Support For First-Generation Students

Reach for Success at Elmhurst University

A special video message for first-generation students from President VanAken.

As a first-generation student at Elmhurst, you’ll connect to a community that supports and empowers you academically, financially and socially.

You’ve got this. And we’re here to help. Elmhurst University has been recognized by Strive for College for excellence in student opportunity and success—including in affordability, completion, and diversity and inclusion.

You’re in good company. About 30 percent of our undergraduate students are the first in their family to finish a four-year degree. And many of our faculty and staff were first-generation college students themselves.

We’ll work with you and your family to help you along your journey. We know that college success is a big deal for parents too. Our admission counselors will assist you in navigating the application process. Once you’re officially a Bluejay, we’ll welcome you with EC Connection, a pre-orientation session designed to help you get to know us (and make new friends, too). You will also have the opportunity to be a part of Bluejay First, which is a program specifically for incoming first-generation students.

You’ll find a place to belong. Campus life includes 100+ clubs and organizations, a tight-knit residential community, an office dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and comprehensive health and wellness services.

We’re committed to your success. You’ll discover resources and services designed to help you finance your education, maximize your academic achievement and launch a fulfilling, well-paying career.

As a first-generation student, you’re invited to join our new Bluejay First program, where you’ll join a group of other first-gen students and access unique networking and mentorship opportunities.

You’ll also find a comprehensive support system through The Learning Center and Academic Advising.

We know that figuring out how to pay for school can be difficult. We’re here to help you understand your options and make smart choices. Check out our Net Price Calculator, learn about types of aid and read our FAQ.

We also offer grants and scholarships especially for first-generation students.

Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers a number of programs that celebrate and support students of all backgrounds. You’ll find direct one-on-one support, workshops and training, student groups (like Bluejay First, Black Student Union, and H.A.B.L.A.M.O.S.) and cultural programs like our National Coming Out Day celebration or our annual religious and intercultural lecture series.

Our admission team is here to help answer all of your questions as you explore Elmhurst University. Your admission counselor is your first point of contact to help you through the enrollment process. Your counselor will review your application materials, make an admission decision, and discuss financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Whether you are a first-year student or transferring in coursework from another college, your journey begins here.

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