Skip to content

FAQs About CES

What if I fall below CES standards in a term?

A committee of GPS staff will review your case. We may assign you probation status and continue your CES funding with conditions for you to meet by a specific date. Or, you may be suspended from CES until you meet a set of conditions on your own. In both cases, your Higher Education Support Specialist can guide you in staying on track toward your degree goal.

What kind of on-campus rooms will CES cover?

CES supports the cost of a standard two-person, double dorm room. Single rooms aren’t fully supported, so students must pay the cost difference for such upgrades. When in doubt, Email: [email protected] before committing to a certain type of room to be sure it will be fully funded by CES.

How can I pay my on-campus housing deposit for next year?

To request CES payment of your on-campus housing deposit, at least 2 weeks before the deposit deadline, submit to GPS a copy of your college’s instructions including:

  • payment method
  • amount
  • due date

Depending on the payment method your college requires, MHS will either send the deposit directly to your college or send it to you for immediate payment to your college.

What fees, charges, and programs are NOT covered by CES?

  • CES funds do NOT cover the following expenses:

    • Computers/Computer Software
    • Conferences
    • Field Trips
    • Housing Damage Fees
    • Late Fees
    • Membership Fees (fraternities, sororities, clubs, etc.)
    • Off-Campus Apartment Deposits
    • Off-Campus Rent Advancements
    • On-line Degrees
    • Parking Fees/Fines
    • Transportation
    • Special Fees for Elective Courses (for example: diving, photography, skiing) when other no-fee electives are available. You may apply for a one-time exception (one class) by email: [email protected].

What if I get a refund from my college?

If your school pays you a “refund,” you should immediately ask yourself: Why am I getting this, and will I have to pay it back?

DO NOT spend it. First, email GPS at [email protected] right away to figure out what caused it. In most cases, a refund signals that a loan is too high (personal debt that you’ll have to repay) or a CES payment to the college was too high, so the over-payment needs to be returned to MHS to be added back to your CES funds for the future.

What if my bill isn’t completely paid after my CES funds are in my student account?

You might end up with a small unpaid amount for your term if your actual costs, grant aid, or loan amount are different than what we expected when we set up your CES award for the year. If this happens, submit a copy of your most recent detailed bill to GPS to figure out what is causing the balance and whether more CES should be paid. The bill must show all tuition, fees, room and board charges as well as aid received.

What is "Financial Aid Verification" and how can it impact my CES?

After your FAFSA is done, your college might alert you to submit extra financial items (like tax information) for double-checking. This process is typically called “Financial Aid Verification.” If you are chosen, respond immediately.

This doesn’t happen to every student, or even every year, but you should watch for alerts from your college at all times because the consequences are serious if it sneaks past you, and meeting the requirements often takes time.

A common way financial aid offices alert you about verification is by posting “Unsatisfied Requirements” or “To-Do Items” on your student portal. They might also notify you by email. Your financial aid award won’t be finalized until you finish all of the requirements, and sometimes this isn’t easy.

Verification can be confusing, so talk to your financial aid office to make sure you understand how to complete it. Also contact GPS at [email protected] so we know you’re working on getting verified and can help guide you if needed.

The CES program will not replace any lost federal, state, or college grants or scholarships resulting from an incomplete verification. And, if you don’t finish financial aid verification, you will not be eligible for CES or federal financial aid funds until you do.

How does the CES Living Allowance support my off-campus costs?

CES supports off-campus living expenses via a Living Allowance designed to provide help with housing, food and utility costs during your academic year. We use cost-of-living averages by your college’s county or ZIP code to set the allowance amounts. The funds go directly to you for managing your own rent, groceries and utilities.

Our allowance rates assume a shared setup—the cost for one person to live in a two-bedroom apartment in your region, sharing the rent with one other person. CES doesn’t restrict you from choosing a single apartment, but because we support you at a two-bedroom apartment rate, you may have a financial gap to cover yourself if you decide to live alone.

We send your Living Allowance in four equal parts (early Fall, mid-Fall, early Spring, mid-Spring) as long as you stay eligible for CES. The quickest way to get your allowance is to sign up for CES Direct Deposit at least 1 month ahead of the start of the school year. email GPS at [email protected] for this form.

Living Allowance is designed to support you when you are an enrolled college student during the academic year.  Your apartment lease should cover a similar start and end date to your academic year.

Example:  Academic year is August 26th – April 25th
     You would receive Living Allowance for 9 months (August 1st –April 30th)

Example:  Academic year is August 22nd – May 8th 
     You would receive Living Allowance for 10 months (August 1st – May 30th)

If you sign a 12-month lease, be sure to plan ahead for paying your own expense during periods when you are not enrolled (like summer break).

CES does not pay off-campus apartment security deposits or advance rent.

Before signing a lease, contact GPS at [email protected] for guidance if needed.

What happens to my CES if I need to stop out of college for a term?

Sometimes a student needs to stop out of college for a term because of a problem with health, family, or money. In some cases, this can cause financial and academic issues that make it harder to return to school later. As soon as you are thinking about stopping out, contact your Higher Education Support Specialist for guidance on how to minimize the impact on your college programs and how to qualify for CES again when you’re ready to go back.

How does MHS help to repay my student loans?

If you have CES funds remaining when you finish your post-secondary degree, MHS will help you repay up to the amount that you had to borrow as a condition for receiving CES (usually $2,500 per year of enrollment).

When you’re in your last term at college, GPS will send you a final summary of your CES funds and instructions for requesting CES help with loan repayment.

We do not make any loan repayments until you send MHS the required documents. You’ll need to submit your final academic transcript and borrowing history within 6 months of earning your degree.

To be considered for CES support to help repay your loans, you must finish your degree within 6 years of starting.

What should I do if I want to change my 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.

More Details About CES


Accessing Your CES

Follow the annual CES application steps and meet the standards to stay eligible throughout college.


What's Covered

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

©2021 Milton Hershey School, all rights reserved.