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American Dream Fellowship Competition

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

We are pleased to announce the fourth 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 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. 22, 2021

Make a video (no more than three minutes long) by January 22, 2021, on the topic: “What does the American dream mean to you?” Then submit it here.

Round Two: President’s Day, Feb. 15, 2021

On President’s Day 2021, students and their families will be invited to the second round of the competition.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 9:00–11:30 A.M.

Hosted via Zoom, the 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 2 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.

*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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