What to Know About These Scholarships: The Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes

By Victoria Robertson on January 17, 2021

As college students, we are often faced with a large financial burden that many of us aren’t totally prepared to make. At least, many of us are facing quite a bit of debt upon graduation, and any way to avoid such debt is invited with open arms. The student debt crisis is a very real problem that requires a systematic solution. However, until such a result is achieved, students must resign themselves to finding alternative methods to pay for their education, especially those seeking continued education or study abroad options.

When it comes to saving money as a college student, one of the most effective ways to reserve some cash is to apply for scholarships to relieve some of the burdens of hefty tuition.

Of course, that begs the question: which scholarships should I be applying for and what do the applications entail. Lucky for you, this guide will not only explain everything you need to know about The Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships, but will point you in the right direction to getting your applications started for each. And it’s worth noting that these prestigious awards are quite restrictive in their requirements, so be sure you’re putting your best foot forward should you choose to fill out any applications!

Photo Via Pixabay

The Fulbright Scholarship

The Fulbright Scholarship is an international scholarship that is also highly competitive. So, before applying to this one, you’ll want to make sure your application is perfect, error-free, and worthy of the time of those making the final decision on who will win the award.

This international grant is actually intended for students, scholars, professors, and otherwise the average, young professionals that apply to earn a monetary endowment that helps them to study, research, or teach overseas. So not only are the winners receiving a monetary investment, but they are also going to receive real-world, practical application of their skills in a foreign country. So if you’re looking for a little culture, this is the scholarship for you.

The Fulbright Scholarship offers a year-long study abroad experience to graduating seniors, so for students that were interested in studying abroad during college, this is your chance to ensure your trip and learning experience are covered.

The Fulbright Scholarship was established to build more understanding, compassion, and empathy between differing cultures, and the name was lent by late Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright.

And just in case you were wondering whether or not any famous scholars received this prestigious award, they certainly did! Both Melissa Block (a radio host on National Public Radio) and Gabrielle Giffords (a US Congresswoman) have received this scholarship in the past.

The Truman Scholarship

For those of you facing a significant college payment in the coming semesters for a graduate degree, the Truman Scholarship is one that you’ll certainly want to pay complete attention to. The Truman Scholarships isn’t intended for study abroad programs, but rather, is intended for those that seek to continue their education beyond their Bachelor’s degree.

So, if you’re one of the students out there that’s seeking another few years of college for your chosen profession, or simply want to walk away with another degree, this scholarship can save you quite a bit of money.

The Truman Scholarship awards winners $30,000 towards the graduate program of their choice, at the school of their choice. And if that sounds too good to be true, it’s because these types of awards don’t typically exist. At least, not in this amount. So to say such a sum is offered far and few between would be an understatement.

The namesake of this scholarship is none other than former President Harry S. Truman, which at the very least will sound as prestigious as you’ll feel in receiving it.

Students that apply for this scholarship must be in their junior year of their bachelor’s program. In addition, there is a caveat related to your field of study: you must show an interest in public service and be willing to pursue any of the following master’s degrees: public administration, public health, social work, education, public policy and international affairs.

In addition, upon completion of a Master’s degree, recipients will also have committed to a minimum of three years of public service. As such, you’ll need to be confident in your choice of degree and future desires for this program to be worth the investment.

And again, just in case you were interested in the famed Truman Scholars of the past, you’ll be in great company with Mac Schneider, a North Dakota state senator, and Jon Favreau (not the one from the film industry) the former Director of Speechwriting under former President Barack Obama.

Infographic Via Canva

The Marshall Scholarship

Similar to the Fulbright Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship is designed for those students with an interest in studying abroad. More specifically, this scholarship is specific to graduate studies within the United Kingdom.

As mentioned previously, the Marshall Scholarship allows students to pursue their graduate degrees in the UK, but while your mind might immediately travel to Oxford, you actually are not limited to that university for your studies. In fact, you can actually study at any university in England of your choosing. That being said, a majority of scholarship recipients opt to study at either Cambridge or the London School of Economics, both prestigious and worthy of your investment. So really, with this scholarship, you can’t choose the wrong school, on top of the breadth of freedom at your disposal in choosing a university.

Every year, over 40 Marshall Scholars are selected and study at a variety of schools in England. So if England is one of those locations you’ve always longed to travel to, this scholarship will ensure you not only go but also spend a significant time living and learning there.

That being said, there are of course stipulations that applicants must follow, inclusive of eligibility requirements that are a bit stricter than many scholarship opportunities.

