Rhodes Scholarship (rising seniors & graduates)

Campus deadlines: 

  • Global Rhodes, campus deadline for applicants not eligible for any other Rhodes constituency to declare interest in Wellesley's nomination: ​11:30 pm on June 24, 2021 
  • Canadian or US Rhodes competitions, campus deadline for Canadian and US applicants to apply for Wellesley's nomination: ​11:30 pm on August 25, 2021
  • Optional priority draft deadline: if you’d like feedback on your proposed course of study at Oxford, list of activities and awards, etc., submit your drafts through this Google form by (at the latest) July 27, 2021, in order to be guaranteed feedback before the appropriate deadline and to take priority in the booking of an appointment during August, in the run-up to the campus application deadlines for Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Fulbright, Knight-Hennessy, Schwarzman, and Watson.
  • Other Rhodes competitions (than the Canadian, US, and Global) do not require prior institutional nomination (see our deadlines listings/official Rhodes website for direct application deadlines; note that eligibility for each constituency is oulined in the information for how to apply for the Rhodes for each country/region, and Kate Dailinger can help prospective Wellesley Rhodes applicants with questions)
  • Any prospective Wellesley applicant for any Rhodes competition is warmly encouraged to seek advice from Kate Dailinger in Career Education (book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake).

The Rhodes Trust "brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act."  Each year more than 100 Rhodes Scholars from around the world take up fully-funded degree courses at the University of Oxford. See below, and read more about the Rhodes via the official website.

*Did you know that Barbara Grewe '78 was Wellesley's first Rhodes Scholar, or that Heather Long '04 and Elizabeth Masiello '03 are more recent Wellesley Rhodes Scholars? Might you be the next?

 

Eligibility

Who is eligible? See the official Rhodes website for full eligibility details for the relevant competition, but broadly speaking:

  • Wellesley College seniors who will obtain their bachelor’s degree before the start of their studies at Oxford, and also Wellesley College graduates.
  • US, Canadian, and Global Rhodes candidates cannot normally have reached the age of 24 before October 1 of the year of application, but (Davis Scholars should note that) for candidates who receive their bachelor's degree within the calendar year prior to October 1 of the year of application the age limit is 27 (that is, in summer/autumn 2021: eligible candidates must receive their first bachelor's degree after October 1, 2020, and may not have turned 27 by October 1, 2021);
  • For the US Rhodes: US citizens, permanent residents, and DACA recipients are all eligible; for the Canadian Rhodes: Canadian citizens; for the Global Rhodes: those not eligible to apply through another Rhodes constituency (find full details of eligibility in the information for candidates for each country/regional competition).
    • Note that Rhodes Scholarships are now available to citizens of any country. Only Canadian, Global, and US applicants are required to seek first to seek institutional endorsement; others apply directly for the Rhodes.  
    • Whether or not you must first apply for Wellesley’s endorsement for the Rhodes, Kate Dailinger would be delighted to talk with any prospective Wellesley applicant for the Rhodes.
  • Students and graduates with an exceptional academic record (note that the Rhodes Trust normally requires a minimum GPA of 3.7);
  • Students and graduates with a strong record of leadership (as demonstrated by actions, not titles); and
  • Students and graduates with a strong record of and devotion to service, "who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act”.

 

How do I apply?

All Wellesley College applicants for the Canadian, Global, or US Rhodes must first apply for Wellesley's nomination for the Rhodes. Each year, a faculty committee assembles to evaluate applications, interview and select nominees for that year.  See the application checklist below for application components.

Interested Wellesley applicants are warmly encouraged to make an appointment with Kate Dailinger, via Handshake--the earlier in the spring or summer before application, the better. Make an investment in yourself: planning ahead reduces stress, makes it easier to request letters of reference, and gives you time to put together the strongest application you can. Even if you don't win a scholarship, the work you do on an application will give you a clearer sense of your future path and invaluable practice putting forward a persuasive case for what you're hoping to do in the world.

 

Application checklist

To declare your interest in Wellesley's nomination for the Global Rhodes, please email to fellowships@wellesley.edu by 11:30 pm on June 24, 2021:

  1. one (academic) letter of reference will be required and if possible one character reference (according to Rhodes distinctions between "academic" and "character" references), along with
  2. unofficial transcripts,
  3. a list of activities and awards (essentially a cv or resume, of no more than 2 pages),
  4. a draft academic statement of proposed study at Oxford, and
  5. a draft personal statement. (Please note that candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship may not solicit or receive any feedback or other guidance on their Personal Statements. The Rhodes Trust offers advice on these essays via their website: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/. Kate Dailinger can, however, offer advice concerning the choice of degree program at Oxford, list of activities and awards, whom to ask for letters of reference, and much more.)

To apply for Wellesley's nomination for the Canadian or US Rhodes, by ​11:30 pm on August 25, 2021:

☐ Please request 3 (or at most 4) Letters of Reference for the campus committee; it is helpful if two letters can be academic references (from those who have taught you in courses or supervised academic research relevant to your proposed graduate study) and one a character reference (from someone who can speak to your character and/or your involvement in extra-curricular/service or leadership activities). Please give your recommenders this link to allow them to submit their letters for the Wellesley committee; should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to fellowships@wellesley.edu. Kate would love to help you strategize about whom to ask; simply book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake.

