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Rhodes Scholarship: The Rhodes Scholarships were initiated in 1902 (first American in 1904) with the goal of bringing many of the world’s top students to Oxford for the purpose of “improving the world through the diffusion of leaders motivated to serve their contemporaries, trained in the contemplative life of the mind, and broadened by their acquaintance with one another and by their exposures to cultures different from their own.”   It is a scholarship program that allows students to study in Oxford – in virtually any discipline/degree program – at the expense of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee.  An Exonian (a Rhodes Scholar) is awarded a grant to cover all living and educational expenses at Oxford University for the completion of a M.Phil. degree (two years).

Who Should Apply?  First, a B.A. prior to beginning at Oxford. Second, “Literary and scholastic achievement” (roughly equivalent to the top 10% of students at our nation’s finest universities) Third, “Energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports.”  Fourth, Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak; kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship Fifth, Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.

Marshall Scholarship: The idea behind the Marshall Scholarships was to build on the Rhodes Scholarships established by a private bequest a half-century earlier. The Marshall Scholarship was established by an act of Parliament.  The Rhodes scheme was acknowledged to be an outstanding success, but it was restricted to one British university and, in 1954, to one carefully defined category of male candidate. The Marshall Scholarship would extend the Rhodes Scholarship idea and apply it without distinction of gender and with a wider age range to any university in the United Kingdom.  Normally, the scholarship covers all living and academic expenses, including travel, for the time necessary to complete a Master’s degree (normally 22 months).  The award can be renewed for an additional year to fund the completion of a Doctoral degree.

Who Should apply? Students who have an exemplary academic record (3.7 min.) and desire to take a graduate degree in any U.K. university.  Slightly less selective (and prestigious) than the Rhodes Scholarship (see below) but still extraordinarily distinctive and prestigious.

George J. Mitchell Scholarship This is a national competitive scholarship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance and named after former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland.  The Mitchell Scholarship is designed to “introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to public service and community.”  The scholarship is for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline at any institute of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The award covers tuition, housing, a living expense stipend, international travel stipend, and transportation costs at the beginning and end of the Scholar’s program.

 Who Should apply?  Students with high academic achievement, a record of leadership, and a deep commitment to public service and community.  A bachelor’s degree prior to beginning study under the Mitchell Scholarship is required.


January - May Review relevant websites and conduct research on the academic programs that interest you.  Consult GCC faculty and contact relevant departments in the UK.  This is best done during the spring of your junior year or even the previous fall.

Make initial contacts with referees (i.e. those who will write letters of recommendation on your behalf).  The Rhodes application requires between five and eight letters of recommendation, four of which must be from faculty who have taught you.  The Marshall requires four letters of recommendation, two of which must be from faculty who have taught you.  The Mitchell requires five letters of recommendation, three of which must be from faculty who have taught you.  Acquire summer contact information for those who will write letters on your behalf.

Begin work on a personal statement and other required essays, as well as a list of activities and honors.
June 1

Send letter of intent (via US Mail) to the GCC Fellowship Committee:
c/o Prof. Collin Messer
100 Campus Drive
Grove City College
Grove City, PA  16127
This letter should state your serious interest in applying for one or more of these scholarships in the coming semester.
July 15

Send draft of personal statement and essays, as well as list of activities and honors (and/or resume), to referees, along with the appropriate cover sheets and/or information about website access for online submission of letters.  Recommendation letters (one from your primary academic recommender and three to six others, depending on the fellowship for which you are applying) should be sent to the GCC Fellowship Committee (c/o Dr. Messer) by September 2.  Make sure that all referees understand that their letters will need to be RECEIVED by the fellowship organizations absolutely no later than October 1 (including the letters previously sent to the GCC Committee).
September 2
CAMPUS DEADLINE (4 p.m.)  All application materials due to the Fellowship Committee,
c/o Dr. Messer.  See above.
September GCC Fellowship Committee reviews applications and selects students for campus interviews.  Selected students will be notified by email.
September GCC Fellowship Committee conducts campus interviews.  Endorsed candidates will be notified no later than Monday, September 26 at 5 p.m.  These candidates are encouraged to schedule a meeting with Dr. Messer to review their applications before the national deadline.