
Jasmine


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:11 am
If tomchei shabbos didn’t have enough funding and the realized that they were delivering packages to people that spend money on luxuries they might have to do the same.
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:11 am
amother Green wrote:
This is a rationalization. Those who are looking to game the system will just separate out such expenses onto a different card and not share it with the tuition board.

You are essentially punishing those who really need it. They either have to humiliate themselves, or endure additional financial hardships.


Agreed this isn't a foolproof system anyway. People can get a second card for personal expenses or just use cash.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:12 am
Also credit cards can be misleading.
My credit card says that I spent $200 last week at a frum shoe store.
Luxury. Oh now.
Reality I bought 6 pairs of shoes on clearance. Is that reasonable?
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amother
Eggplant


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:15 am
amother Bronze wrote:
I said this on the other thread and I'll say it again.

The vast majority of people asking for tuition breaks really really need it. This claim that "everyone is asking for breaks while living the high life" isn't true IRL

I look around and those of us in the under 35 crowd are struggling to much.
Renting tiny apartments with no hope of every buying our own house, even a small old one. Dressing our kids in hand me downs and buying cheap from target. Driving old cars (mine is 16 years old). Using cheap used baby equipment (my graco car snap n go car seat is almost 10 years old). Serving cheap pasta during the week and chicken only on shabbos.

The people I know who spend on luxuries do NOT ask for breaks and consider it beneath them and demeaning to even fill out the scholarship application.



I think the schools that are asking for cc bills and bank statements are fancy schools that charge 25k+ in high school. The schools that cater to the real middle class crowd aren't asking for this. In the 5towns there's a wealthy school that definitely asks for these extras.
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:17 am
amother Jasmine wrote:
If tomchei shabbos didn’t have enough funding and the realized that they were delivering packages to people that spend money on luxuries they might have to do the same.


Do the schools really not have enough funding? I mean, we wouldn't know because the schools are hypocrites. We have to provide every private and personal detail, but they provide ZERO. There is no transparency and the books are kept sealed under lock and key. They don't post on guidestar either.

My kid's school does multimillion dollar fundraisers every year (and they always claim they met their goal). Where did all that money go? In my state, there are no tuition vouchers, but the funding for private schools is increased every year. Where does that go? My kid's school did a major renovation to update the schools and make it modern and gorgeous. Honestly, the old building was fine. Schools don't need to look like stunning upscale building that you would find in Manhattan. Where did the money for that come from?
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amother
Eggplant


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:29 am
amother Green wrote:
Well, it seems like it. They can go about this in a different way, I.e. ask for bank records, but are choosing to go after credit cards.

This suggests they are after these little details.



Really? How did you get this logic? You find that the fact that they want the credit card means they want to see your victoria secret charge? Is it possible they want to see the charge for $15000 for the airline tix and hotel stay in Thailand?
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amother
Mayflower


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:37 am
We send to Bais Yaakov and multiple yeshivas over the years, and have gotten tuition breaks from every school (we both work full time but it is simply impossible to pay full even though we live simply). No one has ever asked for a credit card statement. There is an application and you submit your tax return. The application does ask some relevant and reasonable questions, like what kinds of cars you drive and how much you spend on cleaning help, but there is no scrutinizing every expense and I don't find the process at all humiliating. I guess it depends on the school, but my point is that it's not like that everywhere.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:38 am
amother Eggplant wrote:
Really? How did you get this logic? You find that the fact that they want the credit card means they want to see your victoria secret charge? Is it possible they want to see the charge for $15000 for the airline tix and hotel stay in Thailand?


So they can just ask for the totals. And only ask for line by line if a month seems off beyond what's typical for a family.
But if a family has average bills 4-6k with 7-8k for October, April and July that just indicates regular spending spiking for yomim tovim and summer/(day camp) expenses.
Asking for line by line indicates that yes, they want to know how much exactly I spent for medical expenses and they might audit my Walmart expenses
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 11:42 am
Hey once wer'e at it, why not ask for the store receipts also? Why is a credit card statenent enough? Maybe they should go through every item I bought in the store to make sure not even a penny was wasted on a "luxury"
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