  • While there is no need at the campus application stage to request references via the official application system, do also line up additional letters to meet official requirements should your application be endorsed to go forward: 5-8 letters are required for the US Rhodes and 6 for the Canadian (ask for additional references before you know whether or not your application has been endorsed to go forward to the national competition: give people plenty of advance notice, so that they can plan at a busy season!)
  • If you’re also applying for Wellesley’s nomination for the Marshall and/or Mitchell, please let your recommenders know that the campus committee only needs one letter from each of them: it could be the letter for one of these scholarships, or a letter addressing both/all three of your applications, as the writer prefers.

Submit the following to the campus committee via the form found here a copy of your completed official online application (find the application and full details of eligibility and application via https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/) including:

  1. Academic statement of proposed study at Oxford (no more than 750 words; please observe the particular directions given by the Canadian and US Rhodes)
  2. Personal Statement (no more than 1,000 words; please observe the particular directions given by the Canadian and US Rhodes) Note: candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship may not solicit or receive any feedback or other guidance on their Personal Statements. The Rhodes Trust offers advice on these essays via their website: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/. Kate Dailinger can, however, offer advice concerning the choice of degree program at Oxford, list of activities and awards (essentially a cv or resume), whom to ask for letters of reference, and much more.
  3. Transcripts (Wellesley, study abroad and any other colleges/universities - note that unofficial copies are fine for the campus committee)
  4. A list of activities and awards

*Please upload a single pdf or Word document with all the required official application components

In addition, please submit a copy of the Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials)

*Note that if your application should be endorsed to go forward to the national competition, you will need copies of official transcripts, proof of citizenship, a photograph, and other materials by the appropriate national deadline: please see the official instructions and plan ahead, as it may take more time to gather these materials than you think--official transcripts from study abroad, for example, can take weeks to secure...

 

Application timeline

Spring/Summer before applying

  • Attend or view recorded information sessions and workshops and
  • as early as possible, ideally before classes finish in the spring, book a Fellowships advising appointment with Kate Dailinger.
  • Visit https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/ to learn more about the fellowship and the application.
  • Discuss with faculty and other mentors your plans to apply: seek advice about future plans, graduate school, and applying for the Rhodes.
  • Identify reference-writers and request at least 3 but no more than 4 references for the campus committee, and line up additional letters to meet official requirements (ask before you know whether or not your application has been endorsed to go forward to the national competition: give people plenty of advance notice, so that they can plan at a busy season).
  • Identify the department(s) and degree program(s) in which you hope to enroll at Oxford.
  • Start writing! While you cannot share your personal statement with others for guidance or feedback, writing multiple drafts over the summer will ensure that the final product is truly your best work.

 

Early June (Canadian and Global)
Early July (US)

Rhodes Scholarship application is available online via https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/ .

Early June campus deadline to declare interest in applying for the Global Rhodes; late July official application deadline.

 

Late July and August

  • Plan ahead and take your time! If you’d like feedback on your proposed course of study at Oxford, list of activities and awards, etc., submit your drafts through this Google form by July 27, 2021, in order to be guaranteed feedback before the campus application deadline and to take priority in the booking of an appointment during August, in the run-up to the campus application deadlines for Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Fulbright, Knight-Hennessy, Schwarzman, and Watson.
  • Follow up with your reference-writers to confirm they will meet the campus deadline.
  • Collect your transcript(s) if you have not done so already.

 

Campus deadline for Canadian and US Rhodes: 11:30 pm on August 25, 2021

  • Submit copies of required application materials (see checklist above)  to the campus committee via the form found here.
  • Letters of reference for the campus committee should be submitted as close to this deadline as possible, thanks, and should be submitted by their writers via this link; should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to fellowships@wellesley.edu

 

Early September

Interviews with the campus Committee on Extramural Graduate Fellowships. Nominees are announced shortly thereafter.

 

Mid- to late September

Nominees finalize their applications in advance of the national deadline.

 

Late Sept — Early October

Rhodes Scholarship national deadlines – submit all materials online.

 

Mid-October to mid-November

Rhodes finalists are invited to interviews (dates vary by district/province)

 

Weekend before Thanksgiving (US Rhodes); late November/early December (Canadian Rhodes)

Finalist interviews. Winners announced immediately thereafter.

 

 


Questions?

Email fellowships@wellesley.edu or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.  Caitlin knows the campus application procedures and so much more--and she’s always glad to help!

Whether or not you need to apply for the Rhodes through Wellesley, we’re glad to offer advice. You can to book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake to talk with Kate Dailinger. She did her own graduate work In Britain (at Cambridge, in early medieval history), has worked with students and alumnae from around the globe for a decade, and would look forward to talking with you about what you’re hoping to do and why applying for fellowships can be valuable— whether or not you win an award.

*Even if you cannot receive feedback on your personal statement for the Rhodes, it’s okay to talk over your career aspirations, plans for study at Oxford, strategy for requesting references, list of activities and awards, etc. So plan ahead and book a summer appointment (to talk via telephone or video chat if you’re not on campus) and avoid the rush in August and September!