The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international fellowship. Established after the death of British colonialist, magnate, and statesman
Rhodes scholars hail from a wide range of academic institutions and from all walks of life. Above all, the selection committees seek applicants who offer the promise of effective service to the world. In other words, Rhodes Scholarships are seen as investments in individuals, rather than in, say, highbrow research proposals. But that doesn't mean getting a scholarship is easy. Each year, the 32 American Rhodes scholars are culled from an initial pool of roughly 1,500 undergraduates and recent college grads.
Here's some information to get you started:
Q: What are the criteria for becoming a Rhodes scholar? What principles are at the heart of the program?
Q: What does the second requirement mean? Do I have to be a star athlete?
A: No, satisfying that standard does not require evidence of outstanding achievement in organized sports. However, applicants should be able to demonstrate the physical vigor that will enable them to make a lasting contribution to the world. It is also fair to say that unusual athletic distinction is a plus; in previous years, as many as a quarter of successful applicants have been varsity athletes.
Q: How can I best demonstrate "concern for others"? Does tutoring or volunteering to work in a shelter count?
A: Concern for others is critical, but it can be reflected in countless ways aside from direct, hands-on charitable work. "Starting an orphanage in
Q: What are the "selection committees"? Do committee members read my application?
A: Yes. Sixteen district committees in
Q: If my home state falls under a different district than the district where I go to college, is there a strategic advantage to applying within one district instead of another?
A: The sixteen districts are drawn so that each has approximately the same number of applicants, so the choice should be made purely on convenience. Selected applicants are invited to a personal interview with their district's selection committee, and transportation costs are the applicant's responsibility. It's not going to boost your odds of acceptance, for instance, to apply as a
Q: So I don't have to be a student at an
A: No. Individuals, not schools, are selected for Rhodes Scholarships. In fact, in most years, at least one Rhodes scholar is selected from an institution that has not previously supplied a successful applicant.
Q: How old do I have to be to apply?
A: All applicants who wish to apply for consideration next year must be at least 18 but not yet 24 by
Q: How long do Rhodes scholars study at
A: Rhodes Scholarships are normally held for two years, the duration of most master's degrees and bachelor's degrees for those who already have another bachelor's degree, or for three years, the duration of many doctorates.
Q: Why would I want to get another bachelor's degree if I already have one?
A: The Oxford B.A. is a very different degree, with far greater specialization, than one would get in his or her major in an American college. It is nearly equivalent to an M.A. at a U.S. school. (An Oxford M.A. can even be awarded automatically to someone with an Oxford B.A. seven years after matriculation.)
Q: I might want to branch out. Would I have to study a subject at
A: Not necessarily. Some Oxford B.A.'s and master's courses require more preparation in the field than others, although most humanities and social science B.A. courses -- and even some of the master's degree courses -- can be attempted without an undergraduate degree in the same field. The committee is unlikely to view you any more favorably because you elect to stay in your academic field or because you opt to move from it, as long as you have a cogent explanation for your choice.
Q: I'm not sure if a Rhodes Scholarship is for me. Are there similar fellowship programs I should consider?
A: Scholarships that are typically of interest to Rhodes applicants include the Marshall Scholarship, which is tenable at any university in the
Q: How do I apply to become a Rhodes scholar?
A: Apply online at Embark. You will need five to eight letters of recommendation, the endorsement of your institution, a personal essay, a certified transcript, a list of activities, and proof of citizenship. You should probably begin the process by the spring of your junior year, since the deadline for receipt of materials is in early October and many colleges to have their own internal deadlines, which precede the Rhodes deadline, for endorsing candidates. About 1,500 students nationwide usually apply each year, and approximately 200 are invited to the interview with their respective district's selection committee. These interviews usually occur earlier in the same weekend that the announcements are made.
Available on Amazon.com:
- Where to Start if You Want to Be a Rhodes Scholar
- Executives and Policymakers Want More Technology in Classrooms
- M.B.A. Programs Are Biting Apple's iPad
- How the Government Overestimates Your Ability to Pay for College
- 4 Steps to Maximize Your College Savings
- Be on the Alert for Scholarship Scams
- Save on College Visits
- College Graduates Need to Handle Student Loans Wisely
- Enhancing U.S. Education and Competitiveness
- Big Changes to College Admissions
- StraighterLine Offers Cheap College Credits Online
- The Nonprofit Approach to Online Education
- Here Come $60,000-A-Year Colleges
- Federal Grants and Tax Breaks Help Reduce Tuition Pain
- 4 Steps to Get Free Money in Your College Savings Account
- Rebate Deals Make It Easier to Save for College
- Curtailing Dropouts at Online Universities
- Obama Touts Community Colleges Benefits
- Online Universities: 5 Tips Before You Pursue a Degree
- Online Universities: Online Degrees Gain Respect
- New Analysis Suggests Which Colleges Help Disadvantaged Students
- Government Credit Standards Low For College Parent Loans
- How Do I Get a Parent PLUS Loan?
