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Truman Scholarship

Campus deadline: Monday October 29, 2018

National deadline: February 5, 2019

About

Each year, the Harry S. Truman Foundation provides approximately 60 scholarships (for $30,000) to help pay for graduate or professional school. They are awarded in the “junior” year to outstanding students who have a demonstrated record in and commitment to “public service.” IU students with strong academic backgrounds and leadership experience in public service are encouraged to apply. Students must be nominated by their undergraduate universities to be eligible for consideration at the national level.

This scholarship is not aimed exclusively at preparation for government service. Rather, the Truman Foundation seeks to promote “public service” in a broader sense, i.e., “employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organization, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public-service oriented nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment" (from the Truman Foundation website). Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a graduate degree program funded by the Truman.

Approximately 55-65 Truman scholarships are usually awarded in a national competition each year to "juniors." (See eligibility criteria below and on the Truman website as the definition of "junior" is based on the planned date of graduation: http://www.truman.gov/are-you-potential-truman-scholar.) IU students with strong academic backgrounds, leadership experience, and the desire to go into public service (broadly defined) are encouraged to apply. Students must be nominated by their undergraduate universities to be eligible for consideration at the national level.

The Truman Foundation seeks to promote public service, which the foundation defines "as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organization, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public-service oriented nonprofit organizations. Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a graduate degree program funded by the Truman.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for consideration for the Truman Scholarship, a student must:

  • be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • be nominated by his or her university
  • be a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor's degree during the 2018-2019 academic year. 'Junior' here means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2019 and August 2020, or a student in his or her third year of collegiate study who expects to graduate during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations.

In 2019, 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 may select up to 15 at-large Scholars in 2019.

Nomination and Selection Standards:

Because the Truman Scholarship attracts the interest of top candidates around the country, IU only nominates students with outstanding credentials. The foundation chooses scholars on the basis of their excellent academic performance and communication skills, record of and potential for leadership, extensive records of public and community service, and commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in public service. (See the Truman Foundation's definition of "public service" above.) IU's nominating committee and the Truman Foundation selectors are looking for candidates who show promise of making a difference in the world through their public service.

IU Nomination Process:

The IU committee will select up to four nominees for the national 2019 Truman competition. To be considered by the IU committee, students should pick up application materials from Elaine Hehner in the Hutton Honors College, 811 E. Seventh Street, Room 210E. Copies of the application form being used for the process at IU can be downloaded from the Truman Web site: http://truman.gov/candidates/2019-competition. http://www.truman.gov/sample-application-forms. The completed application must include the 500-word policy proposal on a significant issue related to the candidate's intended area of public service. (Applications must be typed, not handwritten.)  Students seeking consideration should also include ALL of the three letters of recommendation described in the Truman application materials and arrange to have letters sent directly, by the recommenders, to Ms. Hehner by Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.

Please note that the national Truman process requires three notably different recommendations although a recommender may comment on all the criteria: 

  • One focused on Leadership Potential and Abilities
  • One focused on a Commitment to a Career in Public Service
  • One focused on Intellect and Prospects for Continuing Academic Success

Be sure to provide an appropriate cover sheet (available from Ms. Hehner or the Truman website) to each of the three individuals you ask to supply recommendations.

Additional information about the national criteria and process is available at the Truman Foundation website here: http://truman.gov. Interested students who are unable to attend an Information Session, should direct questions to Professor Judy Failer, IU's Truman Faculty Representative at jfailer@indiana.edu.

IU Truman Scholarship Award Winners

2014 Christine White Political Science, Economics, Spanish
2013 Rahaf Safi Political Science, Philosophy
2012 Alicia Y. Nieves Political Science
2009 Miles E. Taylor Political Science
2002 Sarah E. McCauley Political Science
2000 Elizabeth Yu Political Science
2000 Raju R. Raval Biochemistry, Biology, Spanish, Religious Studies
1999 Patrick W. Price Chemistry, Spanish
1997 Russell R. Vertner Afro-American Studies, Journalism
1996 Kathryn L. Schnippel Near East Language & Culture, Poliitical Science, Economics
1995 Timothy A. Lemper English, History, Political Science, LAMP
1995 Mark E. Schneider Chemistry, German, History, Political Science
1994 Pai-Ling Yin Economics, Math, French
1993 Tanya D. Marsh Political Science, Economics
1990 Randall R. Frykberg Journalism, Political Science
1990 John C. Oppman Criminal Justice (IU, Northwest)
1989 Ebenezer Tolman Public & Environmental Affairs
1985 Robert H. Kasberg Anthropology (IUPUI)
1984 Scott A. Anderson Economics, Mathematics
1981 Donna J. Loughmiller IU, Southeast