The Truman Scholarship was founded to honor President Truman and to continue the mission of attracting intelligent young leaders to the field of public service. The Truman scholarship is a highly selective nationwide competition. Each year, only about 60 scholars are selected from a large pool of applications.
Who are Truman Scholars? Truman scholars must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree on a full-time basis and must have completed at least two years of college. Furthermore, only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for the award. In addition to these basic requirement, students Truman scholars are considered to be agents of change and work towards improving governmental or societal problems. These are highly motivated students who plan to complete an advanced degree (such as a master’s degree, law degree, or doctoral degree) after obtaining their undergraduate diploma. Furthermore, students must be committed to community service and have a demonstrated record of participating in at least two different eligible community service activities. Students must also be willing to undergo an in-person interview and must need $30,000 to support their educational goals.
In order to apply for the Truman scholarship, an applicant must be nominated by their undergraduate college or university. A list of faculty representatives can be found here: https://www.truman.gov/faculty-rep-locator. In addition to providing a nomination, the representative can also answer students’ questions about the scholarship process and whether or not the student would be a viable candidate for this award.
All applications for this award must be received prior to February 2nd. The Finalist Confirmation is due February 25th. Finalists will be posted on February 26th. All Finalists will continue on to compete in a regional review panel, which will occur sometime between March 4th and April 8th. All recipients will be invited to attend the Truman Scholars Leadership Week, which occurs in late May.
Students who are interested in applying for this award definitely want to spend some time exploring the website. The website has a list of FAQs for applicants and for faculty representatives. In addition, students can read information on how to become a Truman scholar and whether the scholarship is a good fit for them. Information pertaining to advice and guidance on applying for the award (including how to write a strong personal statement, suggestions from previous winners, proposal tips, common reasons why students are not chosen, samples of strong and weak personal statements, and a candidate checklist can all be reviewed). Lastly, students who look online can review the profiles of previous winners, which can be found at this website: https://www.truman.gov/stories.
A list of questions specific to students who have made it to the finalist level of the competition, can be found here: https://www.truman.gov/faq-finalists. May of these questions pertain to the requires interview, such as the location, timing, and how to be prepare for the interview). Students are encouraged to be succinct in their responses to questions posed, providing an honest answer, making sure they answer the question posed, and ensuring that the applicant’s personality comes through during the interview.