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Hardest Scholarships to Get

hardest scholarships to get

Many students out there are pursuing scholarships to fund their education. However, you must know the nature of the scholarship you’re going for before getting into it. Most times, some of the hardest scholarships to get are prevalent in our educational system.

In this post, you’ll get to know the hardest scholarships to get for international students. Moreover, you’ll get details on their benefits, requirements, and application procedures. For comprehensive information, ensure you stick to this post to the end.

Here are some of the hardest scholarships to get:

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
  • Rhodes Scholarships 
  • Fulbright Scholarships
  • Churchill Scholarships 

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Gates Cambridge Scholarships

When speaking of a challenging scholarship, you cannot remove the funding from Bill and Melinda Gates. With an acceptance rate of 1.3%, chances of winning are very low. 

The target group of people for the scholarship are students from outside the UK. The host institution is the University of Cambridge, and any full-time postgraduate course the university offers is eligible. Furthermore, about eighty students receive the award out of hundreds of applicants. 


The Gates Cambridge Scholarships cover the entire tuition fee of the candidate. Also, it caters to the travel costs, studying materials, visas, etc. Additionally, it offers an allowance for family, fieldwork, and other expenses. 


There are two primary criteria for applicants. Hence, a large number of applicants troop in every year as many people meet these requirements:

  • Firstly, candidates must not be a citizen of the United Kingdom. Any country outside the UK is eligible. 
  • Secondly, they must be applying for a full-time postgraduate residential course. It could be a Ph.D., MSc, or MLitt. 
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Application Process 

All applicants should visit the university’s Graduate Application Portal. Here, they will find the Gates Cambridge Scholarships and other fundings application. 

Notably, the application is in two parts: the part for admission to Cambridge and the part for the funding. Every candidate is to fill out both details of the form. 

The scholarship deadline differs from those in the US to those outside the US. Hence, all applicants must go through the university site for deep insight into the application methods. Lastly, all applications must come in before the deadline. 

Rhodes Scholarships 

When you talk about the Rhodes Scholarships, you’re speaking about the highly reputable University of Oxford. In 1902, Cecil Rhodes established this scholarship in her will. Today, it is the oldest and most recognized scholarship in the world.

It aims to assist outstanding students who wish to study at the University of Oxford. Annually, 95 postgraduate scholars receive this award. 


Rhodes scholarship offers several benefits to the student. Aside from a chance to study in one of the world’s best universities without stress, it also covers:

  • The University Fees
  • The University application fee
  • Insurance (health) 
  • Airfare to and from the UK with Visa and others throughout studies
  • A living stipend of about £15,900 a year
  • An allowance to cover additional costs

The scholarship is renewable for two years. However, renewal highly depends on the student’s participation and performance. 


There are several criteria candidates must meet. These requirements are in groups:

  • Age: this factor highly depends on your constituency. For some constituencies, the eligible age is 18 and 28 years. Contrarily, for some others, it is between 24 to 25 years. 
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Hence, candidates should ensure they check in with their constituencies before applying to avoid age issues. 

  • Citizenship and Residency: this criterion is applicable on the website. Check the several country links on the website for details on residency and nationality. 
  • Education: Certainly, one will need to have high academic standing to aim for the scholarship. The candidate must have completed a bachelor’s degree successfully. Also, all applicants must meet the academic standards of the University of Oxford. 

Interested persons should visit the scholarship site for more information on the requirements. 

Application Process 

Partly everything about the Rhodes Scholarships is country-specific. Hence, every candidate should visit their country page to read the application criteria. Also, information on their deadlines and other requirements is in this section. 

Fulbright Scholarships 

Though it offers thousands of awards, Fulbright remains one of the hardest scholarships. It opens the doors of the universities in the United States for international students. As a graduate, young professional, or artist, Fulbright can offer you all you need. 

All US universities and institutions work in line with Fulbright Scholarships. Moreover, all candidates from about 155 eligible countries can apply for any course in their fields. Annually, they offer a surprising number of about 4,000 awards. 


Fulbright is a total funding scholarship. It covers the tuition, health insurance, and airfare of all candidates.

Additionally, there is a living stipend for other living expenses. Further benefits from the award are available on the scholarship site. 


The eligibility requirements are precise from country to country. Hence, interested persons should kindly visit their country-specific website for details on the conditions. 

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Application Process 

There is no direct application portal. Hence, all interested persons should apply via Fulbright Commissions or Foundations. Also, they can choose to apply through the US Embassies present in their respective home countries.

Furthermore, these Foundations are responsible for processing every application. Finally, deadline dates vary per country and are available on the country’s site. However, the date falls around February to October every year. 

Churchill Scholarships 

Churchill Scholarships began in 1963 after Winston Churchill, a former Prime Minister. His Foundation created the program to encourage students in the scientific field. Due to their selection taste, it has become one of the most challenging scholarships. 


Churchill Scholarships are fully funded and cover all the student’s expenses. However, they are valid for one year only. 


For candidates to be eligible, they must perform outstandingly in their academics with a GPA of 3.8. They should have finished their bachelor’s degree and graduated. However, those in their final year are also fit for the award. 

Application Process 

Applicants cannot apply directly. Hence, all applications must come through nomination by an institution. 

Notably, an institution can only nominate two students. Therefore, interested persons should discuss their interests with the institutions in due time. 


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