Applying for the Scholarship

image of Students having tea in the garden of the Vault Cafe with All Souls College in the background

Students having tea in the garden of the Vault Cafe with All Souls College in the background © Rob Judges Photography / University of Oxford Images

The Rhodes Scholarship application is available each year in early July.

The annual application deadline is 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Standard Time on the first Wednesday of October.

District receptions and interviews are held annually on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Thanksgiving holiday.  Districts will notify candidates regarding interview status at differing intervals, but in all cases no later than two weeks prior to the interviews.  Election announcements are made at the conclusion of the Saturday interviews.

For those contemplating application, rules and requirements will generally remain similar from year to year.  However there are two important changes beginning in 2014 - in the personal statement requirement, and with regard to the eligibility for the scholarship of lawful permanent residents who meet the requirements.  Also, some states may move to different districts from time to time in order to keep the number of candidates applying in each district as close as possible.  Applicants should always consult the last page of the Memorandum of Regulations for specific details concerning district composition.

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Please review carefully the materials for applicants posted on this site for complete application information.  While not exhaustive, the following is a quick guide to eligibility:

At the time of application, an applicant must be:

  • a citizen of the United States.
  • a lawful permanent resident of the United States for prior to and including at least 5 years of the application deadline.
  • at least 18 but not yet 24 years of age (i.e., the applicant must still be 23 on October 1 in the year of application).
  • sufficiently advanced academically to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before October 1 in the year following election.

The applicant must be eligible to apply through one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia:  either in the state where he or she was legally resident on April 15 in the year of application, or where he or she will have received at least two years of college training and a bachelor’s degree before October 1 in the year following election.  (U.S. citizens who are residents of U.S. territories are only eligible to apply if they will have at least two years of college training and a bachelor’s degree from a college or university in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.)

The applicant must produce:

  1. the endorsement of his or her college or university.
  2. five, but not more than eight, letters of recommendation.  At least four of these must be persons from whom you have received undergraduate or graduate instruction, and at least one letter must speak to your character.
  3. a personal statement not exceeding 1000 words which the applicant must attest as wholly truthful and his or her own work.  Please click on link below for specific statement and certification requirements.
  4. a list of principal activities.
  5. proof of citizenship.
  6. a certified transcript (or transcripts).
  7. a passport-size photograph, which will have to be produced if invited to interview.

The applicant must be prepared to appear for a reception and personal interview, and remain for possible reinterviews and the election announcement, in the city serving the respective district region, on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Thanksgiving holiday.  Telephone and electronic interviews are not permitted.  A link above on this page titled 'District Regions' will display where interviews will be held, and the states within each district.  Please be aware that there may be changes in interview locations and the states grouped within districts from year to year.

Requirements for Personal Statement

Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States

Beginning with the selections that will take place in November 2014, certain United States lawful permanent residents will be eligible to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship.  No longer will citizenship by the time of application be the only test of United States eligibility.

To be eligible if not yet a United States citizen, an applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident of the United States no later than five years prior to the deadline for application for a Rhodes Scholarship, and must also have maintained United States permanent resident status continuously for the entirety of the five-year period prior to and including the date of the deadline in the current year for the application for the Scholarship.  In 2014 the application deadline will be Wednesday, October 1, and a non-U.S. citizen applicant must be able to provide evidence of lawful permanent resident status during the five-year period October 1, 2009 through and including October 1, 2014.  An applicant applying as a United States permanent resident shall not have applied for the Scholarship as a citizen or permanent resident of another country, may not apply in two jurisdictions at once, and may not apply in a different national jurisdiction after having applied in the United States.  A sample of the declaration that applicants will be required to submit, and a special FAQ concerning the documentation to be submitted with the declaration can be obtained via the below link.

Lawful Permanent Resident Declaration and Proof of Eligibility FAQ

Rhodes Scholars Announced