Applying for the Rhodes, Mitchell or Marshall Scholarships: A Serious, but Rewarding Experience

Aarti Chellakere, Assistant Director of PGP

“Applying for these scholarships is like taking up golf.  If you don’t plan on putting in the time to do them right, don’t bother doing them at all.” - Charlie Nolan, Former Vice President and Dean of Admission


In today’s post, I will discuss three prestigious scholarships that you can apply to after the fall of your junior year:

* The Rhodes Scholarship: Named after Cecil John Rhodes, this scholarship supports two years (with a possibility of extension to a third year) of full-time study toward a graduate degree(s) at the University of Oxford, England.  Widely considered the world's most prestigious scholarship, only 32 students in the U.S. receive this award each year. For more information and internal timeline click herePast Rhodes Scholars: Former President Bill Clinton, famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, and Olin College’s Mark Somerville!

* The Marshall Scholarship: Also among the most selective postgraduate scholarships available to Americans, this scholarship was created by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.  Marshall Scholarships provide students with two fully funded years of study, with a possible third-year extension, at any university in the U.K., and are applicable to any field of study.  Up to 40 Marshall scholars are selected each year.  For more information and internal timeline click herePast Marshall Scholars: LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, multiple Pulitzer Prize winning author and NYT  Journalist Thomas Friedman, and Olin College’s Sanjay Mahajan!

* The Mitchell Scholarship: The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is awarded annually by the US-Ireland Alliance to 12 Americans aged 18-30 to fund one year of graduate study in Ireland.  Although the first class of scholars just began their studies in 2000, the Mitchell Scholarship is just as selective as the older and more established Rhodes and Marshall.  For more information and internal timeline click here

These scholarships are meant to bring together some of the world's best and brightest young minds. The intention is to provide future leaders in various disciplines, and the opportunity to meet with peers from different cultures in the hope that these relationships will lead to greater international understanding. The Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall Scholarship criteria allow for a vast array of applicants, and recipients are able to pursue different degrees (a second bachelor's degree, or a number of master's or doctorate programs) in a wide variety of fields.  An ideal candidate for these prestigious scholarships is someone with very strong academic records who is also committed to making a difference in the world, in whatever way he/she chooses.  Winning these scholarships is incredibly valuable in many ways – it’s a life changing opportunity that can open many doors for you in the future.  

Given how prestigious these scholarships are and how rigorous the selection process is, applying for these scholarships is a serious undertaking and requires a deep commitment to the process - not just from you but from your faculty and staff as well.  Post Graduate Planning is well equipped to help with the process, but be sure you’re willing to set aside the time necessary to do it well.   As previous applicants have said, the workload involved in applying to these scholarships is roughly equal to adding an additional subject to your course load.  While this is not meant to scare you away, it is meant to serve as a ‘reality check’ -  if you wish to apply to any or all of these scholarships, you need to start thinking about this no later than in the fall of your junior year.

Additionally, since each of these applications requires an “institutional endorsement”, faculty and staff availability needs to taken into account.  PGP has assisted students with the application process previously so if you’re interested in learning more or in developing a plan for your application or in assessing your eligibility for applying to these scholarships, please get in touch with us TODAY – the online application opens around July, and applications are due in October.  We encourage all eligible students to apply - we’d love to add your names to this impressive list of recipients! 

To talk all this through and explore which scholarships might be right for you, get in touch with me today and we can work together to help you succeed.

Posted in: Scholarships and Fellowships, From Our Staff