Columbia College Chicago Announces the 2023 Chicagoland Transfer Awards
Columbia College Chicago recently announced the recipients of its Chicagoland Transfer Award. The award provides ten $15,000 scholarships and one full-tuition scholarship to students transferring from Chicago-area community colleges to Columbia College Chicago.
This is the sixth year Columbia offered the merit-based scholarship program, which require students to submit an essay and to have earned a 3.0 grade point average or greater. This year, more than 100 students applied for the award.
The 2023 full-tuition scholarship was awarded to Vadym Valihun, who is transferring to Columbia College Chicago from College of DuPage to pursue a BA in Film and Television. Valihun, who currently lives in Wheaton, Ill., initially attended College of DuPage through the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, which focused on workforce development certificates. When the CCI program concluded, Valihun was unable to return to his home country of Ukraine due to the ongoing war with Russia. Fortunately, Valihun was allowed to extend his student visa and he turned his educational focus to film and television.
“Coming from overseas, the chance to develop myself under the guidance of experts to become a better filmmaker and better person is a tremendous gift,” says Valihun. “I firmly believe that at Columbia College Chicago, where impossible dreams come true, a new era of boundless possibility awaits me.”
The following students each received renewable scholarships for $15,000 (hometowns are listed parenthetically):
- Brandon Barrera (Hanover Park, Ill.), College of DuPage, Fashion Studies, BA
- Eren Calderon (Oak Lawn, Ill.), Moraine Valley Community College, Arts Management, BA
- Edward Corral (Bellwood, Ill.), Triton College, Film and Television, BA
- Greta Dondit (Chicago, Ill.), College of Lake County, Communication, BA
- Stefanie Jara (Chicago, Ill.), Wilbur Wright College, Interior Architecture, BFA
- Tamara Natour (Alsip, Ill.) Moraine Valley Community College, Public Relations, BA
- Angel Negron (Chicago), Harold Washington College, Interior Architecture, BFA
- Riley Nguyen (McHenry, Ill.), McHenry County College, Graphic Design, BA
- Asher Rodriguez-Fernandez (Chicago), Harold Washington College, Film and Television, BA
- Sid Tinsley (Chicago), Oakton College, Audio Arts, BA
“Attending a community college can change lives – I know that it changed mine,” says Holly Herrera, associate provost for transfer initiatives and academic partnerships. “The CTA essay provides space for applicants to tell their story so that we can further understand their paths to Columbia and support their future goals.”
For the 2023-24 academic year, Columbia College Chicago is currently on track to award ninety-seven percent of transfer students an average of $13,000 in institutional scholarships. Transfer students also have access to additional aid, including Federal Pell Grants and State of Illinois MAP Grants.