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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Jewish Religious Colleges Get Tens of Millions in Federal Aid

Each year, tens of millions of dollars in federal Pell grants go to yeshivas, many of which focus primarily on Talmud study, a Forward review of U.S. Department of Education data reveals.

The Jewish colleges take their place among many other religion-oriented schools that receive Pell grant funds. But they punch far above their weight, according to the department’s statistics. 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 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.

Pell grants, the government’s largest tuition aid program for low-income students, totaled $35 billion in 2011, making the sum going to religious schools a virtual drop in the bucket. About 9.5 million students received a Pell grant that year, with $5,550 being the maximum available for students to apply to their tuitions, depending on need....


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