Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Website: www.truman.gov

Campus Contact: Thor Hogan, Associate Professor of Politics and Environmental Science, thorh@earlham.edu

The Truman Scholarship Foundation recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. The scholarship, a $30,000 merit-based award, supports graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students committed to making a difference through public service.

Applicants must attend an accredited U.S. college or university and be nominated by the institution’s Truman Faculty Representative. Candidates must have extensive records of public and community service, be committed to careers in government or public service and demonstrate outstanding leadership and communication skills. The Foundation awards 75-80 Truman Scholarships from a pool of more than 600 applicants each year. There have been 2,253 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

This fellowship requires institutional selection and nomination. A copy of all materials must be submitted electronically to Earlham’s Graduate Fellowship Committee. The GFC may nominate up to four candidates for this fellowship.

Who May Apply

U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals from Pacific Islands who are full-time college juniors or seniors and who want to go to graduate school in preparation for a career in public service. Successful candidates are those who hope to be “change agents” in improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations or educational institutions serve the public and who plan to earn a master’s degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs. Applicants must demonstrate a strong likelihood of a career in the public sector and an intention to structure their graduate training toward policy-oriented positions.

Application Pool Description

The Truman is a very competitive national scholarship. Each year, the Foundation reviews over 600 applications for the 70 to 75 scholarships awarded annually.

Eligibility Limitations

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals, complete an application and be in the upper quarter of their junior class. Residents of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Northern Marianas must be in their senior year.

Award Description and Duration

The highly competitive, merit-based Truman Scholarship offers recognition of outstanding potential as a leader in public service, membership in a community of persons devoted to helping others and to improving the environment, and a $30,000 grant, $27,000 of which is for graduate study in the U.S. or abroad in a wide variety of fields.

Campus Requirements and Deadline

Applicants must be nominated by their institution in a process conducted by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative at their college or university. Earlham may nominate four students. On-campus guidelines are currently under revision. The deadline is November 1.

Campus Interviews


Application Requirements and Deadline

Personal statement, policy proposal, letters of recommendation and official transcript must be submitted by February 7. Interviews with the Truman Selection Committee usually occur between February 14 and March 14.


Scholars are announced on the Truman Web site on March 21.


  • 1995 Jill Peddycord ’96, Mathematics and Politics
  • 1981 Margaret Morris ’82, American Studies
  • 1980 John Stephens, ’82, Philosophy and Political Science
  • 1977 Shelby Chodos, ’78, Policy Studies