Truman Scholarship

Website Eligibility Deadline Juniors Nov. 15, 2023


The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, established by Congress in 1975, awards merit-based scholarships to college students planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. Each year, in a national competition, 75 - 100 scholarships are awarded, with at least one being awarded in each of the 50 states. Since its creation in 1975, the Foundation has supported almost 3,000 Truman Scholars who are making a difference in all corners of the nation and around the globe. 


Each nominee for the Truman Scholarship must be:

  • a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor's degree
  • 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 or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

A good candidate for the Truman Scholarship meets the above eligibility requirements and also:

  • has an extensive record of public and community service;
  • has outstanding leadership potential and communication skills; and
  • is committed to a career in government or elsewhere in public service, as defined by the Foundation.

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.

One scholarship will be available to a qualified resident nominee in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, the Islands: Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. (Residency is generally determined by home address for school registration, family's primary residence, and voter registration.) The Foundation may select up to 15 at-large scholars.

Application Procedure

  1. CWRU can only nominate up to four candidates each year, so there is an on-campus preliminary screening. Interested candidates should meet with Dean Wes Schaub by October 15 and then complete the Truman Scholarship Preliminary Application‌‌ by the campus deadline of November 15.
  2. The preliminary applications will be reviewed by CWRU's faculty representative. Students will be contacted as to whether their application has been moved on to the next stage, an interview with the Campus Selection Committee.
  3. Following campus interviews, up to four applications will be endorsed and nominated by CWRU.‌
  4. Interested applicants should submit the above preliminary application to Dean LaTasha Johnson at by the campus deadline of Nov. 15, 2023. Preference will be for all preliminary application components to be sent in one singular PDF.
  5. If selected for a campus interview, a date/time will be identified based on the applicant’s class schedule and committee availability. Interviews will take place in early December (see schedule below).
  6. If selected as one of four candidates to represent CWRU, candidates will work directly with Dean Schaub on submission to the national competition.
Application Timeline
Campus deadline Nov. 15, 2023
Interview scheduling Nov. 16-17, 2023
Interview confirmation Nov. 18, 2023
Campus interviews Nov. 30, 2023
Candidate selection notification Dec. 3, 2023
National deadline Feb. 6, 2024

Value of the Award

The Foundation provides:

  • Up to $30,000 toward a public service-related graduate degree. The Foundation has supported Truman Scholars in many fields of study, from agriculture, biology, engineering, technology, medicine, and environmental management, to fields such as economics, education, government, history, international relations, law, political science, public administration, nonprofit management, public health, and public policy.
  • Truman Scholars Leadership Week. This event, held at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, introduces new Scholars to the services provided by the Foundation and the many pathways to public service.  Scholars participate in seminars and workshops with distinguished Truman alumni and other public service leaders, a group exercise about policy implementation, a graduate school and career fair with representatives from the schools and programs most attended by Truman Scholars, and community service events in the Kansas City area; this event is required of all Scholars.
  • Summer Institute. Immediately after college graduation, Scholars have the opportunity to participate in an eight-week Summer Institute in Washington, DC.  The Foundation helps to arrange internships with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, seminars and workshops, meetings with Washington policymakers and Truman alumni, and opportunities for community building among Scholars.
  • Truman-Albright and Other Fellows Program. After Summer Institute, Scholars may elect to stay in Washington, DC, for a full year in the Truman-Albright Fellows Program; Truman-Albright Fellows are placed in public service jobs while participating in workshops, seminars, and mentoring opportunities. Additional fellowship opportunities, outlined on the Truman website, are available for Scholars as they move through the early stages of their careers in public service.


Please contact Dean Johnson with any scholarship-related questions.

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