Truman Scholarship Available for U.S. Public Service Students

Students majoring in public service like you can take advantage of various funding opportunities dedicated to this field. One of the many generous scholarships for public service students is the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, more commonly known as the Truman Scholarship.

The scholarship was made possible by the generosity of President Truman, the thirty-third president of the United States. It was initiated and sponsored by the Truman Foundation, the idea of President Truman himself that was founded by Congress in 1975.

Since its initial launch, the Truman Scholarship has supported thousands of students who aspire to pursue careers as public service leaders. That noble goal makes the Truman Foundation a beacon of public service to young people across the country.

Learn how to win a Truman Scholarship and its application process in this quick guide. We’ve put together everything you need to know to succeed. Without further ado, let’s dive into it right away.

Truman Scholarship
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About the Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship, sometimes known as the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, is the signature program of the Truman Foundation. It is the United States’ official living memorial to the country’s 33rd president. The foundation was established by Congress in 1975, and it was the brainchild of President Harry S. Truman.

President Truman did not wish for a concrete monument. Instead, he advocated for a living memorial to honor the values of service that had guided his career. In that spirit, the Truman Foundation provides a location where future public servants can be nurtured and supported.

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The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship for students who aspire to work in public service. It is a merit-based scholarship given to U.S. residents and Pacific Island nationalities who desire to attend graduate school to pursue a career in public service. The organization hopes to invest in leaders who commit their lives to public service by giving out the award.

Whether you’re planning to work for the government or the non-profit sector, this scholarship can help get you started in your public service career. Furthermore, applicants are available to any specific major as long as they provide a statement of interest in pursuing a career in public service through an academic program.

Program Benefits

You will receive up to a total of approximately $30,000 for graduate or professional school expenses. Additionally, the foundation will invite you to participate in various programs, including:

  • The Truman Fellows Program
  • Truman Scholar Leadership Week
  • The Summer Institute
  • Public Service Law Conference

Furthermore, the Truman Foundation provides career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development assistance.

Truman Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

You must be a junior when applying for the scholarship. Alternatively, you could be a third-year student planning to graduate in three years. Plus, you should be in the top quarter of your class, a United States citizen, and have chosen an undergraduate major that will allow you to enter a graduate school leading to a career in public service.

“Participation in government and associated public service, with an emphasis on prospective leadership skills,” is defined as public service here. Finally, you must be nominated by a faculty representative from your institution. To put it another way, you cannot apply for the Truman Scholarship directly.

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Truman Scholarship Application

A faculty representative from your university must nominate you for this scholarship. In fact, your university has the authority to recommend up to four individuals, plus two additional transfer students, for national consideration. However, if your school doesn’t have a faculty representative, you will need to find a faculty or staff member willing to serve in this capacity.

Then, you must submit a complete Truman Scholarship Campus Application to be nominated by your university by the deadline. Use the Truman Campus Application Portal to submit your application. You must include the following items in your entire Campus Application:

  • A Truman Campus Application
  • Four short essay responses
  • A policy proposal
  • Your latest academic CV or resume
  • Three letters of recommendation, one each affirming: (1) Public Service, (2) Leadership, and (3) Academic Success
  • Transcripts

After your faculty representative has registered you, you will receive an email with one-time log-in information. Your username will be the same as your email address. As a result, make sure you pick an email address that you can quickly reach, appropriate for usage on your application. After logging in, you’ll be led to a dashboard page where you may update your profile and choose a password that you’ll remember.

After that, save for your bio and photo, fill out the rest of your profile. Only if you are chosen as a finalist will your bio and photo be asked, and only if you are chosen as a Truman Scholar will they be used. You’ll land into your dashboard page once your profile is complete. On the right-hand side of the official Truman Scholarship website is a link to begin your application.

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Closing Date

Applications for the Truman Scholarship close on February 1. The foundation will confirm your application by February 18. However, you should consult the Regional Review Panels for a more detailed list of interview dates and locations: Regional Review Panels. Finally, you must attend Truman Scholars Leadership Week (TSLW) as part of the scholarship requirements once the foundation declares you a scholar.

Contact Details

For inquiries regarding the scholarship competition, please contact your university’s faculty representative. However, if you have other queries, send your questions to Also, you can call the foundation’s support team at 202 395 4831.

Truman Scholarship Official Website

All in all, you can apply to or learn more about the Harry S. Truman Scholarship at

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