Given the prestige of the Rhodes Scholarship and the staggering competition, many applicants struggle with the fact that they are limited to two fairly short writings in their applications. Candidates provide a list, not longer than two pages and in a font size no smaller than 10 points, of activities and honors in college, and a word essay setting forth personal aspirations and detailing a specific plan of study for their proposed academic work at Oxford.
Needless to say, these documents are scrutinized with great care by selection committees. The list of activities and honors should be selective and grouped logically into categories, as in a resume or curriculum vitae, and some very brief description could be used amidst this list to give context as necessary.
Most important, though—in that the writer has the opportunity to interpret and persuade—is the writing of the personal statement. Excellent Rhodes personal statements are infused with concrete examples, a self-reflective tone, a showcasing of priorities and service, and an overall picture of yourself as a person of accomplishment and character. Some applicants make the mistake of seeing the essay as an academic mini-thesis or a narrative resume, while others treat it as an exercise in purple prose.
Some even seem to make a demand for the scholarship or grovel at the feet of the selectors. The two sample Rhodes statements provided in the pdf below are interesting to contrast with each other, in that the first student aims to study health, disease, and culture and the second to study British literature. Also, one writer links herself directly to Oxford only in the final paragraph, while the other links herself throughout. One of the most striking features of the first sample is its introduction, in which the writer places herself soaked in sweat and deep in thought on a mound of rock in northern Kenya, contemplating the fate of a Homo erectus woman who died 1.
We also find details evidencing physical rigor and athletic competition. Amidst various literary references, we find examples of the student presenting a paper on Chaucer at a conference as a junior, and finally describing herself as one like Sir Gawain—an adventurer seeking a deeper understanding of self. So uploading a picture of myself and my transcript took way longer than it should have JPEGs are too big, as are higher resolution PDFs.
I recommend beginning this process prior to the night the application is due, because it might take a few tries. I had heard that they send out invitations during the first week of November, and so had been stressing about it since the end of October. In the email I was invited to the District 12 interviews, which would be held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with a reception dinner on the preceding evening. What this actually meant was an hour-long reception with finger food and drinks, followed by dinner.
Some districts have state level interviews, followed by district interviews. I do not know if this was because they had fewer candidates, or maybe this is just the way the committee wanted to do it. The evening before the reception, Thursday, I got an email from the District Secretary with the names of each of the committee members, as well as the other finalists. Note on the interview committee: there were seven committee members in total, six former Rhodes Scholars and the chairman who organized the entire weekend.
The former scholars ranged in age from about twenty-six to mid-fifties. The chairman was the president of the community college where the interviews were held. I was the last to get to the reception on Friday night, and so conversation groups had mostly already been established. After he talked for a while longer the chairman turned to me, and asked me the same question.
After I had answered, he went on to ask the same question of a new set of candidates, and I started talking to some of the other finalists and interviewers. The chairman was by far the most direct member of the committee, because he asked in a single sentence what the entire interview process was meant to find out. After about 20 minutes the Chairman rang his glass and we switched tables for the next course, so I ended up sitting with almost all of the interviewers during part of the dinner.
At the end of the dinner, the chairman put the twelve interview slots in a basket and had us pick them out. They were spaced every half hour from 8 until , with a break for lunch. Note on accommodations: Obviously this will differ from year to year, but since the interviews were in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to stay at my former roommates house rather than a hotel, and my brother drove over to spend the night too. In retrospect I am really glad that I was not in a hotel room by myself the night before my interview, because I would have been stressing myself out and probably unable to sleep.
Staying with a friend and having my brother there gave me a chance to relax and forget about the whole situation for the evening and next morning, because I drew the last interview slot. If you are a person who would stress under these circumstances and have the opportunity to stay with a close friend or family member around whom you can relax, do it. The chairman came out and brought the candidates back into his office, where we sat at the head of the table with the seven interviewers.
Because of this format, the interview felt very much like a discussion to me, so I would advise you not to be afraid to say what you believe is the truth, even if a committee member espouses contrary opinions. At three different times I contradicted or corrected the interviewers. The first was a technical error on their part, referring to Kant as a continental philosopher, the second was on whether Obama is accepted as black by American blacks I had mentioned this in my personal statement , and the third was about the nature of literature.
These are the ones I recall are:.
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Also, the Rhodes Scholarship will cover the admission application fee of Oxford University after the selection. Select Country. Get Counselling. Scholarships Rhodes Scholarship. Every year, the university awards Rhodes Scholarships to students coming to study in the UK for the first time.
Separate scholarship application form has to be completed on the official website of Rhodes Trust. Selections are based on academic performance, personal statement, and performance in the interview. Rhodes Scholarship application will begin from June 1, and close on August 2, Eligibility Criteria. Apart from that, applicants must fulfill the eligibility requirements listed below: Nationality: Citizen of a Rhodes eligible country such as India, Australia, Germany, Singapore, etc.
Education: Completed education from your home country for at least 4 years in the last 10 years. Age: Between the age group of 19 to 25 years, at the time of the scholarship application. Academic Achievement: Completed or will complete the UG degree with first class. Application Process. The application process for the same is mentioned below: Register and Create an account on the website of Rhodes Trust. Complete the Rhodes Scholarship Application form Submit personal details along with the list of required documents.
Submit the application package before the deadline. Student Supporting Documentation for Rhodes Scholarship Rhodes Scholarship applications should be submitted along with documents listed below: Personal statement of words focusing on why an applicant deserves the scholarship.
Academic Transcripts from previous Institution English translations, if required Letters of Recommendation list of referees along with relevant details Valid Indian Passport Updated Resume not more than 2 pages A valid photograph of the candidate in jpg format. Selection Process. These will take place in different parts: Part I The panel invites shortlisted candidates for two sessions which are conducted in a single day in Delhi. Part II Shortlisted candidates will be invited to social engagement and a final interview will be conducted by the committee.
However, their Rhodes Scholarship will be confirmed only upon successful admission to the University of Oxford Note: The candidate may be interviewed by video conference or telephone if not presented in India. Grant Details. Similar Scholarship. Apply Now Get Alert. Follow Share.
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