Background: The Marshall Scholarships were instituted in 1953 by the British government to thank the United States for its involvement in the Marshall Plan and to bring intellectually distinguished young Americans, who will be future leaders of this nation, to Great Britain to imbue them with an understanding and appreciation of British social and academic values.
The Scholarship: Forty Americans, selected through regional interviews by an advisory council, are fully funded (living allowance, tuition, books, air transportation, travel) for a two-year period at any university in the United Kingdom. By the time the candidates begin studying, they must hold a bachelor's degree from a college in the United States, be under 26 years old, and have attained a grade-point average after the freshman year of not less than 3.7. (In practice, the GPA of applicants who received endorsements and interviews tends to be much higher.)
The Application: The application consists of a four-page information sheet; a short statement (no more than 1000 words) about "academic interests and other pursuits;" a 500 word (maximum) statement about the academic program chosen, giving the reasons for undertaking the course of study and for preferring the college chosen; an official transcript; a letter of endorsement from the student's college or university; and four letters of recommendation. Students must identify two United Kingdom universities (a preferred and a second choice) where they wish to study, only one of which may be Oxford, Cambridge or London, and give informed reasons for the choice.
Who Should Apply: The best candidates are students with clearly defined academic interests plus a strong record of leadership and activities, in addition to exceptional academic achievement. They should have researched British universities carefully and have a good reason for pursuing postgraduate education in the United Kingdom. The Marshall Commission seeks people who will make a contribution to the life of a British university. Strong candidates ordinarily will be able to demonstrate capacity for independent academic work through a senior thesis, independent research project, or comparable creative or performance activity.
Campus Procedure: Students wishing to be nominated for a Marshall Scholarship should see Prof. Scott Denham, by May of their junior year. The GFC reviews the application and decides whether or not to endorse the applicant.
Recommendations: Four, plus an endorsement of candidacy from Davidson. Deadline for recommendations is 22 September.
Campus Deadline: 8 Septmber.
Marshall Application Deadline: Application deadline is usually the beginning of October.
Marshall Interviews: Marshall Scholarships are awarded from a national committee, following regional screening and interviews. Candidates may apply either in the region in which they have residency or in the region where they have received at least two years of college training. Selection boards, situated in British consulates in each of the five regions throughout the United States, choose applicants for interviews, which are held in late November. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
For More Information: Contact Prof. Scott Denham. Visit the website: www.marshallscholarship.org.
Davidson Marshall Scholars: 2009 Katy Finley; 1990 Daniel S. Grau; 1986 Mark S. Sandy; 1983 Elizabeth E. Kiss (declined award); 1972 Lawrence H. Wilkinson; 1971 T. James Trussell; 1964 John M. Spratt, Jr.; 1962 W. Harrison Wellford