THE TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP

The mission of the Truman Scholarship is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, non-profit or advocacy sectors, education and public service.

Does this sound like you? If it does you would be wise to contact your Truman Scholar Faculty Representative at the earliest possible date.

There will be about six hundred Truman Scholarship applicants who get the seal of approval from their university. Of those six hundred about sixty five will be chosen for the Truman Scholarship.

If you are chosen for the Truman Scholarship you will receive $30,000 for up to three years of graduate study. In addition to the financial support you will have access to leadership training and fellowship with other students who want to make a difference through public service.

Your personal statement will be a major part of your Truman Scholarship application. It should emphasize your passions and your potential as a change agent.

The way the Truman Scholarship Committee sees it your personal statement is an opportunity for you to overcome any gaps in your record. For instance, if there was a semester where your grades were relatively low because you had some family challenges, the personal statement would be the place to mention it.

In your personal statement you are defining who you are. What values helped shape you? Are there any life experiences that changed you? What are your ambitions? If there is one story in particular that helped make you who you are today include it here.

The other critical area of your Truman Scholarship application is your policy proposal. This will be where you get to demonstrate your depth of knowledge on a current issue and suggest a way to improve it.

If this is not a comfortable area for you it would be a good idea for you to start reading up on current events immediately. Become a voracious reader and read a good variety of publications so you are not just getting one side of the story.

It is expected that your policy proposal will be about a controversial issue that is debatable. You should identify a problem or need and outline a specific plan for fixing it. Just imagine any number of the top stories in the news and you can probably come up with a viable angle for a policy proposal.

The policy proposal for your Truman Scholarship should be something you are passionate about. Pick an issue you care deeply about because if you try to fake it that will come through on your application and won’t help your cause.
Notable past Truman Scholarship winners include Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin.

The Truman Scholarship was started in the mid 1970’s a few years after the death of President Harry S. Truman. The scholarship founders thought that an educational scholarship would be a fitting tribute to Truman who so valued education. And now the scholarship with his name on it continues to build on his legacy.

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