Rhodes Scholarships are prestigious international fellowship awards first granted to scholars in 1904. The Rhodes Trust, established in honor of Cecil J Rhodes, providing funding for scholars to pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford University. The United States and its territories are allocated 32 slots each year. Scholars are selected based on outstanding scholarly achievements, as well as character and leadership qualities.
US Universities with the Most Rhodes Scholars
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the oldest higher learning institution in the US and one of the world's most prestigious universities. Its famous alumni include eight US presidents and 150 Nobel Laureates.
With 362 Rhodes scholarship awards from 1904 to 2018, Harvard tops the list of scholars per institution. The high numbers of exemplary scholars can be attributed to the institution's excellence in arts and humanities as well as science and technology. Harvard athletes have also earned more Rhodes scholarships than any other university.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. It is the third oldest institution of higher learning in the US and is ranked second according to the number of Rhodes Scholars per institution with 245 awards.
Bill Clinton, a former US president and alumnus of the Yale School of Law, won the prestigious scholarship in 1968. Other notable Rhodes scholars from this institution include American politician Cory Booker and renowned author and feminist Naomi Wolf.
Princeton University was established in 1746 in Princeton, New Jersey. With 210 award winners, Princeton ranks third in US institutions for total number of Rhodes Scholars. The university is also frequently rated among the top five universities in the US.
Degree courses at Princeton have strictly specified requirements and its students must undertake independent research as part of their programs. The application process is highly selective and only the best secure admissions. William Warren Bradley, former professional basketball player and politician, is among the university's Rhodes Scholars.
Stanford University is a private university and is recognized as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions. Founded in 1891 in Stanford, California, the campus is located close to Silicon Valley. Numerous faculty members, students, and alumni have worked in leading technology companies and startups such as Google and Snapchat.
Times Higher Education ranked Stanford as the third best university globally in 2016-2017, based on the university's core missions. The university has produced 102 Rhodes scholars and ranks fourth in the US institutions awarded with Rhodes scholarships.
Link Between Number of Rhodes Scholars and Overall University Rankings
The figures listed above and the table presented below demonstrate a strong link between a university's overall ranking and the number of Rhodes Scholars produced. Rated as some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, it it no surprise that graduates of Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford have received the most Rhodes Scholars of all US universities.