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Rhodes Scholarship | How to Apply

The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1902, is one of the most prestigious and sought-after international scholarship programs in the world. Named after British colonialist and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, the scholarship aims to nurture academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to making a positive impact on society.

Awarded to exceptional young minds from diverse backgrounds, the Rhodes Scholarship offers a transformative experience, equipping scholars with the knowledge and networks to become influential leaders in their chosen fields. In this article, we delve into the significance of the Rhodes Scholarship, its selection criteria, its impact on scholars, and the enduring legacy of its visionary founder.

Selection Criteria

The selection process for the Rhodes Scholarship is rigorous and highly competitive. Key criteria for selection include:

  1. Academic Excellence: Applicants must demonstrate outstanding academic achievements, typically maintaining a high GPA and displaying exceptional intellectual curiosity.
  2. Leadership Potential: The Rhodes Scholarship seeks individuals who have shown leadership abilities and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.
  3. Character and Moral Force: Rhodes Scholars are expected to possess integrity, empathy, and a deep sense of moral responsibility toward society.
  4. Extracurricular Involvement: Applicants who actively engage in extracurricular activities, such as community service, sports, or cultural pursuits, are favored for their well-rounded approach to life.
  5. Focus on a Specific Field: While Rhodes Scholars come from diverse academic backgrounds, they are required to have a clear plan for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in a field that aligns with their career aspirations and the Rhodes values.

The Transformative Experience

For the fortunate recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship, the experience goes beyond just funding their studies. It opens doors to a unique journey of personal growth and intellectual exploration:

  1. Oxford University: Rhodes Scholars gain access to one of the world’s most prestigious and academically enriching institutions, the University of Oxford, renowned for its excellence in research and teaching.
  2. Global Network: The scholarship offers an unparalleled network of fellow Rhodes Scholars, a community of like-minded individuals from diverse cultures and disciplines, providing an opportunity for lifelong friendships and collaborations.
  3. Leadership Development: Scholars benefit from various leadership development programs and workshops, designed to nurture their leadership potential and enhance their ability to make a positive impact on society.
  4. Cultural Exposure: Living in Oxford and interacting with scholars from around the world exposes Rhodes Scholars to diverse perspectives and cultures, fostering an appreciation for global interconnectedness.

The Legacy of Cecil Rhodes

While the Rhodes Scholarship has produced numerous prominent leaders, it has not been without its controversies. The scholarship’s association with Cecil Rhodes, a figure associated with colonialism and racism, has sparked debates about its appropriateness and relevance in today’s world. In response, efforts have been made to diversify the selection process and make the scholarship more inclusive and reflective of the global community.

Rhodes Scholarship Eligibility

Indian Students must carefully check the following eligibility criteria to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. The Rhodes scholarship is only provided for students coming to study in the United Kingdom for the first time.

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India and must have an Indian passport or equivalent proof of citizenship.
  • The candidate must have their formal education completed from an Institution/University in India for a minimum of 4 years.
  • Candidates must be of the age of 26 years or below at the time of the application submission.
  • Candidates must have completed/ will complete their undergraduate degrees with first class.

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in UK

Application Procedure

Eligible candidates can follow the steps mentioned below to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship.

  • Candidates must visit the official link and register to create an account.
  • After registration, fill out the application form provided.
  • Submit the required documents along with the application form.

Check Out: Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship

Documents Required

To apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, here is the document checklist you must attach along with the application form:

  • A valid Indian Passport.
  • Official Transcripts of 10th and 12th standard board exams.
  • Proof of English proficiency by providing IELTS or TOEFL scores
  • An updated Curriculum vitae (CV) that should be less than 2 pages and should consist of: Academic Qualifications, Prizes, Scholarships, employment positions, voluntary/ community/political activities, and any cultural, musical, or sporting accomplishments. (Note: Do not insert your photograph in your CV)
  • A colour photograph in jpg format.
  • A Personal Statement of a maximum of 1000 words. It should state why you deserve the scholarship and should also include details about you and your inspirations, passions, contributions, and commitments to society.
  • Letter of recommendation with six referees along with their relevant details. (Note: At least 3 of your referees must have formally taught you and can remark on your academic abilities.