Students applying for this scholarship must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States. So when applying for this scholarship, your bachelor’s degree needs to have been obtained and completed. In addition, your grade point average for your undergraduate program needs to have been maintained at 3.7 or higher, leaving very little wiggle room for student applicants.

That all being said, the scholarship is designed to promote your growth, both as a person and in your education and career. With this scholarship, you will grow to be a stellar student and thrive in whichever England university you’ve chosen.

And, in saving the best for last, there are of course famous Marshall Scholars that would make great company for you as a recipient. The founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, received the Marshall Scholarship, as well as Nannerl Keohane, who is the former president at Duke University as well as the former president at Wellesley College. Finally, if you’re a fan of documentaries, documentary film director (award-winning, at that) Joshua Oppenheimer received this scholarship, as did Scott MacIntyre, a musician whose name you may remember from American Idol’s eighth season, in which he was a contestant.

The Rhodes Scholarship

Last, but certainly not least, there is the Rhodes Scholarship. This scholarship is not only prestigious, but it is also actually considered the most prestigious of international scholarships by a wide variety of individuals. As such, winning such an honor is, well, an honor.

And you may want to sit down for this one because the recipients of this scholarship are given a full ride. I’ll just let that sink in. The only caveat? The full ride is to the University of Oxford, so you are not given your choice of colleges. Still, at zero dollars to attend, you’re unlikely to find a more appealing scholarship, though you can certainly try to look.

In addition to the full ride to the University of Oxford, located in London, England, recipients are also given a monthly stipend throughout their educational program. This stipend will cover accommodations as well as living expenses during your studies, which means you truly have no payments that will weigh you down here.

And while we’re talking about the Rhodes Scholarship, you may actually recognize the name. This scholarship is named in honor of Cecil Rhodes, who worked both in business and in the political realm. The details of the scholarship program were laid out in his will, and as you can assume, they are fairly restrictive for such a prestigious award.

In order for a student to be considered for the Rhodes Scholarship, they must have achieved scholastic achievements as an undergraduate, as well as literary achievements. And, in addition to that requirement, the student must show an unmistakable talent and have achieved success to some degree in sports. Finally, the students considered for this award need to devote themselves to public service, in their undergraduate studies and beyond.

It’s also worth noting that the Rhodes Scholarship is an international program, meaning not all winners are chosen from the United States. In fact, in 2011 alone, 32 Rhodes Scholarships were allocated to the United States, and various other students received awards as well.

Now, many of you may be under the impression that only those attending Ivy league schools would win such an award. And while many students have won from universities such as Brown University, Harvard University, and Princeton University, students from other US schools have claimed their own places in the scholarship program as well. These other schools are inclusive of the US Military Academy, St. Peter’s College, the University of Washington, the University of Chicago, the US Naval Academy, the University of North Dakota, and MIT. 87, 83, 46, 46, 43, 41, and 39 students won the scholarship from these states, respectively.

And again, that’s not to say that the Rhodes Scholarship is easy to obtain, as it isn’t. It’s competitive and requires the best of the best to apply. But as such, in receiving such an honor, it’s said that your career, academic pursuits, and other goals are made all the easier, as many doors will open to you that may never have been possible prior to winning the scholarship.

Of course, like all other scholarships, many famed individuals received the Rhodes Scholarship. That being said, as this is the most prestigious award on this list, the celebrities are equally impressive.

Back in 1958, Kris Kristofferson, the Grammy-winner singer and songwriter (and actor) was the first famed individual to win the scholarship. Eight years later, Terence Malick, a film director, received the scholarship. In 1968, former President Bill Clinton received the Rhodes Scholarship. In the same year, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Brady received the Rhodes Scholarship. In 1984, George Stephanopoulos, former White House communications director, won a scholarship. In addition to these individuals, back in 1990, Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations was a recipient of the award. Four years later, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker won the scholarship. And, most recently, television personality Rachel Maddow received the scholarship in 2001.

So, if it’s good company you seek in your scholarship endeavors, the Rhodes Scholarship is probably your best bet.

Photo Via Pixabay

Once again, paying for college isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be, and tuition rates only seem to be rocketing higher, year after year. If students are to deal with such astronomical rates, applying for scholarships and other forms of financial relief are imperative.

The above-listed scholarships are a great way to cut down the cost of your tuition while simultaneously setting yourself up for success in your college career, as these are some of the most prestigious scholarships available. While there are other, less prestigious scholarships you should also be keeping in mind when applying, these are the ones you’ll want to pay special attention to when submitting applications.

So, make your mark now by putting your application in for these scholarships, and you won’t be disappointed with the results! Good luck to all applicants!

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