Before Applying

The Truman Scholarship is a very competitive national award. The Foundation reviews over 800 applications for our 55 to 65 Scholarships awarded annually. These applications do not include students competing on their campus for one of a school's four nominations.

Although the award is competitive, we believe that the application process can be valuable regardless of the outcome. The process of applying includes exploring and refining your past experiences and future goals. You will be asked to consider various paths in service and encouraged to be ambitious. Along the way, you can expect to strengthen your writing, your relationships with mentors, and your knowledge of your chosen field. These skills do not vanish when your Truman journey ends. Applying for a competitive award, like Truman or many others, helps you to prepare more competitive graduate school applications and be more comfortable in stressful interview formats. You may also meet friends, mentors, and future collaborators along the way.

Approaching the application process as a tool for learning, rather than something to be won, not only ensures the process is more valuable, but makes you more likely to be successful. Candidates who approach the process with openness and authenticity often fare better than their counterparts who are more focused on the competitive aspects of the process.

To that end, we provide as much information about the process as possible. Everyone should have the information necessary to produce their best application.

Craft your best application

Get started with advice from Foundation staff, our selection committee and Truman Advisors

Advice & Guidance