Truman Scholarship

Campus Deadline Disciplines Purpose Open To Eligibility
November 1 Public Service and Government Leadership training, and funding for up to a 3 years of graduate study at an accredited U.S. university Juniors U.S. citizen, 3.3+ GPA


About the Truman Scholarship

The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service. The Foundation awards merit-based scholarships of up to $30,000 to college juniors who plan to pursue careers in government or the public service and attend graduate school Scholars are required to work in a public service or governmental capacity for 3 of the first 7 years of employment after they finish their graduate degree. Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and opportunities for special internships and employment with the federal government in the summer before their senior year.

The Truman Foundation seeks future “change agents” who aspire to leadership positions in federal, state, or local governments or in the not-for-profit and education sectors where they can influence public policies and change public programs. Truman Scholars must have extensive records of public and community service, are committed to careers in public service, and have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.

Truman Scholars are selected by regional selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference”. The criteria for selecting Truman Scholars are:

  • Extensive record of public service. Scholars have a record of sustained participation (at least two years) in campus service, community service, politics, governments, or non-profit organizations.
  • Commitment to a career in government or elsewhere in the public sector. The nominee’s proposed program of graduate study should be suitable for a career in public service.
  • Demonstrated record of leadership and communication skills. Potential leadership is not enough. Scholars need to have had meaningful and substantial leadership experiences.
  • Academic performance, intellectual strength, and writing and analytical skills. The competition is not GPA-driven, yet students are chosen as Scholars because they are likely to be admitted to the best graduate schools. A student with a 3.6 GPA and an extensive record of service and leadership will prevail over a student with a 3.9+ GPA but little service or leadership. Each year, students win with lower GPAs if they are exceptional in other areas.
  • Heart, compassion, and a desire to influence public policy or education programs. Nominees are evaluated on the likelihood of “making a difference” in public service.

The Truman Scholarship requires and institutional endorsement.  If you are interested in applying, make sure you know the competition deadline.

For more information, visit the Truman Scholarship website.