Yeshiva’s Get Disproportionate Share of Pell Grant Aid for Low Income Undergraduate College Students

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.

10 thoughts on “Yeshiva’s Get Disproportionate Share of Pell Grant Aid for Low Income Undergraduate College Students

  1. If Berger was a more diligent reporter he wouldn’t have stopped when all the official orthodox sources stonewalled him. He would have gotten the real story which includes government fraud investigations. But he has shown himself to be either lazy or a sycophant in his softball interview with DA Charles Hynes at the very moment that the New York Times was hitting Hynes hard.

  2. i dont know you & i thought your motives are sincere but this post from the “foreward” who take the cake in self hatred & mesero ,etc,it makes me question your real motives!

    • Mo, I am puzzled by your comment.

      I am concerned about child abuse and corruption in the frum world. I rely on facts I collect and on trustworthy journalistic sources. In this case, I believe the Forward is doing honest journalism. The fact that some frum sources refuse to talk to them does not make their reporting untruthful. If you have proof that it is untruthful, please share it with us.

      As for mesirah, I saw none. However, I see a pattern of criminal convictions of yeshivas for Pell grant fraud (which weren’t mentioned in the article) and I and many others believe there is a lot more going on. Are you saying that such fraudulent activity is OK or are you denying it occurs? I would appreciate some clarity from you about this. If yeshivas induce young men and women to file false claims they are endangering them and exposing them to serious legal and financial problems. Is that OK with you?

      Are you only willing to oppose child abuse if this blog ignores all other problems in the frum world?

  3. yes child abuse must be addressed but not all other problemsin the frum world are to be confronted in the public forum we are not allways qualified to be g-d’s police the “forward” has a rather dubious reputation when it comes to jewish issues w/an ax to grind yes this the same foreward of the yom kippur balls & if you are interested in the well being of fellows jews ,they are rather strange bedfellows! i still remember the masthead of the yiddish foreward “workers of the world unite” & we know what to expect from those………

    • Mo, you are still kvetching about the Forward.
      1. What in their article is untruthful?
      2.If nothing is untruthful, why kvetch?
      3. They did not raise the question of fraud. I raised it on the basis of my conversations with frum men and women who were induced to sign false applications by their yeshivas and seminaries and are now facing legal and financial problems as a result. What it is it a problem for you that I think these practices should be stopped?

      Mo, you are welcome to come back again and kvetch about the Forward. If so, the readers of this blog will correctly conclude you do not have a real argument, so you are substituting an ad hominem attack.

  4. again if you are attempting to address the issue of abuse kol hakovod but unfortunately your blog has become the voice of yellow, sensation seeking journalism in our circles if you are in in the same m.o.asthe foreward, shymaya,paul mendlow, etc allways seeking negative[even when some”truth”is involved] stories about fellow jews it cast doubts on the sincerety of your ,otherwise worthy battle to protect yiddishe kinderstop competing & cooperating with those dengenirates & let make a safer for our children!

    • Aren’t you ashamed to say, even if it is true, you shouldn’t say it. Don’t you realize, that if it is true, we believe in emes.

      Has it not occurred to you that those who cover up for molesters use similar arguments? They say, “Yes it is true, but we will take care of it our own way without scandal.”

      They also say, “But don’t quote hostile sources, while the entire official ultra orthodox media vigorously censors serious discussion of sex abuse, especially when it comes to naming the individual offenders.” This mishagas has gone so far that they are even trying to implement internet bans.

      We live in an open world. What the Forward is reporting is known to the whole world. There have already been several serious government prosecutions of yeshivas and more are bound to happen. The fault lies not with the Forward, but with those engaged in fraud. I am not trying to get anyone arrested. I am saying that certain facts have to be faced before more people end up in jail or financially ruined from penalties.

      The only hope lies not in blaming the reporters but in facing the facts and changing them.

      You attack Feivie Mendlowitz/UOJ. If he was nicer Kolko would still be molesting boys at YTT.

      I cannot shake the suspicion that in spite of your saying you are opposed to sex abuse, you are one of those who are opposed but won’t make a stink. Only raising voices will fix the problem. Feivie, Ben Hirsh, Avigdor Miller and others tried for years to solve the problem without a stink.

  5. in the talmud this mentality is dispararged as “mi somcha” who annointed you,the foreward, etc, as the ultimate spoksman for emes we are not g-d’s policemen yes we must avoid chilul hashem but does not give any one an open pass on klall yisroel ! every decent person is opposed to sex abuse
    unfortunately many real erliche people have trouble beleiving this stories , at first glance,because they have led very sheltered lifes , to their credit but if the activists in this ,yes holy cause make a career of going after every nominal possible transgression in our circle ,especially when is borders mesira, the motives become suspect where is the protest from this ilk when the legal system is used as a progrom against fellow jews such as rubaskin,etc? i never seen a sympathetic
    blog on your site protesting the selective treatment of jonathan pollard,etc as this point your site could have been produced by yosef katib the jewish kid who joined al-quida!

    • You have made amazing leaps in your defense of the shah shtil mentality. You even had the chutzpah to say my site could been produced by a Jew who joined al quaeda! Really! So is there a new shitah that proclaims if you attack geneivah from the government you belong to Al Quaeda? In case you checked lately, Al Quaeda’s main crimes are not blogging.

      Mo, Your real problem starts with the focus on “many real erliche people who have trouble believing these stories” about sexual abuse of children.” This is where you and I differ. Halevai, the only problem was some erlich leit who needed more information. Real erlich people, once they found out the truth would practically tear the molesters limb by limb. Yet almost all molesters are still treated as shayne yidden. The real problem is willfull denial about a lot of major problems in the frum world. Meanwhile, the leaders come up with nice things for their children and grandchildren and the community as a whole is sinking deeper and deeper into debt. The short term solution is things like dishonestly exploiting government programs. But very few leaders in the ultra orthodox world are saying the simple truth that things must be done to improve the ability of people to honestly earn a decent living.

      Chilul hashem doesn’t start when the FBI announces the arrest. It starts when the geneivah occurs.

      As for “mi somech,” who put me in this position. I started because I felt the war against molesting needed more voices. However, at some point it became clear that the problems of corruption in the frum world extended beyond the specific issue of molesting, but struggling with the anemic response to molesting sensitized me to other aspects of the problem.

  6. What I do not understand is why parents did not beat up these rabbis if they had the proof and their child suffered. . If it was my child I WOULD HAVE GONE INTO HIS OFFICE AND BEATEN THEM UP. I would go to Israel now and punch them out. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

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