by Staci Inez | Published on
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WLVT) - The Milton Hershey School signed an agreement Wednesday with Moravian College to help make sure its students get the necessary support to graduate.
Tanya Baynham with the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa. said the average income for families with children attending the school is $18,000 per year. She said many students will be first in their generation to go to college. “If over 30 percent of students attending college now are first gen students, our colleges, now, have to be first gen ready,” said Baynham.
The school looks to partner with colleges who can support students coming from low-income or homeless backgrounds. “Do they have food pantries on campus? Do they offer support for kids who don’t have anywhere to go on breaks?” said Baynham.
President of Moravian College, Bryon Grigsby, said they are prepared to work closely with at-risk students to make sure they can successfully complete their degree program. “We have one person dedicated to persistence and retention,” said Grigsby. “They’re looking at data on a regular basis and early warning systems…how quickly can we access that a student is having a problem and get methods and remedies in order to help that student?”
When it’s time for college, students will apply for federal and state financial aid, and Baynham said the Hershey School will cover the difference for their tuition. “The majority of our students are able to complete college within four years or six years without actually having any loan debt,” said Baynham.
The Hershey School currently has 2100 students, but they plan to grow that number to 2300 in the near future. “It’s about truly taking kids who have had everything thrown against them and transforming their lives,” said Grigsby.
This article and video was published on the PBS 39 News Tonight website on November 14, 2019. To watch the video on the PBS site, please click here: Milton Hershey School Partners with Moravian for Student Support Program