American Dream Scholarship Competition

Thank you to all that submitted their Round 1 video submission. We look forward to reviewing your videos and seeing you in person on April 6! 

Elmhurst University is committed to helping individuals achieve the American Dream.

We are pleased to announce the seventh annual American Dream Scholarship Competition, a scholarship competition that supports the enrollment of first-generation college students.

View 2023 American Dream Scholarship Competition first-place winner Ella Boyden’s video submission



All first-year admitted students (freshmen) who are first-generation college students* are invited to participate in the competition, which will consist of two rounds:

Round One Extension Due March 18, 2024 at 11:59 P.M.

Make a video (no more than three minutes long) by March 15, 2024, on the topic: “The American dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success. What is your version of success?”

Note: All Round One participants are automatically invited to the Round Two competition. We look forward to viewing student videos from all who applied for Round One – and seeing you on campus for Round Two.

Round Two (In-Person)

Saturday, April 6, 2024 | 8:30–11:00 a.m.

On April 6, students and their families will be invited to the second round of competition, held on the Elmhurst University campus.

The on-campus Round Two competition will consist of a group project for students, an opportunity to hear from a first-generation featured speaker, and a chance to meet other participants. Round Two concludes with an awards ceremony hosted by University President Troy D. VanAken, a first-generation college student himself.

  • FIRST PLACE: The winner receives a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.
  • SECOND PLACE: The winner receives a four-year, $10,000 annual stipend.
  • ALL STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE BOTH ROUNDS OF THE COMPETITION will receive a four-year, $1,000 annual American Dream Grant, which can be added to previously awarded merit scholarships and/or grant aid.

* “First-generation college students” means neither parent nor guardian has earned a bachelor’s degree. Students who plan to apply for the Niebuhr Service to Society Competition are not eligible to also apply for the American Dream Fellowship.

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