Truman (Harry S.) Scholarship


The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, leadership training, and the ability to connect with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.


  • U.S. citizen or national from the Pacific Islands
  • Junior
  • GPA of 3.7 or higher
  • Plan to attend professional or graduate school to prepare for career as a change agent in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors
  • Must commit to spending 3 of the first 7 years after graduate or professional school working in public service

Application Materials: 

The following materials must be submitted via Truman's application portal:

The following materials must be submitted directly to our office via email (

  • Three letters of recommendation that speak to 1) leadership ability/potential, 2) commitment to a public service career, and 3) intellect and prospects for continued academic success (guidance here)
    • Letters can be emailed to the office directly so long as they are on letterhead and have a signature
  • Transcripts

Application Procedure:

Pre-Application Deadline - November 4, 2020 

To be considered, you must first be registered in the Truman application system by the office. To be registered, email the office ( with your intent to apply and the following details:

  • Legal name in full
  • Field of study
  • Nationality (U.S. Citizen, or U.S. national or permanent resident of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)
  • Grade Level

  Office Application Deadline - December 4, 2020 

Given that the University is required to nominate its candidates, there is an office application deadline and evaluation process.  The University can nominate up to four applicants who have been enrolled exclusively at University Park and three additional for transfers (from other Penn State campuses or different colleges).

To be considered for University nomination, you must email the office ( a complete application, including letters of recommendation. Afterward, you will be notified if you’ve been nominated or not. Nominees will have a chance to revise their materials, if necessary, prior to final submission.

           National Application Deadline – February 2, 2021 

Applications must be submitted online by the office with the accompanying letter of institutional endorsement.

Year at Time of Application: 
Duration of Award: 
None (Award Only)
No Preference
Office Nomination
Area of Interest: 
Agricultural Sciences, Architecture, Business, Communications and Journalism, Education, Engineering, Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences, Humanities, Information Technology and Computer Science, International Relations Political Science and Law, Mathematics, Music, Nursing and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Statistics, Visual and Performing Arts
Earliest Application Deadline: 
Sept. – Dec.
Penn-State Sponsored: 
Fellowship Components: 
Public Service
Graduate School