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Why Choose COD?

Talented high school seniors are constantly bombarded with the question: Where are you going to college?

The usual expectation—a prestigious Ivy League or Big Ten school—is tempting, but as they dig into the details, many students find the best answer lies much closer to home.

“No other college I saw offers the opportunities and hands-on experience to its students in their first semesters,” said Presidential Scholar Joseph Stahl. “I knew that I had a greater chance to succeed at College of DuPage.”

Likewise, Jamie-Leigh Danemayer of Naperville North said she was offered scholarships at some ‘fancy’ schools, “but each came with a collection of strings attached. COD gave me a straightforward, generous offer, and I felt like all the work I had done to get high marks in high school had finally paid off.”

Wheaton-Warrenville South grad Teal Russeau recalls that “the external pressures and expectations of my peers and community initially influenced my confused, high school self. Not only did I feel unprepared for the emotional aspect of ‘going away,’ I was unsure of my career path.”

She points to College of DuPage as the perfect solution to those dilemmas, allowing her “to grow and figure things out until I felt mature enough to be on my own.”

For Nemanja Kuzmanovic (Downers Grove South), Jamieson Walker (Lyons Township), Eugene Boguslavsky (Glenbard South) and others on this year’s Presidential Scholars list, COD’s Engineering Pathways program was a key factor, providing them with a direct route to admission in the Engineering school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“The opportunity to get a degree from one of the top 10 engineering schools in the nation for an affordable price was something I couldn’t pass up,” said Kuzmanovic. “What made COD an even clearer choice for me was my selection as a Presidential Scholar.”

Willowbrook’s Muaz Mansour ticked off an impressive list of COD benefits:

  • “I don’t want to pay off loans when I’m 30.”
  • “I can go home and come back in between classes.”
  • “The high quality Culinary Arts program I’m taking.”
  • “The beautiful campus, state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable teachers.”
  • “Hanging with old friends and making new friends from all over the country and the world.”

Taking all of those advantages into consideration, Mansour concluded:
“So why did I choose COD? Because COD chose me.”

College of DuPage is Top Choice for High Achievers

College of DuPage continues to attract talented, high-achieving high school seniors. This year’s 108 Presidential Scholars represent an 11 percent increase over the previous year, and in the words of President Dr. Robert L. Breuder, “these numbers are a testament to the higher education treasure that is College of DuPage.”

Earl Dowling, Cod’s Vice President of Student Affairs, said, “The high quality of our instructors, small class sizes, innovative programs and state-of-the-art facilities have created an educational environment that appeals to exceptional students. Collectively, everything offered by College of DuPage leads to an agenda for success.”

COD’s Presidential Scholars pool carried an average GPA of 3.98 on a 4.0 scale and an average ACT composite score of 28. In fact, 40 Presidential Scholars reported ACT scores of 30 or better. All Presidential Scholars are enrolled in the College of DuPage Honors Program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

Presidential Scholars must pursue a degree or certificate at College of DuPage and enroll in a minimum of 15 hours per semester, maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA, and complete a minimum of 15 Honors credit hours, including an Honors seminar and/or Humanities 2210, Leadership Development. Presidential Scholars must also complete a designated Service Learning course or 20 hours of approved volunteer work during their first year at COD.

For more information about the Presidential Scholars award or attending College of DuPage, contact the Admissions and Outreach office at (630) 942-2626 or

View photos of all Presidential Scholars


Contact Information

Direct all comments and questions to the editor at

College of DuPage
425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn IL 60137

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2017 College of DuPage