Fund Details
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program
Competition Type
Global/National - Yale Endorsement

Description:

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, established by Congress in 1975, awards scholarships to college students who have outstanding leadership potential and who intend to pursue careers in public service. Truman Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit to US citizens and nationals who, at the time of application, are juniors at four-year institutions or sophomores at two-year colleges.

One scholarship will be available to a qualified resident nominee in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, the Islands: Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. (Residency is generally determined by home address for school registration, family's primary residence, and voter registration.) The Foundation will also select up to 15 at-large Scholars.

The Truman Scholarship is currently an award of up to $30,000 to help cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board expenses for a program of graduate study. Scholars 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 funding. 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, The Truman Fellows Program, and the Public Service Law Conference.

Watch a great short video about the Scholarship, here, and a new one to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Scholarship, here.




Application Information:

Note: the deadline by which members of the class of 2018 should apply for Yale's nomination for the Truman is 1pm on November 29, 2017.

Yale College is invited to nominate up to four Juniors to the national competition. The nomination process is coordinated through Fellowship Programs at the Yale Center for International & Professional Experience.

Interested Yale applicants should first carefully read all the information and excellent advice given on the official Truman website, as well as the Yale application information here.

After doing so, applicants may refer questions to Fellowship Programs (meetings by appointment).


A complete application for Yale's nomination for the Truman includes the following, which must be submitted before the campus application deadline.

  1. A pdf of the completed official application form. NOTE: for the competition for Yale's nomination, the sample Truman application will be used. This should include the policy proposal required for application, as follows:

  2. An outline of a proposal on a public policy issue concerning a significant issue or problem confronting our society that is of particular interest to the applicant. The topic selected should also be directly related to the applicant's career goals as outlined in question #9 in the application. In this outline the applicant should briefly describe the issue or problem, list one or more suggested actions for improving the situation, and identify major obstacles to the implementation of these suggestions. Main sources and references should be cited. (Only those applicants selected as Yale nominees will be required to complete the full policy memo. For the initial campus round, an outline is acceptable.)

  3. Three letters of recommendation. See the letter of recommendation forms on the Truman website

    One letter must be written by a faculty member who can assess the applicant's intellect and prospects for success in graduate school, one by an individual who can discuss the applicant's commitment to a career in public service, and the third by someone who can attest to the applicant's leadership abilities and potential and who can speak directly to the leadership example used in question #7.

    Letters may be submitted online, via the Yale Student Grants Database, but only as pdfs of SIGNED ORIGINALS on LETTERHEAD. (**If recommenders would prefer, applicants may instead bring hardcopy letters and Truman coversheets to the Fellowships office in sealed envelopes with signatures across the flaps.  In this case, applicants may enter into the Yale Database fellowship.applications@yale.edu as the recommender's email.)

  4. Transcripts: Unofficial Yale College transcripts are required for all applicants. Transcripts must also be requested from any other institution attended for post-secondary studies; only one copy of each transcript is required to be submitted to the Fellowships office.

Candidates whose applications are nominated by Yale to go forward to the national competition will have an opportunity to finalize their applications, with advice from the Yale committee, in advance of the national deadline in early February.  Selected finalists are invited in late February to interview with Regional Review Panels in March and early April.  Selection and announcement of Truman Scholars occur in April. 


Special Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible candidates must be US citizens or nationals at the time of application, normally have a Yale GPA of 3.70 or above, and be pursuing an undergraduate field of study that will permit admission to a graduate program leading to a career in government or elsewhere in the public sector. A variety of disciplines can lead to public service careers: for example, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, biology, and environmental studies, as well as traditional fields such as history, political science, government, public health, public administration, economics, and international relations.

The primary criteria for evaluating candidates and selecting Truman Scholars are demonstrated leadership abilities and potential, quality and extent of public and community service and government involvement, commitment to careers in government or the public sector, intellectual depth and breadth and academic performance, and analytic abilities and communication skills. Selectors also consider the suitability of the candidate's intended program of graduate study and its appropriateness for a leadership career in public service. Financial need is not a criterion for selection.



Restrictions to Use of Award:

(no additional restrictions to use the award)

Links to Additional Information:

  1. Official Truman Website (including sample application) 
  2. Short video about the Truman Scholarship
  3. Yale Fellowships application advice
  4. Book a Fellowships advising appointment (ideally over the summer, via phone/Skype)
  5. Advice from past Yale candidates
  6. Read about recent Yale Truman Scholars


Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Rebekah Westphal at rebekah.westphal@yale.edu.

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          Citizenship Status
          • U.S. citizens are eligible
            Begin Accepting Applications Date:
            8/01/2017
            Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
            11/29/2017 1:00 PM