Tuition Assistance - Vancouver Talmud Torah

Community is one of Vancouver Talmud Torah’s three strategic pillars. It guides a number of our policies and is at the heart of what makes VTT unique. It is also core to our mission of providing a quality Jewish education to every child who enters our doors, regardless of a family’s financial circumstances.

Several years ago, VTT engaged the foremost expert on Jewish educational tuition assistance in North America to help us craft policies and procedures that ensure maximum discretion, privacy and equality. Every year these policies and procedures are updated and revised to ensure that VTT continues to model best practices.

Applications to VTT are accepted for admission on a “need-blind” basis. In other words, applying for tuition assistance will not affect the school’s acceptance of a student. Families who are interested in applying for a tuition subsidy must complete a Tuition Assistance Application. We have engaged the services of FAST to process all tuition assistance applications. The cost to process a family application is USD $43, which can be paid by credit card.

Tuition assistance is awarded for one school year only and families must re-apply every year. Once all the components of a family’s application have been submitted online to FAST, the Tuition Assistance Committee (TAC) considers whether a family meets the criteria for assistance and determines the degree of financial support required. The members of TAC are discreet and knowledgeable and not members of the community. Their identity is known only to VTT’s Treasurer.

If you are applying for tuition assistance please note that your complete tuition assistance application must be filed by stated deadlines (2018 dates have not yet been set). The application must be completed online and can be found at Tuition assistance is only available for students entering Senior Kindergarten or higher grades. Tuition assistance is not available for early years students. All information received by the committee is treated in the strictest of confidence.

Criteria for tuition assistance is as follows:
1 Tuition assistance is available to students in Senior Kindergarten through Grade Seven. Early years subsidies are not available.
2Fully complete the enrolment forms and contract and ensure the deposit is paid in full. Ensure full completion of the Tuition Assessment application including the last two years of tax returns.
3 Tuition assessment application and all supporting documents must be  submitted by posted deadlines for a decision to be made. Late applications may not be eligible to receive financial aid.
TAC cannot consider any application that has not completed the above steps.

Open and honest communication is the key to a successful and equitable Tuition Assistance Program. Keep us informed and we will work together to build a positive financial plan for both you and the school. Should mid-year changes occur in your financial circumstances, please let us know. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into account if a written letter is submitted during the application process. VTT wants to help make a difficult period easier for our families.

Tuition Assistance FAQ

Who should apply?

Tuition Assistance is available to students in Senior Kindergarten through Grade 7. Preschool subsidies are not available.

When must I apply?

Currently enrolled students must apply as soon as they receive their notification for re-enrollment. New applicants should apply once they have received confirmation of acceptance to VTT. The Application form should be submitted with the enrollment form in a separate, sealed envelope addressed to the Tuition Assistance Committee.

Do I qualify?

Qualification is determined through a review by the Tuition Assistance Committee (TAC). The analysis looks at income, expenses, net worth, as well as special circumstances.

Can I appeal a TAC decision?

To appeal TAC’s decision, a family must provide a letter to the Tuition Assistance Committee explaining why it is appealing, as well as additional documentation that specifically addresses the TAC’s concerns. The letter should be sent to the school’s finance office.

Will my tuition assistance award ever be adjusted?

VTT reserves the right to adjust tuition assistance awards if a family’s circumstances change such as: employment status or compensation; award of scholarship or grant; or any other event that would materially impact the tuition assistance required by a family.

Does tuition assistance affect chances of admission?

No. The admission process is “needs blind,” so a family’s request for aid is not a consideration in the admission process.

Is the process confidential?

Yes. The entire tuition assistance process is strictly confidential. Only the Chief Financial Officer and members of TAC have access to the information. All documents are stored in a locked cabinet in the accounting office and do not leave the control of VTT.

How does TAC account for differing circumstances?

Prizmah, the Center for Jewish Day Schools, has spent many years researching and perfecting the tuition assistance process to create a system that takes into account all of the possible circumstances that can affect a family’s financial situation and their ability to bear the cost of tuition. Please visit for further information.

What if someone is abusing the system?

Occasionally, a family’s apparent financial prosperity belies their true condition. Do not assume that they are abusing the system. However, if you have good reason to believe that a family may be taking advantage, you may contact the Chief Financial Officer anonymously. Please clearly state why you believe that a family is being dishonest. The Chief Financial Officer and TAC will follow up discreetly and will only contact the family once they have confirmed that there is indeed an issue.

What if I have more questions?

For questions about the application process, timelines or general queries, please contact Michelle Mah at 604.737.7307 x 3408.