The Moriah School is proud to provide the Tuition Affordability Program (“TAP"). This program has been sponsored by a generous donation from Joyce and Daniel Straus and The Kolatch Family Foundation. The purpose of TAP is to provide a sustainable, affordable tuition for all members of our diverse Moriah community by offering a tuition scale that accounts for a family's income level and number of day school children. Providing affordability with educational excellence is a priority of Moriah's Administration and Board of Trustees who are constantly seeking to efficiently partner with the parent body to reach this goal.
An excellent education program with support services, resource staff, technology programs, professional development and our ability to attract and retain the best faculty and administration, costs money.
Why not just raise tuition?
At present 30% of our families are on financial aid. There are approximately 20%-30% of our families who stretch to meet their tuition requirements. We have demonstrated that raising tuition by $100 adds an additional $100 to the financial aid requirements. In order for Moriah to continue to invest in its faculty and its program we need to increase tuition for those who are not as stretched.
The current financial aid process.
The financial aid process was created nearly 50 years when the school first started. Its premise was that everyone in the school was charged the same tuition and those who couldn't pay their bill applied for financial aid. The financial aid committee assessed the financial capability of the parent and awarded them accordingly. The process included examining their vacations, cars, camps, etc. It is a very invasive process as the financial aid committee is investing the community's money and do so with extreme care. A few years ago, the financial aid committee created a new innovative program whereby the applicant sent in their tax returns and the committee awarded financial aid (albeit less than a full financial aid interview) based on the applicants tax returns.
The new model - Moriah as a community of families of varied means.
The Moriah Tuition Affordability Program recognizes that as a heterogeneous community we have many different types of families with a variety of income levels. No longer is it 2 dimensional (families who have more and families who have less) but as the cost of tuition has increased (100% in the past 12 years) while incomes have only gone up by 38%, the ability for the bulk of families to pay their tuition bill has also been challenged. The emergence of the Hebrew Charter School, where yiddishkeit and Judaic studies were legally forbidden, demonstrated to all of us the constant challenge that many of our families are facing when it comes to affordability. As such, the Moriah TAP allows a family to be charged accordingly for their child's tuition. The existing financial aid process will be utilized for those families that require additional aid beyond the TAP (estimated to be less than 15%).
How does it work?
For the 2016-2017 year, everyone in the school will be sent a tuition bill for the full tuition as part of their tuition packet. Anyone wishing to participate in the TAP program should fill out the TAP application received in their tuition packet and return to the business office along with a copy of their final 2015 personal and business tax returns, W-2s, and most recent property tax bill.
Do I qualify?
Shown on the TAP application there is a Tuition Index matrix that based on your income level (as high as $360,000) and the number of children you have in school (day school at Moriah and high school) you will receive a credit on this coming years' tuition bill. Income is defined as gross per-401K income. Property tax exceeding $21,500 will make the applicant ineligible for TAP. (For a full list of details, please see link below.)
What other rules apply?
TAP eligibility is for Moriah students in grades K - 8. Nursery and Pre - K students are counted as dependents but are not eligible for a reduced tuition;
Qualified dependents are children attending Moriah from nursery through 8th and any Yeshiva high school;
Each Gesher or Middle School Support tuition qualifies as an additional dependent, however, neither tuition will be reduced as part of TAP;
High levels of unearned income and losses will be subject to review;
What will be the impact of the Moriah TAP?
The primary objective of the Moriah TAP is to continue to invest in our program and in our faculty while providing relief to the many families at Moriah that are simply stretched too far by the cost of Jewish Day School tuition. The funds raised in the annual campaign will be used to offset and fund the Moriah TAP.
How does this become self sustaining?
One of the biggest challenges with a TAP is to avoid overcharging the highest tuition index levels. Moriah's desire to roll out a TAP is to provide dignified relief to our families who are stretched to pay for cost of day school tuition.
Our plans for sustaining the Moriah TAP is as follows;
Carefully shifting the financial aid requirements to be more communal (increasing the minimum % required for tuition)
Increasing enrollment (filling empty seats). Empty seats in our existing grades is one of the most expensive costs. By promoting a more affordable tuition we could hope to increase census.
What if my income situation changes during the school year?
Changes in income levels such as loss of employment are unfortunately more commonplace in this economy. We are working on a financial aid loan program which will provide an interest free loan for the additional amount required.
Click here for the TAP Application & Tuition Fee Scale