University of Illinois

Harry S. Truman Scholars





Truman Scholar Stephanie Maldonado shares her experience in applying for the scholarship.



One year funding for students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. College juniors who are U.S. citizens with a record of community service and a commitment to a career in public service are eligible. Public service includes government, uniformed services, public interest organizations, non-governmental research or educational organizations, public and private schools and other public service-oriented non-profit organizations.

2 day Truman informaton event:

Thursday Oct. 31st- 3:30-5:00 Information session & discussion w/ former Truman Scholar

Friday Nov. 1st- 3:30-5:00 Workshop on how to craft a Truman Application

*All sessions held in the Illini Union Bookstore, 5th Floor, room 514*

Who They Are Looking For

The Truman program is looking for the academically strong student who has a passion for public service. Evaluators look for leadership ability, potential for influencing public policies, community service and extracurricular activities, suitability of the applicant's proposed program of study for a career in public service, strong academic performance, and potential to perform well in a premier graduate school program. It awards $30,000 merit-based scholarships to college juniors (those planning to graduate between December 2014 and August 2015) who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. Truman Scholars have pursued many fields of study, such as agriculture, engineering, economics, education, government, history, global studies, law, political science, public administration, and public health. Illinois may nominate up to four students for the Truman Scholarship.

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.

Early Review

In order to access the online application, students must receive login credentials from the Illinois faculty representative, David Schug. To receive an application, please email your following information to 1) Name, 2) Preferred email address, 3) Anticipated graduation date, 4) GPA, and 5) Permanent address. Students are encouraged to submit drafts of their Truman Scholarship applications online well in advance of the campus deadline in order to receive feedback from the National and International Scholarships Program. When submitted, the application comes directly to our office, and you will still be able to make changes. After submitting the application online, send an email to the scholarships office with a few potential meeting times to receive feedback. We are willing to work with students through numerous revisions.

REQUIRED Campus Deadline: November 13, 2014 at 12:00 noon

The campus deadline for completed applications (including official transcripts from all colleges and three letters of recommendation) is November 14. A complete Truman application must be submitted to the National and International Scholarships Program in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement to move forward in the competition). We will schedule interviews of short listed candidates to be conducted within a few weeks of the application deadline. Based on your submittal and an interview, the committee will determine your endorsement.

Required information:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver (either scanned or in hardcopy).
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  3. Three Letters of Recommendation (letters should address the range of criteria requested for a Truman Scholarship). You need to provide each referee with the appropriate downloaded reference form (sampleletters) from the "Sample Application Forms" section of the Truman website.
  4. A complete Truman Scholarship application INCLUDING a policy proposal.

Endorsed Applicant Deadline: February 3, 2014

Those students who have been endorsed will submit their final application packet (online), with updated transcripts with their fall grades, to the National and International Scholarships Program by this date.

The Final Stages

Finalists are posted on the Truman site in February. All Finalists must complete the Finalist Confirmation Form by February 20. Then, finalist interviews are tentatively set for March in Chicago. Please see Regional Review Panels for more information. The National and International Scholarships Program will coordinate mock interviews for those students called to an interview. Students are announced on the Truman website as recipients, alternates, or nonawardees in March.

Truman Website and Application

For official information on the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, visit their website.