Rhodes Scholarship (Great Britain)

Website: www.rhodesscholar.org

Campus Contact: Nate Eastman, Associate Professor of English, eastmna@earlham.edu

This fellowship requires an institutional endorsement. A copy of all materials must be submitted by the Campus Deadline to enable the Earlham Fellowship Liaison to write an institutional letter of endorsement.

Who May Apply

U.S. citizens who wish to study at the University of Oxford. Successful applicants tend to have at least a 3.8 GPA. Candidates are selected according to the criteria outlined in the will of Cecil B. Rhodes (In no particular order, these include: academic achievement, fondness for physical activity/excellence in sports, significant commitment to service and the welfare of others, demonstrated leadership skills). Applicants’ proposed courses of study must be available at Oxford. Through the years, Rhodes Scholars have pursued studies in all of the varied fields offered by the University of Oxford.

Application Pool Description

Approximately 1,000 applicants from the 50 U.S. states compete for the 32 scholarships for U.S. citizens. States like Massachusetts or New York may have nearly 100 applications while states like Wyoming or Alabama have significantly lower volume. The regional competition is adjusted to reduce the advantage or disadvantages of state demographics.

Eligibility Limitations

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, the recipients of a B.A. no later than October 1, and at least 18 and no older than 24 years of age by October 1. Being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship does not guarantee admission to Oxford University — if granted a Rhodes, candidates will still need to apply to your preferred academic program at Oxford.

Award Description and Duration

Rhodes Scholarships are “investments in individuals rather than in project proposals.” It is hoped that scholars will carry out a “promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead.” Rhodes Scholars are elected for two years of study at the University of Oxford, with the possibility of renewal for a third year. All educational costs, such as matriculation, tuition, laboratory and certain other fees, are paid on the Scholar’s behalf by the Rhodes Trustees. In addition, each Scholar receives a maintenance allowance adequate to meet necessary expenses for term-time and vacations. The Rhodes Trustees cover the necessary costs of travel to and from Oxford, and upon application, may approve additional grants for research purposes or study-related travel.

Application Requirements and Campus Deadline

Applicants should share their application and essay with the Earlham Liaison by September 13. The liaison submits the campus endorsement. In addition to the campus endorsement (mailed by Earlham), five to eight letters of reference are required.

Final Deadline

While it is essential to receive an institutional endorsement, it is up to the student to forward her or his application and essay directly to the appropriate State office by the final deadline of October 4.


State finalists are notified around Thanksgiving and are invited to interview in early December. Those selected by the State to represent a region proceed almost immediately to the regional interview. The cost of the state interview is the candidate’s responsibility; Rhodes pays for regional and national interviews.

Typical Essay Question

A signed short personal statement describing the applicant’s academic and other interests. This statement should describe the specific area of proposed study and the applicant’s reasons for wishing to study at Oxford and it must conclude with the following signed statement: “I certify that this essay is my own work.” This personal essay must not exceed 1,000 words in length and should be written in as simple and direct a manner as possible.