Draft Proposal

This is not a real service we offer. It is a proposal for gathering feedback about a possible offering.

I am excited to share a revolutionary initiative that promises to transform the way tuition is assessed: the “Financially Responsible Maximum Tuition Payment” certification.

Understanding the Challenges

In our experience working with families and educational institutions, we’ve identified three critical challenges in tuition assessment:

  1. Financial Stretch for Lower-Income Families: Ensuring that tuition fees do not exceed what is genuinely affordable for families with limited income.
  2. Recognizing Obligations of Higher-Income Families: Providing a realistic evaluation of the financial commitments of families who, despite higher incomes, may not be able to afford the expected tuition fees due to other obligations.
  3. Anonymity and Data Security: Many families are hesitant to share sensitive financial information directly with schools due to privacy concerns and uncertainty about data security practices.

Our Tailored Solution: The Frum Finance Certification

Our certification process, tailored to each family’s unique situation, determines the maximum tuition payment they can responsibly afford. This is underpinned by:

  • Expert Oversight: Our team, overseen by both a Financial Advisory Counsel and a Rabbinic Advisory Counsel, brings unmatched financial expertise and unbiased analysis.
  • Comprehensive Financial Analysis: We conduct in-depth assessments to ensure the proposed tuition aligns with a family’s financial means, irrespective of whether it is below or above the family’s current expected tuition obligation.
  • Enhanced Privacy and Security: The only information we share with the school is the singular final number of your “Financially Responsible Maximum Tuition Payment” – none of your financial data. As a third party, we ensure the utmost confidentiality in handling financial data, thus maintaining family privacy and trust. Frum Finance leverages industry-leading financial software guaranteeing the confidentiality and security of all financial data, addressing concerns about who accesses this sensitive information.
  • Certification with Expiration Dates: Regular reassessment is facilitated by expiration dates on certifications, adapting to any changes in a family’s financial circumstances.
  • Standardization in Assessment: Our approach removes the unpredictability of tuition negotiations, providing clarity and fairness. This also aids families in making informed financial decisions.

Advantages for Your School

  • Resource Optimization: By taking on the complex task of financial assessments, we enable schools to focus more on educational excellence.
  • Trust Building: Our certification fosters transparency and fairness, enhancing the trust between schools and families.
  • Community Cohesion: It upholds the principle of making Jewish education accessible to all, reinforcing community bonds.

We warmly invite your esteemed institution to join us in implementing this transformative certification. Our team is ready to tailor our services to your school’s specific needs, contributing to a financially sustainable future in Jewish education.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Who will be overseeing this program?
    Our team operates under the guidance of both a Financial Advisory Counsel and a Rabbinic Advisory Counsel. You can learn more about our expert team members on our website.
  2. Will there be a charge for this service? Who pays for it?
    Yes, this will be a paid service per application. The cost will be borne by the schools, not the families, as it alleviates the administrative burden from the schools.
  3. How will Frum Finance handle complex financial situations, like past financial decisions impacting current expendable income?
    Our approach considers both current financial status and past decisions. We plan to establish clear public guidelines, with careful oversight from our diverse boards of Rabonim and financial professionals, to ensure consistent and fair judgments are made.
  4. What if the total tuition assessed for all families falls short of the school’s financial needs?
    While this is a complex challenge, it is a challenge that exists with or without our certification. Each school already has its approach for how to handle this. Some schools might not accept students who require too much assistance, while others might run fundraisers to cover the gap. Our certification program might cause less or more tuition to be brought in, depending on the family’s circumstances and how generous the school was before our program in giving out tuition breaks.
  5. How will Frum Finance handle contentious issues, like assessing families who have made different lifestyle choices?
    Each case will be evaluated on its own merits, guided by principles that do not penalize responsible financial behavior. We will seek guidance from Rabonim and financial experts to make these decisions in a way that is fair and consistent.
  6. In cases where schools apply hardball tactics, like demanding a family to pay a certain amount or risk their child’s enrollment, does Frum Finance play a role in such scenarios?
    Our primary function is to inform the school about the maximum amount a family can afford to pay responsibly. If a school, particularly one that may not accept all children regardless of their ability to pay, decides to use our assessment to set a firm tuition requirement, that decision falls outside our scope of influence. However, in instances where a school does utilize our service, we ensure that these financial demands of the school are now responsible and do not jeopardize the family’s prudent financial practices, such as saving for retirement or maintaining adequate life insurance coverage. Our goal is to introduce a level of fairness and financial responsibility to these assessments.
  7. What happens if a family is unable or unwilling to qualify for the Frum Finance certification?
    In cases where a family does not pursue or qualify for our certification, the decision on how to proceed rests with the school. As a recommendation, schools could adopt a tiered approach. For instance, if a school previously had a policy of capping tuition at 15% of a family’s income, this benefit could be replaced by the certification amount. Families not participating in the certification would be subject to a higher rate, such as a flat max of 25% of their income. This system ensures a fair process while encouraging participation in the certification program for more tailored and beneficial financial assessments.

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