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Campus Deadline: November 21, 2023
National Deadline: 
February 2024

Truman Info Session


The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation - the federal memorial to our thirty-third President - awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or public service. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities, and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

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. The Truman Scholarship will not fund MBA programs.
  • 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, D.C. 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, D.C, 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor's degree. 'Junior' here means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2024 and August 2025, or a student in his/her/their third year of collegiate study who expects to graduate during the 2023-2024 academic year;
  • nominated by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative at their institution; and
  • a United States citizen or US National residents of American Samoa. Resident aliens (green card holders) are not eligible.

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.

Campus Application Process

To be considered for nomination, students must submit a completed application by the campus deadline. In early February, the LMU Truman Committee reviews applications, interviews candidates, and endorses up to four nominees. LMU may nominate an additional three applications if those students transferred to LMU from another institution, including community colleges. Nominees will have the opportunity to revise their applications based on feedback from the campus committee before the national deadline. 

Review the Truman 2022-2023 ppt or watch a recording of the Fall 2022 info session.

Campus Nomination Process

  1. Watch the webinar info session for your application cycle.
  2. Email ONIF to request access to the online application no later than September 8, 2023.
  3. Fill out the ONIF FERPA Release form.
  4. ONIF will also grant you access to the Brightspace Fellowship Support Hub which includes additional guidance and resources.
  5. ONIF will host an online Applicant Workshops throughout the Fall 23 semester. While these events are optional, applicants are encouraged to attend.
  6. Approved students will submit the following application components by LMU's campus deadline of November 21, 2023:
    • Online application questions- Q1-Q14.
    • 3 letters of recommendation-  Each of the letters should address one of the following selection criteria: Leadership Abilities and PotentialCommitment to a Career in Public Service, and Intellect and Prospects for Continuing Academic Success.
  7. Students who have submitted applications by the campus deadline will also need to participate in campus interviews in early December 2023. 
  8. ONIF will convene a Truman Selection committee to select nominees. Nominees will have until late January 2024 to prepare:
    • Transcripts - from all colleges attended. For LMU transcripts, students must use official copies. An unofficial transcript or photocopy of transcripts from other institutions are fine. 
    • Policy Proposal - Prepare a convincing Policy Proposal. You will have limited space to examine a significant policy issue or problem that is in your intended area of public service as described in Question 9 of the application. Present your proposal in the form of a memo to the government official who you feel has the most direct authority to resolve the issue (e.g., President, Cabinet Officer, Governor, Chair of a Legislative Committee). 
    • Schedule and attend a 1-hour interview with the campus representative.

For official information on the Truman Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here), please visit the Truman Scholarship Website.

National Selection Process

Nominated LMU candidates will then be reviewed at the national level.

At the national level, a committee examines all nominations and selects about 200 Finalists to be interviewed for Truman Scholarships. Finalists are selected on the basis of:

  • extent and quality of community service and government involvement;
  • leadership record;
  • academic performance, writing, and analytical skills; and
  • suitability of the nominee's proposed program of study for a career in public service.

The Regional Review Panels. Regional selection panels interview Finalists in March and early April and select Truman Scholars largely on the basis of:

  • leadership potential and communication skills;
  • intellectual strength and analytical ability; and
  • likelihood of "making a difference" in public service.

If a Panel judges that none of the Finalists from a state adequately meets each of these criteria, it does not select any candidate from that state. The scholarship will be carried over to 2022 when two scholarships will be available to qualified residents.


Sample ApplicationSample Policy Proposal Template