Information for High School Counselors

Admission Update on the Class of 2023

  • We enrolled a first-year class of 527 students and our overall acceptance rate was 44%. 
  • We enrolled about 30% of our class from Early Decision I and II, which is typical for Rhodes. 
  • Multicultural and international students make up 41% of the class of 2023. In addition, our current student body hails from 47 states and 54 countries, and multicultural and international students make up more than 31% of the entire campus population.

Take a look at our Class of 2023 and current Student Body profiles. (PDF)

Admission Decision Information

  • Rhodes’ admission process is test-optional for classes entering Fall 2021, Fall 2022, and Fall 2023. International and home-school applicants who choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores must do an interview with an admission counselor. Please review our Test Optional FAQs for more information.
  • For students who choose to submit an SAT or ACT score, we practice test-blind evaluation of admission and merit scholarship for those students who earn a 28/1300 or higher on the ACT/SAT. Once a student has scored at least a 28, we know that, from a testing perspective, their likelihood of being academically successful at Rhodes in their first year does not materially improve. Removing a ‘successful’ test score from deliberations allows us to focus on three-and-a-half years of work and not overemphasize a three-and-a-half-hour exam. Conversely, for students with below a 28/1300, sub-scores and other aspects of their application become more important and better predictors of academic success at Rhodes.
  • In an effort to streamline the admission process, Rhodes accepts unofficial test scores for use during the application reading process. Students will submit a form with their unofficial test scores when they apply and will verify their submission with official scores when they enroll.
  • Rhodes has traditionally factored demonstrated interest (a campus visit or virtual visit, coffee shop interview, or communication with admission counselor) into our decisions.
  • Early Action (EA) and Regular Decision (RD) are competitive, but reasonably similar in the quality of student who is offered admission.
  • Early Decision I and II applicants can expect a response (including financial aid, if applicable) within two weeks of completing their application.

Early Decision

Rhodes considers Early Decision candidates on a rolling basis beginning September 1. Students applying for scholarship and financial aid will receive full consideration for merit-based and need-based funding.  There are two Early Decision rounds to consider.   

Early Decision I - Students must apply by November 1 for Early Decision I consideration. Rhodes begins to review Early Decision I applications on September 1st and normally delivers both admission and merit scholarship decisions within two weeks of reception of all supporting documents including financial aid applications (if applicable).   

  •  Students wanting to be considered for merit scholarship need only submit their completed application for admission.     
  • Students accepted Early Decision I must make a $500 enrollment deposit within two weeks of notification.    

  • To be considered for need based aid, Early Decision I applicants are required to complete both the FAFSA by November 1st.  Notification of need based aid is November 15.  Students seeking need based financial aid must make their $500 enrollment deposit no later than December 1.   

Early Decision II – Students must apply by January 15 for Early Decision II consideration.  Rhodes begins to review Early Decision II applications on November 15th and normally delivers both admission and merit scholarship decisions within two weeks of reception of all supporting documents including financial aid applications (if applicable).     

  •  Students who wish to be considered for merit scholarship need only submit their completed application for admission.     
  • Students accepted Early Decision II must make a $500 enrollment deposit within two weeks of notification.   

  • To be considered for need based aid, Early Decision II applicants are required to complete both the FAFSA by January 15th.  Notification of need based aid is February 1st.  Students seeking need based financial aid must make their $500 enrollment deposit no later than February 15th.  

First-Year Students 
Students applying to be a first-year student must apply online through the Common Application. The Common Application website will guide you through each step of the application and inform you of the necessary supporting documents needed to submit a complete application for admission to Rhodes. Test scores from the ACT or SAT may be submitted to Rhodes using SAT code 1730 and ACT code 4008. All first year applicants for admission are required to submit: 

  • Common Application  
  • High School Transcript 
  • High School Counselor Recommendation 
  • High School Teacher Recommendation 
  • ACT or SAT scores (optional)

Campus visits and virtual visits are strongly encouraged for all applicants but not required. We like to meet students individually to help us get to know them better and learn more about their academic preparation and experiences outside of their education. 

More importantly, students will get to see if Rhodes is the place where they want to spend the next four years.Visiting classes, meeting with professors, spending the night on campus and even eating in the dining hall is the best way to get a feel for Rhodes. Students can schedule a visit to Rhodes online. 

Scholarships and Financial Aid at Rhodes  

  • All applicants are considered for competitive merit awards, ranging from $7,500 to full tuition, on the basis of their Common Application and supporting materials. Separate scholarship applications are not required.
  • There are five fellowships that do require a special application process: Taylor Physics Fellowship, Fine Arts Award (art, music, theatre), the Jewish Community Fellowship, the Bonner Service Scholarship, and the Clarence Day Scholarship. Visit for more information.
  • All applicants seeking need-based aid consideration are required to complete both the FAFSA.
  • International students are considered for merit scholarships. To be considered for need-based aid, international students should submit the International Student Financial Aid Application. Admission is more competitive for international students seeking need-based aid. More information can be found at Financial Aid and Scholarships.

What’s New at Rhodes? 

