The Rhodes Scholarship was named after Cecil Rhodes, whose long-range goal of promoting peace and understanding throughout the world continues today. Mr. Rhodes believed that bringing a diverse group of students from all over the world to study and train together at Oxford University would increase understanding and tolerance. Each year, thirty-two United States citizens make up the more than ninety worldwide scholars that enter Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. Rhodes Scholarships typically cover two years of study, but applicants can apply for renewal of a third year. The following steps will help you understand how to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship.
- Qualifications - The Rhodes Scholarship program typically seeks students who are academic standouts among their peers. This isn't the only criteria, however. The scholarship committee strives to find those individuals who show promise in future service to the world. While of course academics are important, the committee also looks for applicants who show an exemplary strength of character and a willingness to make a difference in the world around them. Qualifying students should be able to demonstrate at least some of the following characteristics: proof of their outstanding academic achievements, evidence of their dedication to service projects involving the needs of others, and any awards, certificates, or other acknowledgment that exhibits their talent in a sporting event and/or their leadership abilities.
- Selections - Because only thirty-two U.S. applicants will be awarded a Rhodes scholarship, states are grouped into sixteen districts, and each district chooses no more than two candidates for a scholarship award.
- Applicants - Applicants must be United States citizens. They must also apply as a representative of one of the fifty United States. Representatives can either apply through a state in which they will have received two year of college training and a bachelor's degree before the required deadline or in the state in which they have legal residence. Applicants may only apply to one district for a Rhodes Scholarship. A Rhodes Scholarship applicant must be at least eighteen but not more than twenty-three years of age.
- Applying - Rhodes Scholarship applicants can download an application from the Rhodes Scholar Website. The application must then be sent to the Secretary of the appropriate District Committee of Selection before the deadline. The Rhodes Scholar Website lists the Districts.
- Process - Once the appropriate District Committee of Selection for the Rhodes Scholarship has received the applications, a preliminary elimination will be made of the applicants. The applicants who have not been eliminated from the scholarship process will then be expected to participate in a personal interview. The applicant is responsible for all expenses incurred regarding transportation to this interview.
- Submission Requirements - Applicants must submit the following material in sets of ten with one copy of each marked "original" by the appropriate deadline: completed application; signed personal statement; list of activities and honors; and transcripts. Applicants should also send one copy of a birth certificate, passport, or other proof of age and citizenship and ten copies of an un-mounted head and shoulder photograph of the applicant with the applicant's signature on the back of each photo. All of these materials must be submitted by the deadline.