Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Imagen de Elvin Joel Estrada Garcia


f you can put a check beside each of the following statements, you should be a strong candidate for a Truman Scholarship. If more than two do not apply, the Truman Scholarship is probably not right for you.

Legal Requirements (must be met)

  • At the time I apply, I will be a full-time student pursuing a bachelor's degree with junior-level academic standing; or, I have senior-level standing in my third year of college enrollment. Note: Students who are already attending graduate school are not eligible for the Truman Scholarship.
  • I am a U.S. citizen (or a U.S. national) or I expect to receive my citizenship by the date the Scholarship will be awarded.

Career and Graduate Study Interests

  • I hope to be a "change agent," in time, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public.
  • There are conditions in our society or the environment which trouble me.
  • I want to work in government, education, the nonprofit sector, or the public interest/advocacy sector to improve these conditions.
  • I am comfortable committing to work in public service for three of the first seven years after I complete a Foundation-funded graduate degree.
  • I would like to get a master's degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs.

Community Service and Academic Record

  • I have participated extensively in two or more of the following sets of activities:
    • Student government and/or campus-based extracurricular activities;
    • Community service-related activities that were not organized by my school or by my fraternity/sorority;
    • Government internships, commissions or boards, advocacy or interest groups, nonpartisan political activities, or military/ROTC ;
    • Partisan political activities and campaigns.
  • I have been involved with organizations or activities related to my career interests.
  • I have demonstrated some of my leadership potential.
  • I have sufficiently strong grades and coursework to gain admittance to a first-rate graduate institution.
  • I read regularly a good national newspaper and a thoughtful periodical.
  • I have had one or more courses relating to my career interests.


  • I would appreciate external affirmation of my values and goals.
  • I would like to become associated with Truman Scholar "change agents."
  • I am capable of analyzing a public issue in my intended career area and presenting my findings in a one-page memo to a government official who could take action.
  • I am willing to prepare an outstanding application and policy proposal under the supervision of my Truman Faculty Representative.
  • I believe I could hold my own in a challenging interview conducted by a panel of prominent public servants, educators, and former Truman Scholars.
  • I could use $30,000 to continue my education.


Candidates often remark that our application allowed them to really focus on their goals and develop a strategy for graduate school and their career.  The application is quite extensive and requires Candidates to really think about where they are headed.  Candidates are encouraged to review the application thoroughly before decided whether to proceed.

A sample of our application is available for download from our website.  Our application changes very little from year to year, but there are some formatting differences between the sample application and the on-line version.  Our on-line system will be unavailable from the end of the application cycle in February through July 30.  The new on-line application will be available by August 1 of each year.  To access the on-line system, students will need to be registered on our website by their Faculty Rep.

Please review these dates before applying. These dates are firm; the Foundation will not accommodate requests for changes to these dates.

  • Truman Application Deadline: February 5, 2019
  • Finalist Confirmation Due: February 21, 2019
  • Finalist Posting: February 22, 2019
  • Regional Review Panels: March 2019 through early April 2019
  • Scholar Posting: April 17, 2019
  • Truman Scholars Leadership Week: May 21-26, 2019

Please consult Regional Review Panels for a more detailed listing of our interview dates and locations.



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