Truman Scholarships

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.

You will find an enormous amount of useful information on the Truman Scholarship website.  Here are the details of the W&M campus nomination process:


  • October 15 - deadline for submission of the Truman pre-application. To request a pre-application, complete this form
  • November 1 - applicants will be notified whether or not the committee wants to see a full application
  • November 21 - campus deadline: the application, letters of recommendation, and transcript must be submitted by email to 
  • Late November - invitations to interview are issued 
  • Campus Interviews take place between the end of November and early December
  • Nominees are announced immediately following the completion of interviews. Please note: if a nominee's grades drop after the fall semester, the committee may choose to withdraw the nomination.
  • Between nomination and the final deadline, nominees polish their applications.
  • Early February - final applications must be submitted online by 12 p.m.

For the campus deadline, applicants must email the following to

In addition, applicants should give each of their recommenders one of these forms, and be sure that their letters of recommendation have also been submitted to by the deadline.  Be sure to read the instructions carefully and give the appropriate form to each recommender -  A) Leadership Potential and Abilities; B) Commitment to a Career in Public Service, and C) Intellect and Prospects for Continuing Academic Success 


 If you can put a check beside each of the following statements, you should be a strong candidate for a Truman Scholarship. If more than two do not apply, the Truman Scholarship is probably not right for you.


At the time I apply,

  • I will be a full-time student pursuing a bachelor's degree with junior-level academic standing; I have senior-level standing in my third year of college enrollment; or I am a senior and a resident of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or a Pacific Island.  Note: Students who have completed their bachelor's degree or are already attending graduate school are not eligible for the Truman Scholarship.
  • I am a U.S. citizen (or a U.S. national from a Pacific Island) or I expect to receive my citizenship by the date the Scholarship will be awarded.


  • I hope to be a "change agent," in time, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public.
  •  There are conditions in our society or the environment which trouble me
  • I want to work in government, education, the nonprofit sector, or the public interest/advocacy sector to improve these conditions
  • I am comfortable committing to work in public service for three of the first seven years after I complete a Foundation-funded graduate degree. &
  • I would like to get a master's degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs.


I have participated extensively in two or more of the following sets of activities:

  • Government and/or campus-based extracurricular activities
  • Community service-related activities that were not organized by my school or by my fraternity/sorority Government internships, commissions or boards, advocacy or interest groups, nonpartisan political activities, or military/ROTC
  • Partisan political activities and campaigns
  • I have been involved with organizations or activities related to my career interests
  • I have demonstrated some of my leadership potential
  • I have high grades and a sufficiently strong curriculum to gain admittance to a first-rate graduate institution
  • I read regularly a good national newspaper and a thoughtful periodical.
  •  I have had one or more courses relating to my career interests.


  • I would appreciate external affirmation of my values and goals
  • I would like to become associated with Truman Scholar "change agents
  • I am capable of analyzing a public issue in my intended career area and presenting my findings in a one-page memo to a government official who could take action
  • I am willing to prepare an outstanding application and policy proposal under the supervision of my Truman Faculty Representative and the Nomination Committee
  • I believe I could hold my own in a challenging interview conducted by a panel of prominent public servants, educators, and former Truman Scholars
  • I could use $30,000 to continue my education.

See the Truman website for full details.

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