Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

Official site: http://www.truman.gov
Campus Deadline: November 4, 2020 Junior Nominees deadline
Campus Deadline: April 7, 2021 University nomination of Sophomores
Final Deadline: February 2, 2021 Nominees in Junior Year

As the federal memorial to our thirty-third president, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards up to $30,000 scholarships to college juniors who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service, and wish to attend graduate school to help prepare for their careers. Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

The Truman Foundation seeks future "change agents" who aspire to leadership positions in federal, state, or local governments or in the not-for-profit and education sectors where they can influence public policies and change public programs. Truman Scholars should have:

  • extensive records of public and community service;
  • commitment to careers in government and elsewhere in the public sector
  • outstanding leadership potential and communication skills

Former Truman Scholars serve as managers of government programs, legislators and aides for legislative bodies, foreign service officers, staff members in policy analysis and research organizations, attorneys for government agencies, public defenders, and professional staff in advocacy organizations and not-for profit institutions.

Applications and transcripts must be submitted electronically to Karina Pickett at krpickett@willamette.edu.

A complete application consists of the application form and an informal transcript. You must provide the names of three potential recommenders, NOT written recommendation letters.


  1. Who are Truman Scholars and who can receive Truman Scholarships?
  2. What are the primary criteria for selection?
  3. What does winning a Truman Scholarship mean?
  4. What are Truman Scholars Leadership Week and the Washington Summer Institute?
  5. Are there any benefits for nominees even if they are not selected as Truman Scholars?
  6. How important are grades?
  7. What if my profile has one or two gaps, such as no government internship or limited campus activities?
  8. How does the Foundation define "public service"?
  9. Are there any degrees or fields of graduate study given priority?
  10. What if I intend to obtain graduate degrees in medicine, business administration, engineering or physical science?
  11. Does the Foundation care about the political party or the individual candidates I support?
  12. What types of jobs do previous Truman Scholarship winners now hold?
  13. How do I apply for a Truman Scholarship?
  14. Could I apply for the campus nomination my junior year instead?
  15. How are Truman Scholars selected?
  16. How hard is it to get Willamette's nomination?
  17. Are off-campus students who are participating in junior year abroad programs or who have transferred from their community colleges ever elected Truman Scholars?
  18. How should I prepare for the Truman competition?
  19. How much time and effort does it take to become a Truman Finalist and advance to the interview?
  20. Are there any features on the Truman competition that I might find unusual?
  21. What is the interview like?
  22. What does the interview panel look for?
  23. Why is the interview challenging and sometimes confrontational rather than conversational?

Additional Resources

Willamette University

Student Academic Grants and Awards

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Back to Top