Prestigious College Scholarships: The Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall and Truman scholarships and how you might get one.

Most college scholarships require a good deal of time and effort to complete. Some prestigious college scholarships are given only to the “best of the best” in academia.

Read on to find out how you can qualify for the most prestigious college scholarships: The Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships and Truman Scholarships.

The Fulbright Scholarship was designed to promote understanding and empathy between different cultures.

Rhodes Scholarship

This is widely considered the most prestigious international scholarship. Recipients of this award receive a full ride to the University of Oxford in London, England, with a monthly stipend that covers accommodations and living expenses.

The Rhodes Scholarship is named in honor of Cecil Rhodes, a businessman and politician. In his will, he stated the terms a student must follow to become a Rhodes Scholar. In addition to attaining scholastic and literary achievements as an undergraduate, a student must show talent and success in sports and a devotion to public service.

In 2011, 32 Rhodes Scholarships were allocated to the United States (the program is international). Although many Rhodes Scholars come from Ivy League colleges such as Brown University, Harvard University and Princeton University, there are also a large number from other schools including:

  • US Military Academy: 87
  • St. Peter’s College: 83
  • University of Washington: 46
  • University of Chicago: 46
  • US Naval Academy: 43
  • University of North Dakota: 41
  • MIT: 39

Once you graduate from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, many career and academic doors will be open to you.

Famous Rhodes Scholars:

  • Bill Clinton: former president, 1968
  • Bill Bradley: Hall of Fame NBA star and senator, 1968
  • Susan Rice: U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, 1990
  • George Stephanopoulos: ABC television personality and former White House communications director, 1984
  • Rachel Maddow: television personality, 2001
  • Kris Kristofferson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and actor, 1958
  • Terence Malick, film director, 1966
  • Cory Booker , Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, 1994

Fulbright Scholarship

This is a highly competitive international grant given to students, scholars, professors and young professionals to study, research or teach overseas. Under the Fulbright scholarship, graduating seniors are allowed to study abroad for one year.

Established in the name of the late Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Scholarship was designed to promote understanding and empathy between different cultures.

Famous Fulbright Scholars:

  • Melissa Block: Radio host and co-host of “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio
  • Gabrielle Giffords: US congresswoman

Marshall Scholarship

Similar to the Rhodes Scholarship, this scholarship allows you to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. However, your choice is not limited to Oxford.

No more than 40 Marshall Scholars are selected each year to study at any university in England. Most choose to study at Oxford, Cambridge or the London School of Economics.

In order to be eligible, a student must have earned a bachelor’s degree at an accredited US college or university and have maintained a 3.7 GPA or higher.

The main goal of this scholarship is to promote personal and intellectual growth in the student.

Famous Marshall Scholars:

  • Reid Hoffman: Founder of LinkedIn
  • Nannerl Keohane: Former president of both Duke University and Wellesley College
  • Joshua Oppenheimer: Award-winning documentary film director
  • Scott MacIntyre: Musician and “American Idol” Season 8 contestant

Truman Scholarship

This scholarship differs from the others in that it is not used toward overseas studies. Recipients of this award are given $30,000 toward a graduate education at the school of their choice.

Named after former President Truman, students who apply for this award are in their junior year of a bachelor’s degree program and show an interest in public service. They must be willing to pursue one of the following degrees:

  • Master of public administration
  • Master of public health
  • Master of social work
  • Master of education
  • Master of public policy
  • Master of international affairs

After completing a graduate degree, the student must commit to three years of public service.

Famous Truman Scholars:

  • Mac Schneider, North Dakota state senator
  • Jon Favreau, President Obama’s Director of Speechwriting
Scroll to Top