When they first began awarding the Rhodes Scholarship way back in 1902 the award was limited to three countries:
England, the United States and Germany. Today the award draws from those three countries, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Rhodes Scholarship is considered among the most prestigious of all scholarships. It was the first large-scale international scholarship.
Those who win a Rhodes Scholarship are allowed to study any postgraduate course at Oxford University in England. The university fees are paid by the Rhodes Trust and scholars are given a small monthly stipend for the one to three year period. Past winners have included such luminaries as President Bill Clinton and Senator Bill Bradley.
Rhodes Scholars enjoy full access to Rhodes House and the surrounding grounds, which include gardens, a library, study areas, and a variety of public rooms. This is considered one of the fringe benefits in winning a Rhodes Scholarship.
Most Rhodes Scholars can take their lives in just about any direction they choose to go. For some that will be medicine, the law or public service. Others choose the military or scientific research. And many will teach or write or both.
It takes a unique individual to earn a Rhodes Scholarship. What many refer to as a Renaissance Man. Or maybe there is even more to it than that. One thing you can be sure of is that these are rare and special individuals, the kind of person we so rarely see any more.
And is it any wonder? These super men—if they were to become media stars—would probably have the paparazzi all over them to the point where we would know so much about them they wouldn’t seem so super any more.
Today we grant scholarships, for the most part, based on race, gender and income. Perhaps the lowest common denominators of being human. Have we really advanced as a culture?
If you go back to 1902 when the Rhodes Scholarship began you can look at the universal values that should bond us as human beings—across race, and gender, and the amount of money one has in the bank. The Rhodes scholarship looks to honor and therefore cultivate in society important virtues like truth, courage, devotion to duty.
The Rhodes Scholarship also honors those who have sympathy for and protection of the weak. Other scholarships just honor the weak. Does anyone see a pattern here?
The Rhodes Scholarship is somewhat of a two-way street these days. In America there is now the Kennedy Scholarship named after President John F. Kennedy. It has a similar selection process to the Rhodes Scholarship. Ten British students per year are chosen to study at Harvard and MIT.
The argument here is for more scholarships like the Rhodes Scholarship. When we honor the best that human beings have to offer we tell those who want scholarships that this is what you should strive for—not to simply be a woman, or black or Hispanic or low-income.
The Rhodes Scholar is the type of person our youngsters should emulate—he is a role model for all times who represents enduring values and not just an appearance or a bank deposit slip.
A need scholarship seems like a fundamentally counterintuitive concept that does not make a whole lot of sense to a thinking person.
Math scholarships may be the great equalizer for the United States as it tries to catch up with the rest of the developed world in math testing.
Perhaps the best and most reliable area to find criminal justice scholarships is directly through the schools themselves.