McGraw, whose brother was nominated this past year, was the only University of Mississippi student nominated this year.
“I think I deserve (the scholarship); I think a lot of people deserve it,” he said. “Really, anybody who’s a finalist deserves it and could benefit from it.”
The public policy major said the program he selected is evidence-based social intervention.
“It would mean two more years of school, but it would be an awesome honor, and I would do my best to make the most of it,” he said.
Before he could be nominated, McGraw had to go through a panel, and the Oxford native said he left the interview feeling like he did not do very well.
“I think they looked past the interview,” McGraw said.
Shad White was the university’s last Rhodes Scholar in 2007.
“I did have to go through an interview on a panel here, and I didn’t really do very well in the interview,” he said. “I think a lot of the committee members didn’t feel too strongly about giving me the endorsement.”
McGraw will travel to St. Louis tomorrow, where he will interview as a Rhodes finalist to see if he will be selected for the prestigious honor.
The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, bring outstanding students from many countries to the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Besides “intellectual distinction,” the selection committee seeks excellence in qualities of mind and of person, which combined offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead, according to a press release.
“Taylor represents what is best about the University of Mississippi,” Chancellor Dan Jones said in the press release. “He brought with him a keen intellect, curious spirit and positive attitude. He has taken advantage of opportunities here and is a remarkable student leader on our campus.”