The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving funding.
Award: Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities, and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government. The foundation selects approximately 60 Scholars each year.
Criteria: The 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. Criteria for selecting Truman Scholars are mainly (1) extensive records of public and community service, (2) commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in the public sector, (3) desire to influence public policies or education programs, and (4) outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.
(The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations.)
ODS internal deadline for endorsement: Monday, November 16, 2020 (5:00 pm ET)
Scholarship final deadline: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
- a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor’s degree during the academic year of application
- nominated by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative at his or her institution
- in the upper quarter of his or her class
- a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa. Resident aliens (green card holders) are not eligible
How to apply for UNC endorsement
- Personal information form
- Completed online Truman Scholarship application
- Short essays
- Policy proposal
- All relevant transcripts
- 3 Letters of recommendation
Resources for applicants
- Review the ODS “Tips & Advice” document for advice on applying for a distinguished scholarship
- Thoroughly read the following Truman rules and guidelines:
- ODS information sessions and prep-shops
- Schedule a meeting with the ODS director to discuss your application and receive advice to consider as you prepare for the endorsement deadline. Non-local applicants may schedule meetings via Skype or phone