Milton Hershey and his wife used funds from their famous Hershey Chocolate Co. to open a school back in 1909. Later, the Hershey Foods Corp. began a specialized sponsorship of the United Negro College Fund to provide scholarship money to underprivileged students from three Pennsylvania high schools. Hershey Scholarships remain available to students of these schools.
As the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Co., Milton Hershey believed that successful people have a moral obligation to share the benefits of their success with others in need around them. That belief prompted Milton and his wife Catherine to fund community education. Hershey family educational contributions include the establishment of the Hershey Industrial School, now called the Milton Hershey School, and Hershey Co. scholarships, which are made available to financially challenged students through the United Negro College Fund.
Hershey-sponsored scholarships are awarded through the United Negro College Fund and can be used at all UNCF affiliate institutions. The organization provides funds to maintain the educational standards of its member colleges in addition to making scholarships available to students. Hershey scholarship recipients may also use granted funds to attend a Pennsylvania college of choice, if preferred. Funds are made available to high school seniors to help fund their freshman year of college.
Only high school seniors from Harrisburg High School, J.P. McCaskey High School, and Lebanon High School are qualified for a Hershey scholarship. The Hershey Foods Corp. recognized the financial needs of students at these three Pennsylvania high schools and has made scholarship funds available accordingly. These students are encouraged to set goals for their higher education. The grade point average required is an accredited 3.0, and candidates interested in pursuing any major are eligible.
The UNCF/Hershey Co. scholarship grants funds to 20 students per year. The company donates $100,000 annually to award $5,000 to each recipient. Applications are accepted online from eligible students. Students can use the link provided by the United Negro College Fund's website to set up a user account and submit an application. They should register by the date posted on the website for current awards. Hershey Co. funds continue to aid area high school students in honor of Milton Hershey's legacy.