ECC students receive scholarships to Elmhurst College

  • Neil Patel and Vanessa Solorio Garcia

    Neil Patel and Vanessa Solorio Garcia Courtesy of Mark Carriveau/Elgin Community College

Updated 5/22/2020 12:27 AM

Two recent graduates of Elgin Community College have been awarded over $40,000 in scholarships to attend Elmhurst University in Elmhurst.

• Neil Patel, a spring 2020 graduate, received the Transfer Excellence Scholarship from Elmhurst on the recommendation from the ECC Honors Program. Each semester, one student from the honors program is awarded this full-tuition scholarship. To be an honors program graduate, a student must have at least 15 credit hours in Honors, a 3.5 GPA, demonstrated leadership and service on campus, and completed an Honors Capstone Portfolio. Patel's scholarship amounts to $17,000 annually as he finishes his degree in finance. His eventual goal is an MBA and starting his own firm.


"One of the benefits of starting at ECC, in addition to the education delivered by elite faculty, small class sizes, and affordable education, is that students have pathways to transfer to top destinations with transfer scholarship options for many," said Sean Jensen, director of transfer services.

• Vanessa Solorio Garcia, who graduated in December 2019, was awarded the 2020 Dr. David Sam Honorary Scholarship. This $3,000 annual scholarship is awarded to one ECC student pursuing a bachelor's degree at Elmhurst. The scholarship was created in recognition of Sam's commitment to collaborating with Elmhurst, his passion for education, and his dedication to students. Solorio Garcia earned an additional $21,000 in scholarships, including the fall Transfer Excellence Award from the honors program. These scholarships will allow Solorio Garcia to finish her degree in pursuit of her dream to become a teacher.

"For many students, their top university is too expensive for four years or not a realistic option after high school," said Jensen. "ECC offers the pathway to their preferred destination, with guidance from academic advisers and the Student Success Center to provide a more affordable alternative to help them reach their goals."

Last summer, ECC and Elmhurst enhanced their transfer partnership, making it even easier for students to begin their college education at ECC before transferring to Elmhurst. ECC grads receive guaranteed admission into Elmhurst to complete their bachelor's degree; access to academic advisers at both colleges; an invitation to apply to the Honors Program at Elmhurst; the ability to take upper-level courses at Elmhurst College not offered at ECC; and access to many events and activities at Elmhurst. This fall, about 15 ECC graduates are expected to start at Elmhurst.

To learn more about university transfer options with ECC, visit

To learn more about transfer programs at Elmhurst, visit


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