  • We have made all institutional and federal/state aid portable for our Rhodes, Exchange, and Affiliated Study Abroad Programs. All Rhodes students are eligible for this new benefit and have the option of studying abroad for a semester or an entire academic year.
  • In an effort to bring a premier, innovative, and unique dining program to our campus, Bon Appetit was selected as Rhodes’ new dining service provider. They emphasize excellent food, outstanding service, and sustainability.
  • We welcomed our first cohort studying to earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Equity. The certificate is designed to prepare students to become skilled and compassionate health care providers who understand how social determinants shape health outcomes and are committed to working with underserved populations.
  • Rhodes will begin breaking ground this year on a greenhouse that will be used for student and faculty research, as well as providing hands-on experience for students enrolled in botanically focused courses.
  • Robertson Hall, a 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art science facility that houses biology and chemistry faculty, teaching labs, research labs, and classrooms, opened in 2017, and serves more than a quarter of the student body. Following a complete renovation, Briggs Hall reopened in 2017 as our new home for computer science, which is Rhodes’ fastest-growing major.
  • The sciences continue to be very strong at Rhodes, especially with our partnership programs with local hospitals such as
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Our partnership with the Neuroscience Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital pairs each student in the program with a neuroscientist, with whom they serve as an understudy for 15 months.
  • We established a Hillel chapter on campus, marking our formal affiliation with the world’s largest Jewish student organization.

Rhodes won the Southern Athletic Association Commissioner’s Cup for the second year in a row, which recognizes the SAA institution with the overall best varsity athletic program. Rhodes also topped the 2019 winter/spring SAA All-Academic Honor Rolls. Matt Dean officially took over as Director of Athletics after serving an interim role.

  • Field Hockey – 2018 SAA Tournament Champions, advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Men’s Cross Country – 2018 SAA and South/Southeast Regional Champions; finished with a program-high 17th place at NCAA Division III Nationals; Toler Freyaldenhoven ’20 was named the first All-American in program history.
  • Women’s Basketball – 2018-19 SAA Tournament Champions, making their fifth NCAA appearance in program history.
  • Women’s Golf – 2014, 2016, & 2017 NCAA National Champs; named the 2017, 2018 Tennessee Amateur Team of the Year; placed 6th at 2019 NCAA Championship, while Emily Salamy ’19 placed 3rd.
  • Women’s Lacrosse – won their fourth consecutive regular season conference championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year.
  • Men’s Lacrosse – won their second straight SAA Tournament Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. 
  • Men’s and Women’s Track & Field – both teams took home SAA Championship titles for the second straight year; four Lynx advanced to the NCAA Championships.
  • Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving – Sibling duo Allie ’19 and Hayden Hill ’21 represented the Lynx at the 2019 NCAA Championships, with Hayden not only making the first Rhodes men’s national appearance, but being named the first All-American in men’s swimming history.

Successful Class of 2018-2019

The Class of 2019 is one of the college’s largest and most successful. 509 students received diplomas in May. Eleven members of the Class of 2019 were awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, a record number for the college. Rhodes continued its streak of having at least one student admitted to the National Institutes of Health’s Medical Scientist Training Program, which is a fully funded MD-PhD degree program. In addition, dozens of students are beginning their professional careers with Fortune 500 companies.

Some notable examples:

  • Anna Baker-Olson (Zionsville, IN, Zionsville Community High School), a political science and psychology double major, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant and is now serving as an English teaching assistant in Thailand.
  • Tanner Martinez (Mercer Island, WA, Mercer Island High School), a biochemistry and molecular biology major, is pursuing an MD/PhD at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
  • Junior Walters (Louisville, KY, Christian Academy of Louisville), an environmental studies major, was awarded the Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in Honor of Cary Fowler and will work at the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Bonn, Germany.

Counselor Visits to Rhodes 
Rhodes hosts an annual counselor visit program each spring for approximately 25 counselors. Please ask your admission counselor for more information. We also welcome your individual visit anytime and would love to treat you to some Memphis BBQ! Memphis is approximately 3 hours from Nashville, 2.5 hours from Little Rock and 4 hours from St. Louis if you are planning to visit other colleges. 

Prospective Student Programs 
Rhodes offers opportunities for prospective students to have meaningful interactions with Rhodes faculty and staff. These programs also allow students to sample the Rhodes community through living in campus residence halls and exploring campus amenities and resources.  

Summer Writing Institute  
The Summer Writing Institute at Rhodes College takes place annually for two weeks during June and is an intensive residential academic program committed to developing the critical thinking and writing skills of ambitious high school students. Within the college′s liberal arts environment, students sharpen their reading and analytical skills and learn strategies for writing creatively and critically through coursework in the humanities and social sciences. At the end of the session, students receive a grade for their work and class participation, earn two college credits, transferable to any college or university, and will have completed a portfolio of college-level writing. 

Mock Trial Academy  
Rhodes invites talented high school mock trial students from all over the country to join us for a week-long, intensive, mock trial training camp. Students will have the opportunity to work with experienced coaches, who have a demonstrated record of success developing skills in public speaking and presentation, and learn how to effectively present an argument and develop an understanding of constitutional laws related to the judicial system. 

Campus Visits 
Meet Your Counselor