For information or to apply, contact Dr. Jason Marsh (email@example.com), Co-Director of External Fellowships and Scholarships.
The Rhodes Scholarships were established after the death of Cecil Rhodes, who dreamed of improving the world through the diffusion of leaders motivated to serve their contemporaries, trained in the contemplative life of the mind, and broadened by their acquaintance with one another and by their exposure to cultures different from their own. Mr. Rhodes hoped that his plan of bringing able students from throughout the English-speaking world and beyond to study at Oxford University would aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace. Each year, 32 U.S. citizens are among more than 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide who take up degree courses at Oxford University. The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.
Mr. Rhodes’ Will contains four criteria by which prospective Rhodes Scholars are to be selected:
- literary and scholastic attainments;
- energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports;
- 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.
Candidates wishing to apply are urged to explore the Rhodes Website and more specifically the following documents:
DO NOT ask for assistance with your application essay. You will be required to affirm that your essay is entirely your own work by signing the following: “I attest that this essay is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”
Materials Due By Initial Campus Deadline
The following items will be due by the initial campus deadline, which is 4 weeks before the national deadline:
- Personal Statement/Essay. Applicants must provide a short personal statement (essay) describing their 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 (approximately four double-spaced pages) and should be written in as simple and direct a manner as possible. It should be set in a typeface no smaller than 10 points. Selection Committees will place special emphasis on this personal essay.
- Unofficial transcript from SIS
- Current list of principal activities (similar to a resume). Applicants must provide a succinct list of principal activities and honors in college (including prizes, scholarships, offices held, athletic record, extracurricular interest, and substantial activities). This list must not exceed two pages in length, and should be set in a typeface no smaller than 10 points. Document should be uploaded to Ole Career Central.
- Signed “Permission Form & Waiver”
- University fees
- Cost of living expenses
- Annual book grant
- Thesis grant
- Research and daily travel grants
- Fares to and from the United States
- Where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.
- The candidate must be a United States citizen, aged 18 or over but not yet 24 on October 1 in the year of application.
- Applicants must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before entering Oxford the following October in the event of election to a Scholarship.
- Scholars are required to be full-time students at Oxford for the duration of their degree program.
- Proven intellectual and academic achievement of a high standard is the first quality required of applicants, but they will also be required to show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead, and the energy to use their talents to the fullest.
St. Olaf’s Process of Applying:
A campus process is in place to advise you and evaluate your candidacy based on the materials due by the Campus Deadline.
1. Before you submit materials due by the Campus Deadline, you will be asked to forward your Intent to Apply in April.
2. You will be required to submit materials due by the campus application deadline.
3. A group of faculty members (the United Kingdom Faculty Committee) will evaluate your candidacy based on your written statements due by the Campus Deadline.
4. If you are selected by the faculty committee, you will be expected to work closely with the fellowships advisor (Jason Marsh) and faculty on your application in a way that represents you and the institution well.
5. In the month of September, your final application will be evaluated by the United Kingdom Faculty committee. You will also be interviewed by the United Kingdom Faculty Committee. Before you are interviewed by the United Kingdom Faculty Committee, you are encouraged to do a mock interview with the fellowships advisor (Jason Marsh).
6. If selected by the United Kingdom Faculty Committee, you will be interviewed by President Anderson regarding your interest in the scholarship opportunity.
Materials Due By Final Campus Deadline:
- Finalize your Rhodes Scholarship online application and save it as a pdf. Send the finalized Rhodes Scholarship application to the fellowships advisor by the final campus deadline (but DO NOT submit your final application until you receive permission from the fellowships advisor to do so), which includes:
- Letters of Recommendation (no fewer than five and not more than eight) and Institutional Letter of Endorsement: Personal Information and Registration of Referees and Institutional Endorser (pages 1 – 6). Applicants register no fewer than five and not more than eight referees and one institutional endorsement. The nominating official for St. Olaf College is President David R. Anderson. As the fellowships advisor will ultimately submit the finalized letter, please input his email (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the nominating official email designation. By registering your recommenders and the fellowships advisor, you are enabling them to submit their letters of recommendation online. At least four of these must be written by persons from whom the applicant has received undergraduate or graduate instruction. Applicants must indicate which of the referees are providing academic instruction, and which are providing a non-academic (or character) reference by using the “Type of Reference” drop-down list on the form.
- Birth Certificate/Evidence of Age/Passport (pages 7). Documents should be uploaded.
- Personal Statement/Essay (page 8). Applicants must provide a short personal statement (essay) describing their 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 (approximately four double-spaced pages) and should be written in as simple and direct a manner as possible. It should be set in a typeface no smaller than 10 points. Selection Committees will place special emphasis on this personal essay.
- Evidence of Academic Record/Transcript (pages 9 and 10). If an applicant has attended more than one college or university, a transcript for each must be provided. Documents should be uploaded.
- Test Results (page 11)
- List of Principal Activities (page 12). Applicants must provide a succinct list of principal activities and honors in college (including prizes, scholarships, offices held, athletic record, extracurricular interest, and substantial activities). This list must not exceed two pages in length, and should be set in a typeface no smaller than 10 points. Document should be uploaded.
- Photograph (page 13). Applicants must provide a digital or scanned photograph. This should be a head and shoulders photograph, color or black and white, of good quality and of sufficient resolution to be printed at passport size.
- Other Documents (page 14)
- Supporting Documents checklist (page 15)
Directions for Submitting:
- There is no “unsubmit” button for the Rhodes Scholarship; do NOT press “submit” until the fellowships advisor notifies you to do so, which will occur after all on-campus processes are complete.
- You should instruct your recommenders to submit their letters to the Rhodes Application Portal AND to the fellowships advisor. You will have an opportunity to register your recommendation writers in the Rhodes Application Portal. When you register your recommenders, the portal will send an email granting your recommender access to the online portal, where they will receive instructions for submitting their letter. You will be unable to see the letter.
- After your final campus interviews, the fellowships advisor will direct you to submit your final application.
- The Fellowships Advisor, in conjunction with the UK Committee and President Anderson, will process your application and finalize your letter of endorsement. Once you receive permission, you may submit your final application on the Rhodes Application Portal.
- The applicant should apply to the district that is most geographically convenient. In most cases for current St. Olaf applicants who will be residing in Minnesota during the time at which interviews for the Rhodes Scholarship would occur (end of November), this will be District 11.
Email the fellowships advisor (email@example.com) to request access to resources for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Former Rhodes Scholar Mira Dibs advice (Posted by Bowdoin College) presented at the 2009 National Association of Fellowship Advisors’ conference
Helpful Resource for Finding study in the UK and Ireland (Posted by Yale College)
A special thank you to Bowdoin College, Reed College, and Yale for the sharing of this helpful information.