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Student Pathway 6

Associate's Degree to STEM Scholarship for Bachelor's Program


Arrupe_Ximena Rodriguez

Ximena Rodriguez (AA '22) wasn’t sure college was in the cards for her. While attending Chicago Academy High School, she says she didn’t focus much on her classes.

“I wasn’t the best student honestly and didn’t think I was going to get into college.”

Today, she’s come a long wayand is now thriving on a full attendance STEM scholarship at a Jesuit Partner Institution, Loyola Maryland University.

“The idea of engineering started to open up as a possibility for me.”


Rodriguez quickly flourished at Arrupe. Living on campus, she maintained a job as a barista while attending classes. She availed herself of Arrupe’s unique student resources, including utilizing the free laptop and calculator distributed to every student.

“The math calculator was very helpful because they are expensive.” 

She also regularly used The Market at Arrupe College, a free resource that offers fresh produce and dairy, frozen foods, and canned goods. She even became an ambassador for the market, distributing flyers and letting other students know about it and encouraging them to use it. She also attended resume workshops offered by the college.

Scholastically, she flourished, earning a 3.421 GPA, making the dean’s list three times and serving as a Math fellow – tutoring other students in math and statistics.



A natural at math, Rodriguez was always interested in the subject but wasn’t sure where she wanted to go with it. The first in her immediate family to attend college, she considered going into business but ultimately decided that wasn’t for her.

Then one of her math professors, who was also her math fellows supervisor, suggested engineering as a possible career route.

“I didn’t know the skill set required to be an engineer but I looked into it and saw what courses were required for it and the idea of engineering started to open up as a possibility for me.”

She applied to a handful of colleges and was offered a scholarship from Loyola University Chicago, among others, but ultimately dedicated to accept a full cost of attendance scholarship for mechanical engineering at a Jesuit Partner Institutions, Loyola Maryland University.

Currently a junior in her second semester, she plans to go straight into the workforce after graduation, possibly in the specialized niche of entertainment engineering. 

“I’d love to gain some knowledge and experience and, if time is right, go to graduate school down the line.”