Bloomsburg University Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Milton Hershey School

For Immediate Release

Date: Feb. 21, 2020

Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications/Media Relations

Bloomsburg University Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Milton Hershey School

HERSHEY, Pa. –Bloomsburg University (BU) and the Milton Hershey School (MHS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will provide focused and sustained support to low-income, first-generation college students from MHS so that they can persist and graduate with a degree.

As part of the memorandum, the admissions team at BU will work with MHS to develop and accommodate MHS visits, open houses or weekend recruitment events, designed to invite MHS students to explore the many opportunities BU has to offer. BU will waive the $35 application fee for any student from Milton Hershey applying to the university as a full-time, degree-seeking student. There are currently 20 MHS graduates attending BU with 11 more accepted for the Fall 2020 semester.  

“We are excited to partner with the Milton Hershey School to provide opportunities for its students to matriculate to Bloomsburg University,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna.  “This program helps BU fulfill its mission of educating the residents of the Commonwealth, and it allows us the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these hard-working first-generation students.  As a ‘first-gen’ myself, I know firsthand the value of a college degree and its extraordinary impact on the student, his or her family, and their future.” 

“Many MHS graduates are first-generation college students from low-income backgrounds. Bloomsburg University has measures in place so they can achieve their goals in the classroom and in life,” said Milton Hershey School Vice President of Graduate Programs for Success Tanya Baynham. “This partnership ensures that supports are available to help students ultimately persist through the academic, social, and financial challenges that they may face on their postsecondary journey.”

BU offers the chance for MHS alumni to participate in its Jump Start Program, an intensive two-week session focuses on college readiness and provides the opportunity to get acclimated to the Bloomsburg University Community. Getting a great start as a first-year student helps to ensure they will have the skills needed to be academically and socially engaged in the community, to understand the resources available to keep them focused on graduating in four years. Enrollment in Jump Start is free.  Students in the Jump Start Program will be transitioned into the Emerging Scholars Program at the beginning of the Fall Semester or the student’s first semester at Bloomsburg University.

The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) is a comprehensive academic support program targeting first-generation students BU students who are demonstrating risk factors that will increase the likelihood of not completing a four-year college degree. ESP aims to cultivate core strengths in areas of academic self-confidence, community engagement, life skills, and self-advocacy.

For its part, the Milton Hershey School will support the recruitment of MHS students to Bloomsburg University; provide opportunities for BU representatives to meet with MHS students; both potential applicants and those who have applied; assist with the design of programming and implementation of success programs when possible; and include BU information in published (digital and print) media related to guidebooks, catalogs, etc.

Milton Hershey School is a cost-free, private school for boys and girls located in Hershey. Milton and Catherine Hershey founded the school in 1909 with money they earned from the chocolate company. It now serves as a home away from home for more than 2,100 students each year.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,200 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and new Honors College.