- Education and Wealth: Strongest Predictors of a Long Life
- Troubled Times: When Mark Zuckerberg's Generosity Is Not Good Enough
- The Great Recession's Toll on Higher Education
- Online Degrees: Learn More Before You Enroll
- Are Online College Courses All That?
- Online Education in the Ivy League
- Some Top International Colleges Offer Free Tuition
- Private Colleges Adopt Car Lot Strategy
- Law School: Rising Demand and Rising Tuition
- How to Eat Healthier at the College Dining Hall
- Recent Grads Reveal Their College Regrets
- Pimp My College Dorm Room!
- Should I Drop This Class?
- Got Homework Overload?
- College Loan Repayment List Reveals Surprises
- Getting into Law School: University of Miami School of Law
- An Evening with Arne Duncan
- The Power of Being Multilingual
- A Revolutionary New Way to Learn
- Frank Assessment of Teacher Performance Not Pleasant but Useful
- How Not to be a Fat Freshman
- Smart Spending and Saving for College Students
- Save Time and Money on School Lunches
- Stretch Your Back-to-school Shopping Dollars
- Education Dollars Well Spent: Liberal Arts Education
- Smart Money Looks Elsewhere: Liberal Arts Education
- Is College Worth It?: Soaring Costs Complicate the Decision
- Reaching College or University of Your Dreams is a Four-Year Process
- Getting into College: Start Sharpening Analytical Skills Early
- Best Value Colleges Give Big Scholarships & Deep Discounts
- The Great College Scholarship Scramble
- Out of State College Tuition at In-State Rates
- The Student Loan Without the Regret
- Campus Orientation Programs Aim to Ease Transition
- Rocketing Past the College Admissions Blunders
- The Right Way to Pitch Yourself to a College
- Narrowing Your College Choices
- Turning Two Years at Community College Into Four
- Different Paths to a College Degree
- Lure of the Gap Year Between High School and College
- Twitter Goes to College
- Standardized Tests Myths: The Truth About the SAT & ACT
- 5 Tips to Getting Along With Your Roommate
- Break That Hovering Habit Early
- Back-to-School Shoppers Hunt for Deals
- Green Your Back-to-School Shopping
- Houston Charter School Sends All its Grads to Four-Year Colleges
- Colleges Joining Effort to Turn Around Skyrocketing Obesity Rates
- College Student Resource Directory
- 5 Tips to Getting Along With Your Roommate
- How Do You Rank as a Roommate?
- New Sites Empower Students to Build Their Own Scholarships
- Why Physician Assistant School May be Right for You
- Getting Back to the College Mindset
- Teaching vs. Teachers Unions
- Girl World Back-to-school Checklist
- Just a Little Food for Thought
- Business Schools Add New Entrepreneur Programs for MBA Students
- Unique MBA Programs Build Leadership Skills
- Tips to Increase Your Odds of Getting a Job at College
- Get Career Goals in Gear This Summer
- Roommate Rifts and Resolutions
- How Changes to the GMAT Will Affect You
- Back to School Countdown
- Alternative Summer Plans for College Students
- Job Market Strategies for Recent Graduates
- Surviving Summer College Classes
- Avoid Getting Stupid This Summer
- 7 Tips for LSAT Test Success
- 6 Tips for GMAT Test Success
- 9 Tips for SAT Test Success
- 6 Tips for ACT Test Success
- Student-tested Tips to Ace Your Final Exams
- Taking The Edge Off Exam Stress
- 5 Social Media Tools for College Students
- 5 Do's and Don'ts for College Students Using Social Media
- Guide to Great Educational Websites for Kids
- Study Skills - Staying Motivated to Study
- Nail That Job Interview
- 10 Cool Gadget Gifts for Grads
- A Lean Mean Stay-fit Exercise Routine
- Smooth Moves to Make Studying More Comfortable
- Inside Scoop on Working in Study Groups
Copyright © 2010 U.S. News & World Report. All rights reserved.