A Rhodes Scholarship is a prestigious educational program often craved by many high-achieving and ambitious students around the world. However, the students often don’t know what the title of a Rhodes scholar often holds. The only thing they know is that it’s a prestigious distinction for postgraduates aiming for Oxford University. However, many remain cut out for the rest of the detail. We wrote an article that covers everything you should know about the prestigious scholarship.
Like we said before, the prestigious title is often attractive and caters to the postgraduate students enrolling at Oxford. However, it isn’t limited only to the applicants from this prestigious British university. There are other countries eligible for the Rhodes scholarship, and below, you can learn everything you need to know about the scholarship.
What is a Rhodes Scholar?
A Rhodes scholar, as well as the scholarship associated with this distinction, originates from the British mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes who inspired its creation. It is often classified as the most prestigious and sophisticated international community designed for students from around the globe who want to get their second bachelor’s title or graduate status at Oxford University.
Historically, the fellowship was created in 1902, with the first Oxford applicants starting in 1903. Up until now, there have been over 7,500 Rhodes scholarships that were assigned to the Oxford students from around the globe.
How to get selected?
However, while the achievement seems extremely prestigious and sophisticated, the process of getting accepted is tasking and challenging. There are special tests and prequalifications for students that aren’t from the UK. For example, the United States-based students have to adhere to the four tenets that are set by Rhodes’ will and then go through challenging selection test which grades them based on their academic achievements. Finally, the students get interviewed so that the final judgment determines whether they’re fit to become the Rhodes scholars.
Aside from that characteristics and personality have a high value, as well as academic and athletic achievements. The students also need to be in a proper mental state and service the others. There are thousands of applicants every year, but roughly 30 to 32 scholars from the American universities get accepted every year. The tough and strict selection process is what makes the Rhodes scholarship one of the most competitive in the world. The acceptance rate has a notorious score of 0.7%, which is even lower compared to prestigious US-based universities like Harvard that has a 5.6% acceptance rate for undergraduate students.
What does the scholarship require?
There are many lucrative benefits of enrolling as a Rhodes scholar. For example, the university and college fee will be covered by the Rhodes Trust, a council that handles and hands out the scholarship to the admitting students. Additionally, students receive a monthly stipend that covers all the living expenses.
However, the scholarship, being as prestigious and profitable comes with its own terms. The students are required to attend the school full-time. In addition to being at classes all the time, they can take the master’s research or another undergraduate degree to compensate for extracurricular activities. The exception exists if the scholar is currently in doctorate studies. It’s important for students to specify their current or intended degree before they apply for the scholarship because the amount depends on the degree program.
Rhodes scholars are also granted access to Rhodes House that is located on the grounds of Oxford University, although they have to maintain their living management in the residential colleges.
Myths, rumors, and controversy
While the degree is honorable and glorious, there is some controversy that concerns Rhodes, as well as the scholarship offered at the university. Rhodes was often labeled as a white supremacist which led to some myths and rumors getting spread about the selection process. There’s a notable disdain over the selection process as Rhodes who was a South African politician didn’t let black Africans participate in the program.
The scholarship has only been made accessible to the black African students in 1991 after the African National Congress became more powerful around the world. The controversy existed also among the women, who were restricted from receiving the scholarship until 1976.
These things have made the Rhodes scholarship unattractive and unfair. However, many things have changed. The motto of the scholarship was to allow the brilliant minds to gain the knowledge necessary to take big steps and make the world a better place to live in. However, the issues with cultural understanding existed throughout history, as mentioned above.
It’s also worth noting that becoming a Rhodes Scholar only becomes distinctive and important once that the student has completed the education program and graduated. Only after the student has graduated and became a relevant professional in their workforce, the achievement comes to existence and guides them throughout their career in the future.
Is becoming a Rhodes scholar worth it?
It’s no secret that becoming a Rhodes scholar is a true honor, and allows you to finally stand out doing something you truly love. It offers life-changing opportunities and allows you to meet like-minded people who will share your interests and visions for making the world a better place, as well as energy to change it. There are many alumni who were Rhodes scholars to shared their stories of success, as well as lists that show how Scholars stand in the world.
That said, if you have been having exceptional grades, think life is more than just paying bills and working nine-to-five and you have a true vision of advancing in the future, Rhodes scholarship is for you. However, bear in mind that the educational program comes with various challenges, which oftentimes may appear like a bit too big to swallow. That’s why the Rhodes Scholarship is also about being true to your instincts, abilities, and knowledge.
We hope that this article was helpful in describing what Rhodes scholarship is and what makes it different compared to other educational programs. Have you ever wanted to become a Rhodes scholar? What has the experience been like for you so far?