The goal of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship

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; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

The Truman Foundation defines public service as future 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 such as those whose primary purposes are to help disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.

Opportunity Resources: 


  • What does 40 years of supporting the work and study of young public servants mean to scholars? Click here to watch a celebration of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship's 40th Anniversary


  • Are you a strong candidate for the Truman Scholarship? This checklist can help you begin a conversation with yourself that we hope you will continue with the DSD, a faculty mentor, or a departmental advisor who is familiar with the fellowship. Students often define qualifying experiences differently than funding organizations, so we see this tool as a conversation starter instead of an assessment used to discourage students from exploring their connection with the Truman Foundation's mission.

Applying for Campus Nomination:

All campus applicants must submit a complete application form and at least two of the three required letters of recommendation to be considered for nomination. 

Developing a strong recommendation for Truman applicants:


View a list of the University of Iowa's past Truman winners and finalists here


2015 Truman Interview Group Photo - Kansas Iowa Missouri