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in the USA

Selection Criteria

Apart from the above-mentioned academic requirements and eligibility, candidates must also possess certain excellence which will increase the likeliness of being selected for the scholarship. Here are the selection criteria of the Rhodes Scholarship:

  • The selection is made mainly on the academic excellence of the candidate.
  • Candidates who use their talents in any field like dance, sports, singing debate, theatre, writing, art, or any other discipline which involves demonstration of unity and teamwork will be given preference.
  • Candidates who possess valued soft skills like honesty, sympathy, protection for the deprived and weaker people, benevolence, selflessness, etc. will increase their chances of selection.
  • Candidates who are passionate about improving the concerning conditions of the world by leading people with exemplary acts.

Also Read: Common Wealth Scholarships 

Selection Procedure

Rhodes Scholarship

The final selection of the candidates is made by the Selection Committee which analyses the application form and documents. No selection is made with regard to the financial status/background of the candidate. Take a look at the selection process to know how you can become a Rhodes Scholar:

  • The candidates are initially longlisted and the main selection is made through the interview round. The personal interview and preliminary session are conducted in New Delhi or through a video call/telephone if the candidate isn’t currently in India. Both the sessions are important and candidates will be shortlisted based on these rounds.
  • The shortlisted candidates are then invited to a social engagement (Tea or dinner session with the selection committee hosted by the Chairman) and the final interview round.
  • After making their final decision, the selection committee will send out an email to the chosen candidates.
  • The confirmation of the Rhodes scholarship is made only upon a successful admission at the University of Oxford.

What Does the Scholarship Cover?

In the first instance, the Rhodes Scholarship is offered for two years. The scholarship covers University fees and provides an annual stipend. This stipend is given to students to manage their accommodation. The scholarship duration is extended as per the course duration.

Rhodes Trust also covers your application fees to study at the University of Oxford, the cost of a Tier 4 Study Visa and the associated International Health Surcharge (IHS).  It also covers two economy-class flights from and to the UK.

On arrival, students receive a settling-in allowance. For scholars who transition to another course at the University, the Trust takes care of the visa renewal and further application for IHS.

Countries Covered

Each country receives a specific number of scholarships. There are 100 Rhodes Scholarships that are divided among these countries. Here is the list:

Country/Territory Number of Scholarships
Australia 9
Bermuda 1
Canada 11
China 4
East Africa 1
Germany 2
Hong Kong Sar 1
India 5
Israel 2
Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean 2
Kenya 2
Malaysia 1
New Zealand 3
Pakistan 1
Saudi Arabia Up to 2
Singapore 1
Southern Africa 10
Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine 2
United Arab Emirates 32
West Africa 1
Zambia 2
Zimbabwe 2

Famous Rhodes Scholars

Here are some of the most famous Rhodes Scholars:

  • Edwin Hubble- Famous Astronomer
  • Dean Rusk- U.S. Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969
  • James William Fullbright of the Fulbright Program
  • William Warren Bradley- Olympic gold medalist for basketball
  • Bill Clinton- Former US President
  • Girish Karnad- Playwright, Film actor, Director and Screenwriter
  • Sagarika Ghosh Sardesi- Indian Journalist


The Rhodes Scholarship remains a symbol of academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to serving humanity. By supporting exceptional individuals in their pursuit of knowledge and empowering them to become influential leaders, the Rhodes Scholarship continues to leave an indelible mark on the world.
As the scholarship evolves to embrace diversity, inclusivity, and a broader perspective on global issues, it continues to inspire generations of bright minds to contribute their talents to create a more equitable and compassionate world.


Who are eligible for Rhodes Scholarship?

Candidates must fulfil the following conditions in order to be eligible for Rhodes Scholarship:
– Candidates must have completed their undergraduate degree with first class.
– Candidates must be equal to or less than 26 yrs of age.
– Candidates must have completed their formal education from a university or institution in India for at least 4 yrs.

Can an Indian get Rhodes Scholarship?

Yes, Indians can get Rhodes Scholarship in fact, since 1947 over 200 Indians have been awarded Rhodes Scholarship.

What CGPA is required for Rhodes Scholarship?

On a scale of 10, candidates must have secured at least 8.0 CGPA.

Hope this blog helped you with the necessary details about the Rhodes Scholarship. Are you also looking for opportunities to study abroad? If the answer is yes, the experts at Leverage Edu can make your journey easier as they will be guiding you throughout the process. To take help from the experts simply register on our website or call us at 1800-572-000.

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