Rhodes Scholar Requirements
When Cecil Rhodes, a British statesman, died in 1902, he left a will that instituted the Rhodes Scholarship to his Alma Mater, the University of Oxford. There are 80 Rhodes Scholarships available each year and these are open to students from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe for post graduate study at the University of Oxford. Of the 80, students from the United States account for 30 seats offered.
The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest extant sources of financial aid and include all educational fees and costs required at Oxford as well as a maintenance allowance for term-time, living-expenses during vacations and costs of travel to and from Oxford.
In the US, decentralized Regional Selection Committees are set up and they choose 32 scholars each year from all 50 states. The Committees award scholarships to those students who will complete their undergraduate studies by their Rhodes studies are to begin in the October of the following year. All subjects and streams are accepted.
Basically, the four Rhodes Scholar requirements are:
- brilliance in academics
- a liking for sports and some amount of success in playing a sport (this shows the applicant will have enough energy to fulfill his or her potential)
- the qualities of courage, truth, unselfishness, kindness and responsibility and a keen interest in protecting and helping the weak and underprivileged
- a strong sense of right and wrong in conjunction with the ability and desire to take a leadership role in public duties
In other words, a Rhodes Scholarship is given to a person rather than a proposed course of study. The official brochure says that the Rhodes Scholar should show "the qualities of mind and qualities of person which in combination offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades to come" and adds that the scholarship is an "investment in individuals rather than a project proposal."
In order to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship you must:
- be between 18 and 24
- be a citizen of the countries mentioned above
- show proof or convince your Regional Selection Committee that you meet the standards mentioned above
- send your academic transcripts
- write a brief personal statement
- suggest names and contact details of people who would write letters of recommendation for you
- appear for a personal interview at your own cost