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Accessing Your CES

Annual CES Application Process

Step 1: Follow the Financial Aid Process

CES fills the cost gap not covered by your college-awarded financial aid. However, you must complete your college’s financial aid process every year by the deadline in order to access CES funds. This includes:

  • FAFSA: Submit as early as Oct. 1
  • State Grant Application (deadline varies by state): First-time applicants: Find the link on the confirmation page at end of your FAFSA or apply directly through the state grant website. Renewal applicants:  When you complete your FAFSA, your state grant agency will automatically be notified.
  • College-specific aid forms (deadline varies by college): If required by your institution, complete and submit these documents to your college.
  • Verification: After your FAFSA is processed, your college may require you to submit additional income documentation (i.e. tax return transcript, W-2, non-filer form) before financial aid can be awarded. It is crucial to submit all required documents promptly. Learn more about this process.
  • Accept your financial aid: Be sure to accept your financial aid, usually through your college portal. Accept all grants and scholarships. Accept only $2,500 of the Direct Loan (Loan1)-  usually a Direct Subsidized Loan — unless advised otherwise by GPS. Decline the full amount of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Loan2). Learn more about this requirement.

Step 2: Submit Forms to GPS

CES funds are released every term based on the documentation you submit to GPS. To receive your CES on time, it’s critical to follow requirements and submit items on time. Learn more about these requirements and deadlines.

The Financial Aid Process

A three part video series to help you understand the financial aid process.

Video 1: Understanding Financial Aid

Video 2: Completing the FAFSA

Video 3: Verification and Final Steps

Staying Eligible for CES

Staying CES-eligible takes term-by-term dedication. With hard work, meeting deadlines, and the support of the GPS team, you can stay on track.

As long as you stay eligible, you may receive CES funding until you:

  • Earn an undergraduate degree, OR 
  • Use up all your CES funds toward getting that degree, OR
  • Reach the 6-year limit for use of your CES funds—whichever comes first.

Position Yourself to Maintain CES Support:

  • Complete all application steps on time
  • Stay enrolled full time (CES supports one major and one minor)
  • Live on campus, or commute from home, during the first and second years
  • Communicate monthly with your Higher Education Support Specialist through text, phone calls and or/email and attend college visits
  • On-line degrees not supported (you must maintain in-classroom degree status)
  • Complete the degree within 6 years after starting the use your CES funds

Keep Your Grades Up and Stay on Pace for 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)

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.

New GPS Plan

When you graduated from MHS, your GPS Plan was approved based on your academic performance and the amount of CES funds you accrued. Now as a graduate, any potential changes to your approved GPS Plan need to be communicated to your Higher Education Support Specialist for review by the GPS Plan Review Committee. 

Changing your major and/or transferring to another college is considered a new GPS Plan.

Important factors to keep in mind before having a discussion with your Higher Education Support Specialist to request a new GPS Plan:

  • Your request for a new GPS Plan must be approved by the GPS Plan Review Committee before any CES funds can be released. Please do not commit to any costs, including enrollment fees and/or on-campus or off-campus leases until you are formally notified of the outcome of your request.
    — Requests must be submitted to your Higher Education Support Specialist by:
        – Fall start – July 15
        – Spring start – Nov. 15 
  • Mid-year transfers for first-year students are prohibited. Please contact your Higher Education Support Specialist for possible options.
  • Mid-year transfers for upper-class students are strongly discouraged due to the challenges of meeting required deadlines.
  • The GPS Plan Review Committee considers the number of terms paid for, the amount of CES funds already invested, and whether the majority (at least 75%) of your credits would transfer with you when reviewing your request for a new GPS Plan.

Lost Aid Alert

The CES program will NOT replace any federal, state, or college grants or scholarships lost due to missed deadlines, incomplete verification, low academics, non-attendance, or other situations that are the responsibility of the student and his or her family. If a grant or scholarship is lost for any of these reasons, students will be responsible for the payments with their own earnings, savings, or student/private loans.

Falling Below CES Standards

If you fall below CES standards, a committee of GPS Plan Review Committee will review your case to determine your future eligibility for CES.

Loss of Access to CES

MHS alumni may be terminated from the CES program for any of the following:

  • Submitting fraudulent information
  • Improperly accepting CES funds you are not eligible to receive
  • Failing to direct your school to submit refunds due to overpayments or other circumstances directly to Milton Hershey School
  • In any way not meeting the CES requirements stipulated in the Deed of Trust of good behavior, character, and proficiency

Additionally, MHS may pursue legal action against the student to recoup any CES funds owed to the School.

More Details About CES


What's Covered

Learn how your CES is calculated and what costs are included.


Student Loans

To receive CES support, you must take out an annual student loan as an investment in your own education.

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