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Information on Applying for the Truman Scholarship


As the living memorial to our thirty-third President, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation supports the graduate education of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership. Since its creation in 1975, the Foundation has supported almost 3,000 Truman Scholars who are making a difference in all corners of the nation and around the globe. Select a link below to learn more about the Truman Foundation and to find out how you can support our work.

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

Who is eligible to apply?

Drake University students interested in a career in public service and leadership, and who are juniors, are invited to apply for the Truman Scholarship.

Legal Requirements (must be met)

  • 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.

Career and Graduate Study Interests

  • 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.

Drake University can nominate up to four individuals. 

Review the general requirements for the Truman Scholarship here.

Different institutions have different guidelines for obtaining an institutional nomination.  Some schools have a rigorous application process that can begin as early as the sophomore year.  Other schools require early completion of the application or an interview.  The Truman Foundation allows the institution to determine which practice works best for them.  It is a good idea to check with your Fac Rep early to find out about your institution's requirements.

Interested juniors should contact Professor Leroux ( in early Fall 2018 to begin the application process.