Living Off-Campus

Living on-campus is the single, best predictor of success in a student’s early college years!  

National statistics indicate that students who live on-campus are more involved in school activities, more likely to take advantage of campus academic resources, build a greater number of significant relationships with faculty, students and staff, and feel an overall sense of belonging not as prevalent in students living off-campus.

For these crucial reasons, MHS strongly encourages students to attend post-secondary schools that offer on-campus housing for all students! The CES program will NOT pay any tuition, fees, room and board costs for students living off-campus during their first or second year of school.  Students attending colleges without on-campus housing are required to commute from home for the first and second year. 

Below are some important guidelines to consider before deciding whether to move off-campus:

• The maximum CES rate for off-campus “living allowance” (rent, utilities and meals) expenses is calculated using U.S. Office of Housing & Urban Development rental data and private market rent values for your specific geographic area. The final, actual living allowance rate is set once each student’s lease is reviewed;

• The living allowance is intended to help support your rent, utility, and meal costs for the academic year;

• Most academic years are 9 months (September – May), and hence, most living allowance payments are based on 9 months. Students should try to secure a 9-month lease because the CES program will not support housing costs for months in which our graduates are not full-time students (i.e. summer);

• You must submit a signed copy of your lease before CES funds will be released;

• Living allowance funds will be sent no earlier than 2-3 weeks before the start of classes;

• MHS may request copies of paid rent checks or utility bills as proof CES funds are being used properly;

• Direct Deposit of living allowance funds IS AVAILABLE – contact the CES Office for details;

• If you choose to live off-campus, you incur the risk of increased utility costs and other factors that come along with being an off-campus renter. You are responsible for paying for such increases and for other unknown cost factors that go along with off-campus life – not Milton Hershey School;

• For students at semester schools, 50% of the living allowance will be sent to the student at the start of each semester and the other 50% will be sent at the mid-point of the term. Due to the shorter length of the terms, students at quarter/trimester schools will have 100% of their living allowance sent at the start of each term;

• Students have the sole responsibility to open up a checking account, budget their living allowance resources, and to pay landlords and utility companies on time. No advances will be made to students who mismanage or lose their living allowance funds – or for any other circumstances;

• No CES living allowance payments will be made to students who are living with family members, renting from family members, or subletting a room from “a friend” or MHS staff member. In these circumstances, students are considered to be living “at home” (commuter) & will only be eligible for the standard commuter board (meal) allowance;

• To safeguard the authenticity of the lease, living allowance checks will be mailed to the street address on the signed lease only;

• The CES program does NOT pay for off-campus housing deposits, security deposits, or advance rent payments.

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