Program Details

Eligibility Requirements

  • A dependent child (Applicant) is eligible if a parent or legal guardian has been a full-or part-time benefits eligible employee of Hormel Foods for a minimum of one (1) year as of August 1, for admission to the fall term of the next calendar year.
  • Employee must stay employed for the duration of the grant. If the employee leaves Hormel Foods, the grant will end as of the end of the current semester.
  • If both parents are employed by Hormel Foods, only one Tuition Grant per child may be applied.
  • Applicant must qualify as a tax-eligible dependent, per IRS guidelines.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
  • Applicant must graduate high school and begin college the following semester. For example, upon graduation in the spring, the Applicant must enroll in college the following fall.
  • If a student is home schooled, the home schooled student must meet the qualifications for the community college, including a high school degree or GED.
  • Applicant must enroll as a full-time student, as defined by the institution in which they will enroll.
  • Applicant must be in good disciplinary standing at the time of application.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that they applied to all federal, state, and local financial assistance resources, including Promise programs they are eligible for, and must submit their FAFSA Student Aid Report with the application.
  • The chosen school must be a community college at which the student is eligible for in-state tuition. Only public, not-for-profit colleges that are accredited and listed on the official website for the U.S. Department of Education will qualify.

Special COVID exception for recent graduates currently enrolled in community college

  • Students who graduated from high school in the spring of 2020 or 2021, are currently enrolled full-time in a community college and meet all other eligibility requirements, may apply for grants to cover the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 portion of their eligible degree program.
  • Additionally, the committee will consider other dependent children, as defined by eligibility under Hormel Foods benefits program and the IRS dependent rules, who may be in community college currently. This is a special one-time COVID exemption, and interested students must meet all of the eligibility requirements for the program, including attending an accredited, in-state community college, and must go through the full application process.
  • We know there may be some rare cases where a current team member is a recent high school graduate and attending community college. While these team members are eligible for tuition reimbursement, if they are a recent high school graduate, and in the first year of community college, they too are eligible to apply for the program. We will help you determine the best program for you to apply.

For students of Austin High School and Pacelli High School:

  • Employees who have a student attending Austin High School or Pacelli High School in Austin, Minnesota, must apply first to the Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship at
  • If the student does not qualify for the Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship, they are eligible to apply for the Inspired Pathways program. We will work closely with the Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship program to coordinate the two programs.

Current team members attending high school:

  • If you are a current Hormel Foods employee attending high school, you are eligible for an Inspired Pathways grant. You may also be eligible for the company’s tuition reimbursement program which includes community colleges, four-year colleges and graduate school education. You may only use one program, and the company’s human resources team members will help you determine which one is best for your situation.

Program Benefits and Terms 

  • For each qualified Applicant, Hormel Foods will provide ‘Last Dollar’ Tuition Grants for up to four academic semesters of undergraduate education. 
  • Students will have 2 years (4 academic semesters) after graduating high school to use all 4 semesters of Tuition Grants.
  • Tuition bills will be paid directly to the qualifying institution by Hormel Foods upon successful completion and review of application materials. Hormel Foods will not be responsible for late payment fees or finance charges. 
  • Tuition Grant renewal will require successful progress towards graduation. Students must maintain a full time course load and maintain good academic standing at the academic institution they are attending.
  • In the event of the death or disability of an eligible employee, eligible dependent children at the time of death or disability will remain eligible for Tuition Grants if they are high school seniors, or are already eligible to apply for a grant, or are already grant recipients.
  • In the event of the retirement of an eligible employee, eligible dependent children at the time of the retirement will remain eligible for Tuition Grants providing the employee has met the terms and conditions of Hormel Foods retirement. At that time, the applicant must be a high school senior, or already be eligible to apply for a grant, or already be a grant recipient.
  • For each Applicant, regardless of whether they qualify for tuition assistance, Hormel Foods will provide a one-time  $200 Stipend for books, lab fees, equipment or other necessary educational items, paid to the Applicant’s parent for use by the Applicant while enrolled. 
  • Excepting the Stipend defined above, Tuition Grant and tuition payments from all sources shall not exceed 100% of the tuition of the institution attended.
  • If any issue arises about how this program should be interpreted or applied, such interpretation or application will be made by Hormel Foods in its sole discretion and will be binding upon all interested persons. Hormel Foods reserves the right to make such exceptions to this program as are determined to be in the best interests of Hormel Foods, and to change or terminate this program, at any time and from time to time. Any such exception change or termination (a) will be effective on the date specified by Hormel Foods, and (b) could, at the discretion of Hormel Foods, apply to any Tuition Grant that will be provided on or after such effective date.
  • Tuition Grants may constitute taxable income to the recipient’s family. Due to the complexity of IRS and state regulations, please consult with your tax advisor regarding questions specific to your situation. Free resources are available through human resources.

Download Inspired Pathways Materials

Overviews of the Hormel Inspired Pathways college scholarship program are available for download in multiple languages.