Shruthi Rajasekar ’18 of is one of 43 students who was awarded the 2018 Marshall Scholarship. The scholarship allows intellectually distinguished young Americans to pursue a graduate degree in the U.K. and funds up to three years of study at any British institution. Rajasekar plans to use the scholarship money to study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, an independent music and dramatic arts school that was founded in 1880 in London, England and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
The scholarship, which is the only scholarship funded substantially by Her Majesty’s Government, was created in 1953 as a token of gratitude to the U.S. for assisting the U.K. during World War II through the Marshall Plan, the American initiative to economically aid Western Europe rebuild. The greater purpose of the Marshall Scholarship is to strengthen relationships between British and American people, their governments, and their institutions. Alumni of the scholarship include Supreme Court Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Neil Gorsuch, and the late 2008 Nobel Prize recipient Roger Tsien, a biochemist.
According to its website, university fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse are all covered by the scholarship. Eligibility includes United States citizens who hold a first degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States with a graduation date of after April 2015 and a minimum GPA of 3.7. Up to forty scholars are selected each year, but this year’s selection of scholars is the largest class since 2007, according to the British Embassy. Last year’s acceptance rate was 4.22 percent, with only 40 scholars selected from the 946 students endorsed by their undergraduate institution.