Harry S Truman Scholarship Program

To honor former President Harry S Truman through the operation of an education scholarship program, financed by a permanent trust fund endowment, to develop increased opportunities for young Americans to prepare for and pursue careers in public service.

Agency - Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation

Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Since the Program's inception, 2405 (of a total of approximately 22,100 nominees) college students studying for careers in public service have received scholarship assistance. The first classes of Truman Scholars are progressing well toward their goals of preparation for public service by gaining acceptance to high quality postgraduate programs, by pursuing Foundation-assisted or self- initiated internship opportunities, and by securing positions in government at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance is intended for the use of Scholars only.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Undergraduate junior level students at four year colleges and universities who are properly nominated by accredited colleges or universities recognized by the Department of Education.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. citizens or nationals, college juniors.


Enrolled, matriculated in a degree program at an accredited U.S. college; Pursuing a bachelor's degree as a full-time student during the forthcoming academic year; ranked in the upper quarter of her or his class; U.S. citizen or national; selected field of study that will permit admission to a graduate or professional program allowing better preparation for a career in public service.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Each July the chief executive officers of all accredited U.S.

colleges and universities are invited to appoint a Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative to manage the selection and nomination of up to four students for the forthcoming year's Truman Scholarships.

The standard online nomination forms with instructions will be available on the Foundation's website (http://www.truman.gov) in September to the designated faculty representatives of all such institutions whose presidents or chancellors inform the Foundation of their intent to participate.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The faculty representative of an institution is the key person in the Truman Scholarship selection process and serves as liaison between her or his institution and the Foundation. The faculty representative is responsible for publicizing the Truman Scholarship on campus, soliciting recommendations on students with significant potential for leadership in public service from members of the faculty, conducting a competition on campus in order to determine the candidates best qualified to be nominated by the institution, helping prepare the nominees for the competition, and insuring that the institution's official nomination or nominations are forwarded to the Truman Scholarship Review Committee by the stated deadline. The following information, on the official nominating materials, must be included with each Scholarship nomination be submitted online and include: 1. The nomination and supporting information for the Harry S Truman Scholarship Program must include a certification that the student is a candidate for a Truman Scholarship; a statement that the student plans to pursue a career in public service; a list of the student's public service activities such as those associated with government agencies, community groups, and political campaigns; a list of leadership positions the student has held during high school and during the first two and one-half years of undergraduate study; a statement of interest in a career in public service that specifies how the student's educational plans will provide preparation for that career; and a statement that the student is willing to participate in a week long seminar sponsored by the Foundation. 2. It must also contain an essay of 500 words written by the student that analyzes a public policy issue chosen by the student; transcripts of the student's college grades; and four letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the Truman Faculty Representative; one of the letters must be written by a faculty member in the student's field of study; one by another person who can discuss the student's leadership potential and abilities, and, the fourth letter from a person who can discuss the student's commitment to public service.

Award Procedures

1. Initial evaluation: Students nominated for consideration as Harry S Truman Scholars will be evaluated on the basis of: a. the extent to which the student has shown an outstanding potential for leadership in public service, b. the extent of participation in community and public service activities, c. the appropriateness of the candidate's intended plan of study to prepare him/her for a career in public service, d. the student's academic performance. 2. Interviews: Finalists selected as a result of the initial evaluation of the credentials of all nominees are interviewed by Regional Review Panels, composed primarily of prominent public officials and previous recipients of Truman Scholarships. Each Review Panel will recommend from among the qualified applicants one person from each State or district for appointment by the Board of Trustees as a Truman Scholar, plus up to two additional persons for Scholarships at large from each region. The Review Panels will concentrate their evaluation on the nominees' demonstrated interest in the public service, their relative potential for leadership in government, their analytical abilities, their commitment to careers in public service, and the quality of their submitted materials. Among the characteristics they will assess in making this judgment are the following: analytic ability, communication skills, integrity, self-confidence, sensitivity to others, ability to explain with clarity a complex situation, a demonstrated interest in public service, and a commitment to future public service. 3. Final Selection: From among the candidates recommended by the Review Panels, the Board of Trustees will name up to 75 winners of Harry S Truman Scholarships.


All materials must be submitted by the student's faculty representative via the online application system. Please visit http://www.truman.gov for application procedure and application deadline.


Harry S Truman Memorial Scholarship Act, Public Law 93-642, 88 Stat. 2276-2280, 20 U.S.C. 2001-2013.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

1. February, each year - Scholarship nominees are evaluated and Finalists selected. 2. February- March, each year - Truman Scholarship Finalists are interviewed. 3. April, each year - The Truman Scholars are selected by the Board of Trustees of the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation.




1. It is the intent of the Foundation to renew Scholarship awards made to college juniors for a period not to exceed three academic years of their graduate study program, in accordance with the regulations established by its Board of Trustees, and subject to an annual review for compliance with these requirements. 2. The Foundation may terminate a Scholarship: a. when a student has not maintained, satisfactory proficiency, or b. when the student is no longer enrolled in a program preparing her or him specifically for public service as specified by the Foundation. 3. A Scholar may seek postponement of her or his award because of ill health or other mitigating circumstances, upon application to the Executive Secretary.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

To be eligible to receive payments, a Truman Scholar must submit in writing: 1. an acceptance of the Scholarship award, 2. An annual report, and 3. at the beginning of each academic year, a statement of eligible expenses certified by the authorized financial officer of the enrolling institution, including those of tuition, fees, books, and room and board, an additional certification regarding the Scholar's academic program, an annual report, and other certifications as required by law or regulation. The number of payments to be made via Treasury check during the academic year will correspond to the number of semesters, trimesters, or quarters in the institution's academic year and the amount of funds to be provided, the total not to exceed $30,000.

Post Assistance Requirements







Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $2,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$2,000 to $15,000; $12,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1801.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Louis Blair, Executive Secretary, 712 Jackson Place, NW., Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 395-4831. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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