Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
We want your feedback! Complete our survey and enter to win one of four $25 gift cards.

2013 Rhodes Scholars Announced

coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in College Search & Selection
Half of the 32 scholars came from the Ivy League, led by Yale (7) and Harvard (6) with Cornell (2) and Brown (1). Also getting multiple winners were Stanford, West Point, and the US Naval Academy with 2 each.

Schools in addtion to Brown, schools that produced one Rhodes winner this year were Georgia, Georgia Tech, UNC, Univ. of Oklahoma, Montana State, The College of Idaho, UVa, Wofford, and Luther College.

Post edited by coureur on

Replies to: 2013 Rhodes Scholars Announced

  • goldenboy8784goldenboy8784 Registered User Posts: 1,698 Senior Member
    Harvard and Yale undergraduates account for 13 of the 32 Rhodes winners this year. That's shocking, unbelievable, unfathomable...WHAT? They couldn't find at least one other deserving candidate from UChicago, Princeton, Caltech, Dartmouth, etc.? Strange.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,432 Senior Member
    16 districts - 32 winners.

    That is why!
  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,656 Senior Member
    Yeah, I think the cliquey nature of this scholarship is getting ridiculous.

    I think a large factor in Yale and Harvard's dominance of the Rhodes Scholarship is the fact that they probably have the best scholarship advisers--i.e., people whose sole professional responsibility is to help students get scholarships like this one--and the best connections within the Rhodes Trust. That being said, are the Rhodes Scholarship interviewers really that incapable of separating a candidate's merit from the promotional efforts of his or her school? Harvard and Yale address this problem in their undergraduate admission policies when they try to consider applicants holistically, without penalizing applicants for coming from underperforming high schools or having indifferent college counselors, and yet here they exploit a very similar system to their full advantage. I suppose the context is very different.

    Another observation: Almost all of this year's Rhodes Scholars fit into one of 2-3 general academic/extracurricular profiles: 1. an interest in international relations/political science/development economics with some experience doing rich white people things in Africa OR studying Chinese/Tibetan/Hindi through immersion; 2. an interest in biophysics/biology/biomedical engineering with the ultimate goal of becoming a doctor and public health advocate, possibly with an extra Oxford degree in medical anthropology; or 3. studying gender studies/English/poli sci and tutoring other students and working as a student journalist, with the intention to become a 'journalist' or social justice advocate (any long-term plans about capturing the US presidency are blatantly omitted).

    I'm not saying these are not impressive or worthy goals and accomplishments, but it is dreadfully boring to read the same bio over and over again. Should have stuck at least one interesting person in there.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,262 Senior Member
    Oh good, a Berkeley winner.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,432 Senior Member
    Worthy of a parking space!
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    ^^No, only Nobel Prize winners get a reserved parking space at Berkeley. A Rhodes probably gets you your own slot in the bicycle rack.
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    >>Yeah, I think the cliquey nature of this scholarship is getting ridiculous.<<

    Well,the people awarding the scholarship are associated with Oxford, not Harvard or Yale. So it's not like there is some old boys alumni pipeline in action.

    And if you think about it, it's no more cliquey or ridiculous than many other very high honors where your alma mater becomes a defacto part of the equation. E.g. for at least 28 straight years (Jan. 1989 to Jan. 2017) the main occupant of the White House will have been a graduate of the either Harvard or Yale (or both). And it would have still been true had Romney been elected. And all nine of the current US Supreme court justices went to either Harvard law school or Yale law school. Plus eight of the nine justices also earned their bachelors degrees from either Ivy League colleges or Stanford as well.

    Trends as strong as those are not random accidents.
  • phantasmagoricphantasmagoric Registered User Posts: 2,200 Senior Member
    Massachusetts and Connecticut are their own district in the Rhodes Trust's eyes (each district should have an average population of 20 million, but MA and CT combined are only 10 million). So there may be some bias to Harvard/Yale built into how districts are viewed. (A student can apply in the district of his/her home state or his/her college, if different. MA and CT students are very overrepresented at H and Y, which confers an advantage in this case.)

