Q&A for Professionals
Working with Children
What are the criteria for enrollment?
Milton Hershey School® seeks to enroll students who have the greatest financial and social need. Often it is a professional working with a family who introduces them to Milton Hershey School® (MHS).
To be considered for enrollment, the child must:
- Come from a family with low income.
- Be from the ages of 4 through 15 at the time of enrollment.
- Have the ability to learn.
- Be free of serious emotional and behavioral problems that disrupt life in the classroom or the home.
- Be able to participate in the School's program.
- Be born in the United States.
How do I refer a child?
Contact the Admissions Office at (800) 322-3248 to gather information. We have comprehensive information packets. Talk with the child and his/her family to discuss the opportunities that the School offers.
What should I do if I am not sure the student I wish to refer is appropriate?
Contact the Admissions Office at (800) 322-3248 and ask to speak with a member of the Admissions Counseling Staff to discuss your referral.
Can I complete an application for a child?
Yes, you may help a parent or legal guardian complete an application. However, the legal guardian must sign the application. Please ask the family if they are willing to list you on the application. We are permitted to share information about the application with any adult listed on the application.
How do I introduce the idea of MHS to a family?
There are a number of ways you can introduce MHS to a family:
- Discuss the opportunities that the School offers with the child and other members of the family.
- Encourage the family to watch the "What are your dreams for your child?" video, which features real students and sponsors talking about the benefits and challenges of MHS. (Request for Information)
- Suggest that the family attends one of our Family Events.
- Simply provide information and emphasize that the family is under no obligation in learning more about MHS.
How can I support a family through the application process?
Involved educators or social service providers can play an instrumental role in helping families by assisting with the completion of the application and gathering required documentation. It is useful for the involved professionals to be listed on the application, so MHS may have contact if it is difficult to reach the family or if further information is needed. Also, professionals can be vital in assisting families with transportation to the campus interview.
What is the timeline for enrollment?
Enrollment depends upon the time of the year and the nature of the child's situation. (Enrollment Periods)
I believe in family preservation. How is that handled at MHS?
MHS does not take legal custody of the child. Parents maintain parental rights and are involved in their child's progress through telephone calls, weekend visits, e-mails, and Family Weekends.
Will families' subsidies (benefits, public assistance, child support, etc.) be affected by enrollment at MHS?
Professionals should work closely with the individuals who determine these subsidies. MHS social workers will provide information to the courts. Again, MHS does not take custody of the child.
Why haven't some of the children I referred been accepted?
Enrollment is selective, as the School receives many more applications than it has open spots. When making selections, preference is given to those applicants who can best benefit from the programs offered. Preference also is given to those born or residing in the tri-county region (Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lebanon counties), then the rest of Pennsylvania, followed by those from other states, per our Deed of Trust.
There is no financial obligation required of families. How can the school offer these services?
MHS accepts no state or federal funding and charges no per diem rate to referring agencies.
MHS programs are fully funded by the MHS Trust, which Milton Hershey created in 1909 to provide for the health, education, and welfare of the children at the School. Over his lifetime, Mr. Hershey transferred his personal wealth into the School Trust. Because of the Hershey Trust Company's continued investment management of Milton Hershey's original funding, the MHS Trust's assets have grown in value. The School always has been and continues to be funded through this Trust.