The Forward has an interesting article about Pell Grants. Among the money quotes:
- Sixty-three of the 152 religious institutions that receive Pell grants are Jewish, the data shows. And these Jewish schools collectively received 53% of the $84.5 million in Pell grant money that went to religious schools in 2010, the most recent year for which final figures are available. Of the top 10 Pell grant recipients in dollar terms that year, six were yeshivas.
- Jewish schools also occupied the top three places in terms of total Pell grant aid in 2010: UTA Mesivta of Kiryas Joel, in Monroe, N.Y., received $5.9 million; United Talmudical Seminary, in Brooklyn, received $6.4 million. And at BMG, one of the largest yeshivas in the United States, students received Pell grants totaling $10.5 million.
- Jewish institutions were even more dominant when considered in terms of the percentage of students in each school receiving Pell grant aid; nine of the top 10 colleges in America, according to this criterion, are Jewish.
- In 2010, according to figures from the NCES’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, 76% of undergraduate students at Beth Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood, N.J. — 2,000 students — were on Pell grant aid. That same year, the average percentage of undergraduates at the country’s 152 religiously affiliated schools who received Pell grants was 47%; however, at eight yeshivas and Jewish seminaries, between 91% and 100% of students qualified for Pell grants.
The prize for the most self serving justification goes to Lakewood CEO, Mr. Aaron Kotler, who mocks his grandfather Rav Aaron Kotler’s, ztz”l torah lishmah philosophy when he says, “BMG has ‘a successful job placement service’ for graduates and that many students go on to careers in “business, the rabbinate, academia, medicine, finance, law or technology.”
Unstated in the article is the widespread belief in the ultra orthodox world that there is widespread fraud in the program.