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Alumni Resources

Preparing for Spring 2021 & Maintaining CES Support Amid COVID-19

As we prepare for college classes to start in spring 2021, Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) would like to provide updates on how to position yourself to maintain CES support during the spring term amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Connect with your college
    • Ensure you are reading ALL emails and important announcements from your college for the spring term regarding potential changes, due to COVID-19 that may impact your academic calendar, classes, housing, dining halls, etc.
      If you do not understand any potential changes, please contact your college for clarification.
    • Ensure you read and understand your college’s health and safety plan for the spring term.
    • If you feel that changes your college had made may impact your CES eligibility, please contact GPS immediately to discuss your options.
  • Stay enrolled full time (CES supports one major & one minor)
    • Graduates are expected to take in-person classes as long as your college is offering this option.
    • Graduates who have documented health concerns will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, contact GPS to discuss your options.
  • Keep your grades up and stay on pace to earn your degree
    • Earned credits:
      • 15 credits per term for 4-year degrees
      • 12 credits per term for 2-year degrees or tech programs
    • GPA: 2.0 or higher (term and overall)
  • On-line degrees are not supported
    • You must maintain in-classroom status if at all possible.
  • Live on campus during the first and second years
    • Graduates are expected to remain in double-occupancy rooms as long as your college is offering this option.
    • If there is a possibility that you will need emergency housing during college breaks:
      • Contact your college’s housing office to explore emergency housing options and costs.
      • Contact GPS to discuss your options.
    • Graduates living off-campus are expected to remain in housing as close to their college as possible.
    • Graduates who have documented health concerns will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, contact GPS to discuss options.
  • Stay in touch with Higher Education Support Specialist
    • Your Higher Education Support Specialist is here to assist with academic, financial and personal advisement.
    • If you did not receive an introduction text from your Higher Education Support Specialist please email [email protected] to provide your updated phone number.
    • On-campus visits by Higher Education Support Specialists may be impacted by recent events. Information regarding spring campus visits will be communicated in the coming weeks.
  • Live the Sacred Values
    • Live the sacred values of integrity, positive spirit, and mutual respect that you learned while a student at Milton Hershey School.

As health and safety concerns evolve, GPS will be monitoring how college rules and expectations adapt to any such changes and will be open to reviewing possible adjustments to CES policies.

Remain focused on your goals!

Best wishes,

Graduate Programs for Success


Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Unemployment Compensation Office is waiving the standard one-week waiting period to receive unemployment compensation for those who are employed in Pennsylvania and whose income is impacted by Coronavirus.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation

Commonwealth of PA Residents – Filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for self employed, nonprofits, and small business owners

Commonwealth of PA Residents – Job Seekers During Pandemic

Find Unemployment Benefits

Below is a link to each state’s unemployment offices and what they are offering during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Find unemployment benefits in your state.

US Department of Labor Unemployment Due to COVID

PA Department of Health

Support Services

211 is a national emergency service organization affiliated with the United Way. They have multiple supports in place to help with food, financial needs, healthcare, and other support services.

211 Link

United Way

Compass – Benefits and Services for PA Residents

PA Department of Human Service

Free or Reduced Cost Services

Search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.

Find Free or Reduced Cost Services by Zip Code

Internet Connectivity

Xfinity Xfinity WiFi will be free for everyone. WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-Xfinity internet subscribers. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.

Xfinity WiFi Hotspots

Comcast All current Comcast customers automatically have unlimited plans with no data overage costs. The Internet will not be disconnected nor will Comcast customers accrue late fees if they call and notify Comcast they are unable to pay the bill at this time. Internet essentials are free to new customers (or $9.95/month for low-income households, which is the normal Comcast offer) Internet essentials include: • 2 free months for new customers • Comcast internet service has to be available in the subscribers’ area/home • Equipment will be sent in 7-10 business days and will require the customer to set up

Internet essentials

Low cost computers/laptops available for those who qualify.

Low Cost Computers

Protecting Your Credit/FHFA

Below are resources to use to protect your credit if you are unable to afford payments due to COVID-19 prevention measures that result in a loss of work. In all situations, contact your creditor. Do not assume they anticipate your situation is impacted by COVID-19 precautions.

FHFA Coronavirus Page

Federal Housing and Finance Agency

Credit Card Resources

Below are links to some of the most common credit card companies. If your credit card company is not listed below, you can locate their contact information on the back of your credit card.

Bank of America

Capital One


US Bank

Wells Fargo

Small Business

US Small Business Association Make sure to contact your small business lender to discuss your situation. Do not assume they anticipate your situation is impacted by COVID-19 precautions that may result in a loss of income.

US Small Business Association

Student Loans

Contact your student loan servicer to discuss your situation. Do not assume they anticipate your situation is impacted by COVID-19 precautions that may result in a loss of income.

US Federal Student Aid

Internship Resources

Locating a remote/virtual internship or volunteer experience:

Virtual internships with US Federal Government 

Volunteering – Smithsonian

Volunteering – Translators Without Borders 

Volunteering – UN 

Intern From Home

For college students seeking an internship during COVID precautions. As a reminder, job seekers and internship seekers should never be asked to pay to locate employment or accept employment. If an employer linked in any of these sites lead you to an application process that requires payment, consider that process a scam and continue your search elsewhere.


Talent Board





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