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The latest U.S. Rhodes Scholar class includes 21 women, the most ever in a single class, the organization announced on Saturday. Also, nearly half of 32 selected to receive the annual scholarship are first-generation Americans and immigrants.
The esteemed scholarship is awarded to students from more than 320 U.S. colleges and universities.
This year's cohort also admitted a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient for the first time and included scholars representing more than 64 countries.
The Rhodes Trust provides full financial assistance for scholars to pursue a degree at the University of Oxford for two or three years.
The total value for the competitive scholarship is from $70,000 per year up to as much as $250,000 for scholars who remain at Oxford for up to four years of study.
The process for applicants is two-fold. First students must be endorsed by their college or university and then selection committee members in the U.S. districts where students reside invite potential candidates for an in-person interviews.
This year more than 2,500 students sought out endorsement from their respective institutions, with only 880 being selected from 281 American colleges and universities.