George Marshall, for whom the Marshall Scholarship was named, was a veteran military leader and one of the authors of the much ballyhooed Marshall Plan.

The Marshall Plan was an economic aid package that helped rebuild much of Western Europe after the destruction of World War II.

The Marshall Scholarship was founded in 1953 and seeks to extend the spirit of cooperation and good will fostered between the United States and England during this difficult time in history. Up to forty outstanding American college graduates with at least a 3.7 grade point average travel to the United Kingdom to study as Marshall Scholars.

The Marshall Scholarship finances American students of high ability to advance the knowledge of science, technology, the humanities and social studies as well as the creative arts. In addition to providing research, thesis and travel grants, university fees are paid and cost of living expenses provided. It’s good to be a Marshall Scholarship winner.

The Marshall Scholarship winners are an exclusive crowd. In 2010, nine hundred sixty one students had their applications endorsed by their college or university, one hundred sixty two interviewed, and thirty five outstanding candidates were eventually selected.

One of the things that separates the Marshall Scholarship from the equally prestigious Rhodes Scholarship is that it has included women in the pool of applicants from the very beginning. In fact, the first Marshall Scholars included four women and eight men.

Rhodes Scholars are also limited to attending Oxford University. While some Marshall Scholarship recipients choose to attend Oxford most of them don’t. Almost half choose the University of London.

From Britain’s point of view the hope is that the Marshall Scholarship will help students understand and appreciate modern Britain. The British people also openly express their eternal gratitude to America for all she has done to help protect British interests.

There are eight different regions of the country that are involved in the Marshall Scholarship selection process. They are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. The states which have been most successful in sending their residents to the United Kingdom as Marshall Scholars are California, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The states most represented seem to mostly follow with the locations of America’s elite colleges. Those colleges who have educated the largest proportion of Marshall Scholarship winners are Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT and Princeton. This is not to say that other schools don’t send their fair share—they certainly do. In fact, only twenty percent of Marshall Scholars come from Ivy League Schools. The rest come from other private schools, public universities and the service academies.

The Marshall Scholarship represents the best in scholarships. The application process is rigorous with extremely high standards. Is it any wonder that so many past Marshall Scholars go on to be prominent authors, politicians, college professors and many other important careers? You can even include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer among the more than 1,500 alumni, most of them still living in the United States.

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