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How to Apply for the Rhodes Scholarship

How to Apply for the Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship

The prospect of collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds in a common pursuit can lead to fascinating opportunities. The Rhodes Scholarship offers a transformative experience of studying at the esteemed University of Oxford alongside exceptional young people hailing from various parts of the world. The scholarship provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal growth, learning, and networking with peers from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds.

What is the Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is a highly esteemed, competitive, and globally recognized postgraduate award that provides complete financial coverage for exceptional young individuals, irrespective of their background or nationality, to pursue their academic goals at the prestigious University of Oxford on a full-time basis. This scholarship is a testament to the unwavering commitment of Cecil Rhodes to promote international understanding, cultural exchange, and academic excellence. It is awarded annually to a select group of scholars who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, academic excellence, and a strong commitment to making a positive impact on the world. The Rhodes Scholarship covers all tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs, providing scholars with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich academic and cultural environment of Oxford.

What Does the Scholarship Cover

The Rhodes Scholarship includes the course fees for Oxford University and also provides an annual stipend. For the academic year 2022/23, the stipend is £18,180 per year (£1,515 per month) which Scholars can use to pay for living expenses, including accommodation. It’s important to note that this amount is not enough to cover the expenses of partners or dependents.

The Conditions of Tenure document provides a detailed overview of the degrees that can be combined and how many years of study are covered by the Scholarship. The duration of the Scholarship depends on the chosen course, with up to three years of fees and stipend available for Scholars pursuing a DPhil (Ph.D.) at Oxford.

If you are selected for the Scholarship, the Rhodes Trust will cover the fees needed to apply for study at the University of Oxford. The Trust will also cover the fees for a student visa and the International Health Surcharge (IHS) that allows international students to access the UK’s National Health Service. Additionally, the Rhodes Trust will provide two economy-class flights to and from the UK for the start and end of your studies in Oxford.

Upon arriving in Oxford, Scholars are provided with a settling-in allowance. For those who pursue a second course of study in Oxford, they will receive assistance to cover the cost of visa renewal and further application for IHS.

Why Apply

Every year, 94 Rhodes Scholars are chosen from various countries across the globe. These scholars are individuals, both male and female, who come from different backgrounds and possess unique interests. They are selected based on their potential to become leaders with a strong sense of public service for the future of the world.

Selection Criteria

The Rhodes constituency selection process involves committees made up of Rhodes alumni and respected non-Scholar members of the community. The criteria for selection are as follows:

  • literary and scholastic attainments
  • energy to use one’s talents to the full
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings

The Rhodes Trust is open to applications from youths of all backgrounds, regardless of their gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, color, religion, social background, caste, or disability. Rhodes Scholars are selected purely based on merit.

Eligibility Criteria for The Rhodes Scholarship

Below are the criteria needed to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship:

Citizenship & residency: To apply for the Rhodes constituency, applicants must meet both the citizenship and residency requirements of that specific constituency.

Age: The age limits for constituencies differ depending on the specific circumstances of each country. Typically, the standard age limit is between 19-25 years old by October 1st of the year following the selection.

Education: Applicants must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree by the October following the election. Academic standing must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which has very competitive entry requirements, and to give confidence that Rhodes Scholars will perform to a high academic standard in Oxford. Individual constituencies may specify a specific academic level to have been attained.

Application Process

Application to the Scholarship

Applications for Rhodes Scholarships open during the summer of the preceding year.

All candidates for the Scholarship should read the information about the Scholarships applicable globally, and then proceed to their country-specific page.

In broad terms, all constituencies will require the following materials in differing forms:

  • Evidence of academic record/transcript (complete or in progress) of an undergraduate degree and any postgraduate study
  • Curriculum vitae/resumé or list of principal activities
  • Personal statement or essay (including, crucially, a clear statement of what the applicant wishes to study at Oxford and why)
  • Evidence of age/birth certificate/passport
  • English Language proficiency (where English is not the first language)
  • Photograph (not visible to selectors until after short-listing)
  • List of referees (several are required) who can attest in confidential references to the character and intellect of the applicant, including academic, personal, extra-curricular, and leadership achievements.

Choice of course in the University of Oxford:

Subject to limited restrictions, Rhodes Scholars may read for any full-time postgraduate degree (including the BA with senior status over two years) at the University of Oxford. The basic tenure of the Scholarship is two years, subject always, and at all times, to satisfactory academic performance and personal conduct.

For the full listing of degrees offered by the University of Oxford, visit www.ox.ac.uk.

At the discretion of the Trustees, the Scholarship may be extended for a third year for those who take a recognized route to the DPhil. See the Conditions of Tenure on the Rhodes Trust website: www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk

How to Apply for the Rhodes Scholarship

Note to applicants

Successful candidates will be asked to provide original copies of academic transcripts (and other supporting documents as required). References may be checked during application review, and any applications deemed fraudulent will be rejected. Authors of fraudulent applications will be pursued to the full extent possible under the law. A Rhodes Scholarship is confirmed once a successful candidate has been offered a place in a Department or Faculty of the University of Oxford and in a college.


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