Harry S. Truman Scholarships

Website: Truman

The Truman is a competitive national scholarship. Each year, the Foundation reviews over 600 applications for our 55 to 65 Scholarships awarded annually. These 600 applications do not include the students who compete on their own campus for one of a school's four nominations.

The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. Students must be college juniors at the time of selection. The Foundation also provides assistance with career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development. Scholars are invited to participate in a number of programs: Truman Scholar Leadership Week, The Summer Institute, and The Truman-Albright Fellows Program. Please visit the For Scholars section of the Truman website for an overview of the programs the Foundation currently offers for Scholars. 

The Truman Scholarship recognizes outstanding leadership potential, academic achievement, and the desire to pursue a career in public service. Prospective Truman Scholars must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong commitment to a public service career
  • A record of public service activities and contributions with some form of government or political achievement
  • Strong leadership abilities and potential as demonstrated by holding offices, accepting and delegating responsibilities, and by accomplishments outside the classroom
  • The ability to define and realistically plan public service goals
  • Strong interview skills

Application for UW Nomination is OPEN for the 2022-2023 cycle.


Eligible candidates must:
  • Attend an accredited U.S. college or university
  • Be nominated by the institution's Truman Faculty Representative [candidates MAY NOT apply directly]
  • Be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals
  • Be in the upper quarter of their junior class.
  • Residents of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Northern Marianas who must be in their senior class
Student Type
  • junior
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen

The UW Campus Application Procedure:

Applicants apply online through expo on the OMSFA website : https://expo.uw.edu/expo/apply/665. Complete the following and upload to the online application:

  • Activities Resume that includes the following areas:
    • College Activities
    • Public Service & Community Activities
    • Government Activities
    • Awards
    • Work & Internships
    • Additional Info
  • Several short-answer essay questions
  • unofficial transcripts
  • List of recommenders- a list of three to five individuals who would speak to the following areas:
    • leadership potential
    • commitment to public service
    • intellect and prospects for continued academic success.


While many United States Presidents are immortalized in structures of bricks and mortar or marble, the memory of our 33rd President continues in a living memorial: the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Dedicated to education and public service, President Truman often spoke about the importance of promoting young leaders, and envisioned a program for students that would encourage educated citizenship and political responsibility. Therefore, after his death in 1972, the President's friends and family found this memorial especially fitting.

John W. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury during the President's Administration, and Stuart Symington, then Senator of Missouri, worked together to create the Foundation through an Act of Congress. Both lifelong friends of President Truman, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Symington also sought the approval of Margaret Truman Daniel, the President's daughter, who later said, no memorial could be more appropriate. Mrs. Daniel said her father valued education most highly, and he would surely value education for public service more highly than any other kind.

The bill passed in December 1974 and President Gerald Ford signed the Act of Congress on January 4, 1975. The Act authorized the Foundation to ?award scholarships to persons who demonstrate outstanding potential for and who plan to pursue a career in public service,? and to conduct a nationwide competition to select Truman scholars. The Foundation awarded its first Scholarships in the 1977-78 academic year.

The Foundation continues to expand, offering a range of opportunities for scholars. Truman Scholar Leadership Week began in May 1989, and summer 1991 marked the first Summer Institute. The first Public Service Law Conference was in 2002. The Truman Fellows Program is a new initiative for 2004 Truman Scholars.

Remarkably, President Truman did not hold a college degree, though he certainly grasped a worldly education. He once said, "Ignorance and its hand-maidens - prejudice, intolerance, suspicion of our fellow man - breed dictators and breed wars." The self-awareness and sincerity required of Truman Scholars, along with their education that the Foundation supports, eases the edge of ignorance that pervades our tumultuous world. Perhaps what is most important about President Truman's living memorial is that it continues to grow each year. 

Service Agreement

All Candidates should be aware that the Truman Scholarship has a service requirement. Scholars selected from 2005 on are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds. Scholars who do not meet this service requirement, or who fail to provide timely proof to the Foundation of such employment, will be required to repay funds received along with interest. The Foundation will have an appeals process for special circumstances.

Contact Information

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall Box 352803 Seattle, WA 98195-2805
Phone: 206-543-4282 Fax: 206-616-3554
E-mail: scholarq@uw.edu
Website: www.truman.gov