The Associated Press

Jennifer Bright and Aidan Daly share an Ivy League pedigree. Now they have something else in common.

The Yale and Harvard university students, both from New York City, are among 32 Americans named Sunday as Rhodes scholars. They will receive scholarships to study at Oxford University.

Bright, a senior at Yale, is majoring in ethics, politics and economics. Daly, a Harvard senior, is majoring in computer science. "I was shocked, it's not something that I ever expected," Bright said.

Said Daly, "I definitely thought it was a long shot," because when he looked up past scholars, he didn't find too many in the hard sciences, as compared with the humanities.

Both students have company from their schools -- Yale has six other and Harvard five other Rhodes winners.

Daly said a few of the winners are in his dorm. "It's crazy that we all went in together and came out together," he said.

The prestigious awards provide all expenses, about $50,000 a year, for up to four years of study at the university in England. The winners, expected to enter Oxford in October, were selected from 838 applicants endorsed by 302 colleges and universities.

Bright said she would work toward a master's degree in public policy. She said she was particularly interested in urban health policy and hoped to go to law school and ultimately to work at a health policy institute.

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Daly said he would study computer science, with long-term goals of a doctorate in computational biology and becoming a professor.

Rhodes scholarships were created in 1902 through the will of British-born businessman and politician Cecil Rhodes, who founded the DeBeers diamond corporation and the state of Rhodesia, now divided into Zimbabwe and Zambia. The American students will join an international group of scholars.