Truman: UNC Endorsement Application


Three separate forms must be submitted prior to the endorsement deadline in order to complete your application. These include:

  • Personal Information form
  • Truman Scholarship Online Application
  • Submit Recommenders form

We have separated the forms so that you may complete the steps at different times. The Personal Information and Recommenders forms cannot be saved and must be completed in one sitting.

Personal Information Form

This form allows you to provide information about you, your education, and your future plans to ODS and the Truman Selection Committee.


You will be asked to upload a high-resolution head shot photograph (.jpg or .jpeg file) for promotional purposes. It does not need to be professionally taken.

University Transcripts

Upload a copy of your current unofficial UNC transcript. Click here for information on how to obtain your transcript online. If you have taken higher education courses that are not reflected on your transcript, provide those transcripts as well.

You must complete this form to gain access to the Truman Scholarship Online Application. Be sure you complete this step well before the endorsement deadline so that you have time to complete the full online application.


Online Application

ODS will create an application for you on Truman’s website within 2-3 business days of receiving your Personal Information form. Once you have been registered, you will receive an email with a one-time log-in. Complete all parts of the Truman application including your activities, essays, and policy proposal (sample application pages here). Once you have completed your application, you can click the “Send Application to Faculty Rep for Review” box to have your materials sent to ODS. For step-by-step instructions, click here.


You will be asked to list your activities in the following categories:
  • College (up to 8) and high school (up to 4) activities
  • Public service and community or civic activities (up to 6)
  • Government activities (up to 6)
  • Part- and full-time jobs and nongovernment internships (up to 6)
  • Awards, scholarships, and publications (up to 6)


The Truman application includes eight short essay questions about your leadership and public service experience, the problem you want to address, your education, your intended graduate education program, your intended career, and any additional information you wish to share. Limits for these questions range from 900 to 2,000 characters. Click here for tips from the Truman Foundation for preparing effective essays.

Policy Proposal

Your policy proposal must be related to the problem you identified in your application. Your proposal should be approximately 500 words, exclusive of citations, and will include a problem statement, proposed solution, and major obstacles. Policy proposal tips can be found here.

Letters of Recommendation

Request 3 letters of recommendation directly from faculty using the form linked below. We encourage you contact your recommenders at least one month prior to the endorsement deadline and to share your personal statement, resume, and future goals with all recommenders. Each recommendation should mention the criteria (leadership, public service, or academics) in either a subject line or the first paragraph.

When choosing recommenders, consider the following:

  • The Leadership Abilities and Potential letter should confirm the experience described in Question 7 (specific example of your leadership). The letter writer need not have witnessed the example first hand, but he or she should be able to discuss the example and how it fits within the context of the student’s leadership.
  • The Commitment to a Career in Public Service letter should confirm the experience described in Question 8 (recent, satisfying public service activity). The letter writer need not have witnessed the activity first hand, but he or she should be able to discuss the example and how it fits within the context the student’s commitment to a career in public service.
  • The Intellect and Prospects for Continuing Academic Success letter should discuss the student’s overall academic background in context of the student’s future plans for career and graduate school (Questions 11 to 13). It is recommended, though not required, that the writer have taught the student at some point.

When you complete the following form, your recommenders will receive an email with instructions to upload their letters as PDFs. You should ask potential recommenders personally before completing this form.

Recommendations should be signed, on letterhead, and addressed to The Truman Selection Committee. Letters may not exceed 2 pages. Please read this letter of guidance and share it with individuals you ask to write a letter of recommendation. Contact ODS if you need advice on choosing and contacting a recommender.

Recommenders who have questions should contact ODS directly.

Submit Recommenders Form


After You Apply

Interviews with UNC Selection Committee

After reviewing the applications for endorsement, the UNC Marshall Scholarships Selection Committee will invite competitive applicants to participate in an on-campus interview. Applicants who are unavailable for on-campus interviews should contact ODS prior to the endorsement application deadline to discuss other interview options. Endorsed candidates will be notified soon after the interviews.

Next Steps for Endorsed Candidates

Endorsed candidates will be able to work with ODS and the selection committee to polish their applications prior to the Truman Scholarship deadline. Endorsed applicants must submit their final application materials online to the Goldwater Foundation before the final deadline. ODS will upload transcripts and recommendation letters approve online applications once they have been submitted. Those who encounter difficulties should contact ODS.

Finalists will be notified in late February and invited to interview between February and April, depending on the region, with a regional Truman Foundation committee. ODS will organize practice interviews prior to the finalist interviews. Finalists are notified in mid- or late April if they have been selected as a Truman Scholar.