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Truman Scholarship

What is the Truman?

The Truman is a highly competitive, merit-based award offered to U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals from Pacific Islands who want to go to graduate school in preparation for a career in public service.

The scholarship offers:
  • Recognition of outstanding potential as a leader in public service;
  • Affirmation of values and ideals;
  • Enhanced access to highly competitive graduate institutions; 
  • Access to Scholar programs such as Truman Scholars Leadership Week, the Summer Institute and various Truman Fellows Programs;
  • Membership in a community of persons devoted to helping others and to improving the world; and,
  • Up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate study in the U.S. or abroad in a wide variety of fields.

Although this scholarship provides funding for graduate school, the application must be completed during a student’s Junior year. The Truman program does not require that the student go directly to graduate school upon completion of their undergraduate degree. 

Who is Truman for?

Truman scholars are future "change agents." They have the passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities - be they government agencies, nonprofit organizations, public and private educational institutions, or advocacy organizations - serve the public good.

The best candidates for the Truman scholarship are natural leaders who are committed to a career in public service. They have a track record of identifying problems and seeking to create solutions. They are not necessarily the students with the highest GPA.

Students graduating in 2024 or those graduating in 2023 who are in their third year of college are elligible.

To figure out if Truman is right for you, check out Truman's checklist for potential scholars.

How do I apply?

There are three stages to the Truman competition:

1. Apply for SCU's nomination through our early-action process (deadline: May 24, 2022) - Now Closed

2. Apply for SCU's nomination through our regular internal competition (deadline Nov. 14, 2022)

Fill out this Google Form, which features selected questions from the real Truman application. We will use this shorter application to select up to 4 nominees that OSF will support in the general competition.

3. Apply to Truman's competition (due February 1, 2023)

If you are selected as an SCU nominee, OSF staff will work closely with you as you develop your full Truman application. You will be expected to complete a rough draft of your application by the start of winter quarter. You should also plan to spend a good amount of time revising and polishing your application during the month of January.


Email with questions.

Learn more about Truman
Student Perspective

"The Truman allowed me to dream big with regards to my future career and start mapping a course for the next 5-10 years of my life."

-- Julian Dreiman '21, 
Truman nominee

Student Perspective

"The Truman Scholarship application process gave me the tools to strategically position myself for other fellowship and job applications as I prepare for post-grad."

-- Ciara Moezidis '21, 
Truman finalist

Student Perspective

"The application is hard, but it’s hard because you really have to be introspective about yourself. You learn to see your skills as a leader and you see the potential you have to effect change in your future."

-- Chris Wanis '21, 
Truman nominee