    Region (districts): share of the US population, share of the 32 awards, over/underrepresentation

    Northeast (1-4, excluding WV): 18% of country, 22 to 25% of awards, 20% to 37% overrepresentation
    New England (1-2, excluding NJ): 4.5% of country, 9.4% of awards, 108% overrepresentation
    New England+NJ (1-2): 7.3% of country, 12.5% of awards, 71% overrepresentation
    East Coast (1-6, excluding GA and WV): 26% of country, 31% to 34% of awards, 20% to 32% overrepresentation
    MA and CT: 10 million, 3.2% of country, 6.25% of awards, 95% overrepresentation

    West: (14-16): 20.2% of country, 18.8% of awards, -7% underrepresentation
    West (15-16): 18.8% of country, 12.5% of awards, -33.5% underrepresentation
    West Coast (WA, OR, CA): 15.4% of country, 9.4% to 12.5% of awards, -39% to -20% underrepresentation
    California: 38 million, 12.1% of country, 6.25% of awards, -48% underrepresentation

    The Rhodes Trust says that all districts are equal in the FAQ, but it is telling that a full 25% of the words on the application process are about state residency (4 out of 26 questions); and the answer on how to determine state residency is the longest in the entire FAQ document. If all districts are equal and the choice of which district (home state or the state of the college) is simply one of convenience, then why is this issue addressed at such length by the Rhodes Trust?

    It is up to you to decide whether variations in the popularity of applying (i.e. how many apply per 1000 of a state's population?) and in the average competitiveness of the applicants can accurately explain the distribution.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,432 Senior Member
    Coureur, although technically correct, Bader Ginsburg did attend Harvard, but her degrees are from Cornell and Columbia. Her Harvard degree is honorary.

    The Columbia Law degree might give a hint.

    The current resident of the White House might be inspired by Taft at a later stage. Stopping short of a political comment here.
  • vienna manvienna man Registered User Posts: 906 Member
    eigth of the nine Supreme court justices could not have gone to Ivy League Schools since at least two went to Jesuit schools-Thomas(Holy Cross) and Scalia (Georgetown).
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    ^^You are right; it's only 7 of 9. I forgot that Scalia had gone to Georgetown.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Harvard degree may be honorary, but her enrollment and attendance at Harvard law school was the real thing. She got 2/3rds of her law school education at Harvard, transferring to Columbia (to follow her husband to NY) only for her final year.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Super Moderator Posts: 24,196 Super Moderator
    I have said it for some time. How many Rhodes Scholars produced by a university is not an indicator of academic quality. Schools like Cal, Columbia, Cornell, Michigan, Northwestern and Penn have not done as well as schools like Brown, Chicago, Duke, UNC, UVa and the Academies. Actually, if one were to use Rhodes scholars as an indication of academic quality, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and Oklahoma are on par with Cal, Columbia, Cornell and Michigan and superior to Northwestern and Penn.

    There are several simple reasons why some universities do better than others, and they have little to do with academic excellence. One of them has already been mentioned by xiggi. Another are the resources dedicated to the scholarship. Harvard and Yale, who lead the nation in Rhodes Scholars by a significant margin, have an entire office with personnel dedicated solely to the scholarship. Other universities who do well most likely dedicated more resources to the scholarship than those that do not do as well.
  • ewhoewho Registered User Posts: 1,335 Senior Member
    Last year's #:

    Stanford - 5
    Harvard - 4
    Yale -1 (another one from Yale Law)

    For two years:

    Yale - 8
    Harvard - 8
    Stanford - 7

    It is a good year for Yale. But, not so lucky for the Nobel Prize, out of 9 individuals in the world who won the Nobel Prizes this year, two from Stanford.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,262 Senior Member
    Worthy of a parking space!
    Heh. Yeah, he does! Dual degrees in EECS and Bioengineering with minor in Physics. :)
    Grass Valley man to attend Oxford as a Rhodes scholar - Education - The Sacramento Bee
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    >>It is a good year for Yale. But, not so lucky for the Nobel Prize, out of 9 individuals in the world who won the Nobel Prizes this year, two from Stanford.<<

    ...and two Harvard alumni as well.
This discussion has been closed.