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American Dream Fellowship Competition

Deadline for entry extended to Monday, January 24, at 11:59 p.m.!

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

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

View 2021 American Dream Fellowship first-place winner Jorden Young-Gentry’s video submission.


All Fall 2022 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: Due Jan. 21, 2022 Jan. 24, 2022

Make a video (no more than three minutes long) by 11:59 p.m. on January 24, 2022, on the topic: “How will Elmhurst University help you achieve your American Dream?” Then submit it using the button below.

Note: All Round One participants will automatically be invited for Round Two.

Submit Your Video

Round Two: Feb. 21, 2022

On President’s Day, February 21, 2022, students will be invited to the second round of the competition held on campus. Please note that a Zoom option will be available for those who feel more comfortable in a virtual setting. If you have any questions about this, please contact Megan Wajda, associate director of admission, at

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2022 | NOON–4:00 P.M.

The 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 Elmhurst 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 stipend to cover four years’ room and board.
  • ALL STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE BOTH ROUNDS OF THE COMPETITION will receive a $1,000 annual American Dream Fellowship 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.

Jenny Bogda, M.S.Ed.

Assistant Director of Admission for Internal Digital Content
Office of Admission

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