The Rhodes scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships that is available to academics. This award was created to honor Cecil John Rhodes, who journeyed from Africa to England to complete his studies. Today, the award enables lucky recipients to study at the University of Oxford, which is located in England. Every year, only 32 Americans are chosen to become Rhodes scholarship recipients.
The application process for the Rhodes scholarship is very straightforward. Each year, starting in July, the application cycle will open. All completed applications must be received prior to October 1st of the application year. Students who are chosen to advance from the initial pool of applicants will be asked to attend district receptions and interviews, which are held in November.
In order to be eligible to apply for the award, students must be a citizen of the United States. Furthermore, they must have lived in the United States for the past five years and have no criminal record. Students from all 50 states are welcome to apply. Only students between the ages of 18 to 24 years old are eligible to be considered for this award. Lastly, students must be close to completing their bachelor’s degree (intended completion by the following October).
The application process involves may requirements. First, students must obtain a letter of recommendations of recommendation (a minimum of five letters are required, but students can submit up to eight letters). Of the recommendation letters, at least four must be from professors and at least one must discuss the applicant’s character). Students must also obtain an endorsement from their university. Students must also write a personal state of 1000 words or less. Additional application items required are: a photograph, official transcripts, a list of activities, and proof of U.S. citizenship.
All applicants for the Rhodes scholarships are evaluated and chosen based on four main criteria. The first looks at the student’s energy to maximize and utilize their talents. The second examines their leadership and moral values. The third examines previous scholarly and literary achievements. Lastly, values such as truth, courage, protection for the weak, unselfishness, and others are considered.
Students who are selected as winners may study any advanced degree that The University of Oxford offers. This includes research degrees, a second undergraduate degree, or a master’s degree. The awards are typically made for 1-3 years, depending on the length of the student’s chosen program. All tuition and student fees are paid for by the scholarship. In addition, the scholars receive a monthly stipend to cover the cost of their living expenses and housing. Students become members of one of the residential colleges at the university.
The Rhodes scholarship is a pioneer, as it was the first large-scale award geared towards international students. It is known worldwide as one of the top awards. The Fulbright Scholarship Program and the Marshall Fellowships (as well as many others) have been inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship.