Posts Tagged ‘Rhodes Scholarship’


Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

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The Rhodes Scholarship

There are few scholarships that can surpass a Rhodes Scholarship in prestige. One of the world’s oldest scholarships, the Rhodes has world-wide recognition. Recipients have gone on to become presidents, prime ministers, senators, Supreme Court justices, poets, university presidents, astronomers Nobel Prize recipients, and more. Famous American Rhodes Scholars include former US President Bill Clinton, former head of CIA James Woolsey, astronomer Edwin Hubble and Olympic gold medalist Bill Bradley.

Rhodes scholars have virtually any job open to them.

Each year, 32 Rhodes scholars are selected from the United States from a pool of approximately 1,000 applicants. Rhodes Scholarships are distributed according to a system of geographical districts. Annually, there are 80 Rhodes scholars worldwide.

Those selected have the opportunity to study at Oxford University for one to three years, with all tuition fees paid and a living allowance provided. Students pursue a course of study of their own choosing at Oxford and may work toward a master’s degree, a doctorate degree or a second bachelor’s degree.

The Rhodes Scholarships were established after the death of Cecil Rhodes, founder of the De Beers diamond company, and the selection criteria has remained unchanged since Rhodes’s will laid them out in 1902.

Recipients are selected based on

1. Literary and scholastic attainments.
The selection committees want to see candidates with very strong academic records. There is no official minimum GPA for the Rhodes, but a GPA of lower than 3.7 is not competitive. Applicants should be broadly educated and should have chosen challenging courses outside their major as well as within it. Students must also have excelled in their chosen field.

2. Energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports.
Intramurals or independent activity is acceptable. A significant extracurricular record is necessary to be competitive.

3. Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship.

You must show the committee you arevery committed to making a difference in the world, however you choose to do this. Really think about want to do make the world a better place, how your unique skills can help you accomplish this, and how Oxford will help you realize your goals.

4. Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.

The selection committees understand the prestige of the award, and one thing they’re really tuned into is whether students are after that prestige, or after the full experience. So really understand who you are and why you want this opportunity.

Not written into the selection criteria is that a true Rhodes candidate also needs to posses competence around people and the right mix of self-confidence and humility. The candidate also needs superb relationships with faculty and/or mentors.

If you decide to apply for a Rhodes scholarship, the best time to act is in the spring of your junior year of college. The online application is available in July and due in October.

This is not something you can wait until the last minute to act on. The application is very time consuming. Five to eight letters are requested, but you should submit eight letters. And these must be detailed, insightful, and strong. You also need an extraordinary personal statement and you need to be nominated by your university.

To apply, students must be ages 18 to 24, and must have a completed bachelor’s degree prior to entering Oxford.

For more information go to

If you are a citizen of certain countries including, but not limited to, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and Zimbabwe, you may apply through your own country. But do your research. Not all of these countries are willing to accept applicants who live permanently or attend school outside of their country. Most applications are due earlier than for the US competition.

International College Counselors


International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. Mandee Heller Adler, college admissions consultant and Founder of International College Counselors tailors her college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each student. Our college advising company works with domestic and international students. Let us help you make the best decisions in choosing, getting into, and paying for college

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