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Truman Scholarship

Funding for grad degree in field related to public service

Grade Level: Juniors
2021 Campus Deadline: November 7


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 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. Criteria for selecting Truman Scholars are mainly:

  • extensive (substantial & sustained) records of public and community service,
  • commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in the public sector,
  • desire to influence public policies or education programs, and
  • outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.

In addition, Truman Scholars tend to be excellent students (typically with a GPA of 3.7 or higher).

Campus Nomination Process

Overview: The complete application (see steps details under the timeline) is due by the campus deadline of November 7 and must be completed in the online portal. Instructions for how to use the portal are available on the Truman website. In order to access the online application, students must receive login credentials from the campus Director of National Fellowships. Letters of recommendation must also be submitted to the Charles Center inbox by this deadline. The campus Truman Committee will invite the selected candidates to interview and name the endorsed candidates following interviews. Endorsed candidates will have the opportunity to revise their application materials before the national deadline in early February.

Application Format: The campus application is completed through Truman's online application portal. The Director of National Fellowships must upload letters of recommendation and transcripts for each applicant.

Deadlines and Timeline: 

  • Early fall: Interested applicants should email the Director of National Scholarships to request login credentials in the Truman portal. This is required to begin a Truman application.
  • Sunday, November 7 at 11:59 p.m.: Campus Application Deadline. All three steps must be complete by the campus deadline in order to be considered for endorsement:
    1. Complete your Truman application (including the application form, personal statement, and the policy proposal) in the  online portal. Instructions for how to use the portal are available on the Truman website. It's also a good idea to review the Advice and Guidance to candidates page.
    2. Three Letters of Recommendation are due to the Charles Center inbox:; Truman recommends that your letter writer indicates which characteristic he or she is addressing in the header of the letter. You should also send your letter writers a copy of the sample letter of recommendation, which is provided at the bottom of this webpage.
    3. Transcripts must be uploaded to the Charles Center Box folder (saved as: pdf Lastname_Firstname_type of document). Transcripts can be official or unofficial as long as they are authentic and readable. If you have transcripts from more than one institution, you may either upload them all as one large document or upload multiple transcripts.
  • Late November- early December: Campus Interviews Take Place.
  • Winter break- January: Campus finalists will be able to edit applications after the campus interviews before submitting their applications in time to meet Truman's national deadline.

Nominations: William & Mary has the opportunity to nominate up to four Truman candidates who have spent all of undergrad at W&M. In addition, William & Mary may nominate up to three juniors who spent their first one or two years at another institution. The candidates are chosen by a committee of faculty, and all nomination decisions are final.

National Application Process

The national deadline is typically early February (not posted for 2022 yet).  All students must meet the campus deadline in order to be eligible for endorsement by the national deadline. Learn more about the Truman Scholarship including details about the program, requirements for applicants, and application tips for interested students.

Next Steps