SHERIDAN — Whitney Benefits recently announced that since the program’s inception in 1928, Whitney has reached a milestone of 5,933 interest-free student loans made to local Johnson and Sheridan County students that now exceeds $43 million.

Edward A. Whitney directed the corporation to create an interest-free student loan program that would help provide men and women with modest financial assistance from the corporation’s income to pursue academic and vocational studies. Whitney’s goal is to facilitate Sheridan and Johnson County students to receive vocational, two-year and/or four-year degrees.

Whitney Benefits, as an entity, and the trustees and staff, as individuals, are charged with the duty to fulfill the purposes articulated by Whitney in his will. Whitney Benefits is charged to advance the general state of educational and vocational opportunities to residents. Whitney’s continued intent is the encouragement of educational opportunities through interest-free student loans, which lead to a greater interest in educational and vocational job opportunities both in Sheridan and Johnson counties and elsewhere throughout the nation.

“Whitney is and should be a model locally and nationally in which to encourage and support our students as they prepare for new jobs in the 21st Century,” Whitney Benefits board President Tom Kinnison said in a press release. “Whitney is delighted to assist the students in our area to enhance these students’ educational and vocational opportunities. We are hopeful that others will continue to support our educated students by providing good wages, benefits and opportunities in our communities.

“Our strategic direction focuses on doing our part to help locally and the nation as a whole to prosper,” he continued. “We are so very fortunate to have many, many people here who believe in our educational goal and who are willing to take action on behalf of the future generations who will continue to benefit for years to come.”

Whitney Benefits was created under The Last Will and Testament of Edward A. Whitney, a Sheridan County resident, who passed away in 1917. Whitney provided that the District Court of Sheridan County would retain jurisdiction and supervision over some of the corporation’s activities.

Under the terms of Whitney’s will, the principal of his estate was to be transferred to the corporation and invested, and the net income from the investments was to be used for specified educational purposes. Whitney is a private, nonprofit educational foundation located in Sheridan.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, students are eligible to apply to borrow up to $24,000 for undergraduate or vocational students and up to $40,000 for graduate studies. Undergraduate students are limited to borrow $6,000 per academic year.

The online application can be found at