Elmhurst College

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Elmhurst CollegeElmhurst College was initially established by the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest as a theological seminary and parochial teacher’s college. All classes were taught in German until 1917. Two years later, the name changed to Elmhurst Academy with an expanded liberal arts curriculum. By 1930, Elmhurst College was born and women were admitted. Elmhurst is now a four-year, private Christian institution affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Its 48-acre suburban, LEED-certified campus is located in Elmhurst, Illinois, just 17 miles from downtown Chicago. Split into 26 academic departments, Elmhurst College enrolls around 3,350 full-time and part-time students.

According to the U.S. News, Elmhurst is the 10th best regional college, ninth top value, and 10th best school for military veterans in the Midwest. Forbes honored Elmhurst College as America’s 317th best private college with the 342nd most grateful graduates. Without fail, Elmhurst is included within the Princeton Review’s list of “Best Midwestern” colleges. Washington Monthly crowned Elmhurst College the Midwest’s 49th best bang for the buck with a student loan default rate of 2 percent. Elmhurst was also the 247th top master’s-level institution nationally for “contribution to the public good.” The Center for Online Education ranked Elmhurst seventh for online bachelor’s programs.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Elmhurst College Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2009, Elmhurst College is institutionally approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S Department of Education. Elmhurst holds accreditation from the Department of Education of the State of Illinois. Other discipline-specific approvals include:

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
• Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

Elmhurst College Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of 67 percent, Elmhurst College has a selective admissions process that only two-thirds pass. For first-year freshmen, having completed a high school diploma from a licensed secondary school or GED equivalency is required. Elmhurst mandates a college-prep curriculum of 16 academic units, including three units of English and two units of math. On average, admitted students have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3. Freshmen achieve a mean SAT score of 1513 on the old 2400 scale or 110 on the new 1600 scale. Those taking the ACT should score at least 22.

Around 300 undergraduate students transfer to Elmhurst College from other regionally accredited colleges each year. Having at least 12 hours of transferrable credit with a “C” or better is mandatory to forgo the above freshmen criteria. Incoming transfers must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. International students from non-English speaking nations must score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 77 on the MELAB. Graduate programs require applicants verify earning an accredited, four-year bachelor’s degree. Completing the master’s prerequisites with an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 is preferred. GRE scores are only necessary for the M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Elmhurst College begins accepting new applicants every October 1st on a rolling basis, so interested students should submit the following:

• Completed online or paper application form
• High school and college transcripts or GED test results
• Standardized testing scores (SAT, ACT, or GRE)
• One to three letters of recommendation
• Current resume documenting work/volunteer history
• Well-written, 1,000-word statement of purpose

Tuition and Financial Aid

Traditional undergraduates enrolling full-time at Elmhurst will pay $17,625 per semester or $35,250 yearly. Part-time undergraduates are billed $997 per credit. Room and board is estimated to cost $6,002 and $3,926 respectively each year. Students should budget for the $225 orientation fee, $125 technology fee, and $75 residential network fee. Accelerated undergrad programs cost Elmhurst students $595 per credit hour. For graduate students, tuition varies greatly based on program. For instance, the Nursing Master’s Entry charges a flat-rate cost of $29,500 each year, whereas the MBA program bills $845 per credit.

Approximately 93 percent of beginning, full-time students earn tuition assistance. According to the NCES, the average financial aid package is $22,346. Multiple institutional awards are granted, such as the Presidential Scholarship, Trustee Scholarship, Founders Scholarship, Transfer Achievement Scholarship, and United Church of Christ Scholarship. Elmhurst College Grants are awarded for $1,000 to $19,800 each year. Financially needy students could obtain the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. Aspiring educators may qualify for the TEACH Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) or Illinois National Guard Grant. Campus employment is available for Federal Work-Study (FWS) and graduate assistantships. Students can also borrow Federal Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans.

Student Experience

Despite its small stature, Elmhurst College blends liberal learning into over 50 accredited bachelor’s programs. Unique undergraduate majors include Actuarial Science, Art Business, Computer Game and Entertainment Technology, Geographic Information Systems, Intercultural Studies, Jazz Studies, Logistics, and Musical Theatre. There are 15 pre-professional tracks for fields like medicine, library science, and ministry. The School of Professional Studies also offers 15 master’s programs, including three online. Young adults with developmental disabilities benefit from Elmhurst’s Learning and Success Academy (ELSA). Since 1965, there’s been an Honors Program for professional-level research. The student-faculty ratio of 13:1 keeps professors accessible for interactive seminars.

Around 35 percent of Elmhurst students reside in on-campus housing, including the upper-class Elm Park apartments. The campus is ideally located 16 miles west of the Chicago Loop with easy access to the Metra commuter train. Surrounded by an arboretum with over 700 tree species, the campus’ buildings have “smart,” Wi-Fi enhanced classrooms. Students can get engaged in research with the Swords Scholar or Summer Fellows programs. Elmhurst College is dedicated to interlacing curricula with service learning. Students could volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Autism Speaks, Easter Seal Child Development Center, and more.

Most majors at Elmhurst College offer “Study Away” options in 44 different countries across six continents. Campus life in Elmhurst is also thriving with 100+ student-run organizations. Based on their interests, students could pledge Pi Mu Epsilon, debate with Model United Nations, or sing with the Concert Choir. Worship programs are available through the College Chaplaincy for faiths from Baptist to Muslim and Jewish. Each year, students enjoy the free Summer Extravaganza concert. Elmhurst has one of the country’s oldest jazz festivals too. Student-athletes at Elmhurst College compete for 20 varsity NCAA Division III teams, including lacrosse, tennis, golf, and bowling.