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A general FAQ on the Truman Foundation appears below.  The Foundation also provides specific FAQs on the following topics:

For Faculty Reps

For Candidates

For Truman Scholarship Finalists

For Scholars

For the Scholar Accountability Policy

What is the Truman Foundation?

The Truman Foundation is the official federal memorial to our 33rd president.  The Foundation is a federal executive branch agency that administers the Truman Scholarship program.  The agency is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the President and Congress, endowed by a $55 million trust fund in the U.S. Treasury, and supported by a staff of five and more than 100 distinguished public servants and former Truman Scholars who participate in the selection process.

How is the Foundation funded?

The Foundation was started as a trust agency.  We received most of our funds from Congress in the late 1970's.  By statute, the Foundation's trust fund must be invested in Treasury Securities.  Until recently, the Foundation was able to operate on the interest from our trust fund.  More recently - because of the very low interest rates on Treasury Securities - the Foundation had received small but essential appropriations from Congress to address this shortfall.

What is the Truman Scholarship?

The Truman is a highly competitive, merit-based award offered to U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals from Pacific Islands who want to go to graduate school in preparation for a career in public service. The scholarship offers:

  • Recognition of outstanding potential as a leader in public service;
  • Affirmation of values and ideals;
  • Enhanced access to highly competitive graduate institutions; 
  • Access to Scholar programs such as Truman Scholars Leadership Week, the Summer Institute and various Truman Fellows Programs;
  • Membership in a community of persons devoted to helping others and to improving the world; and,
  • Up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate study in the U.S. or abroad in a wide variety of fields.

Who are the Truman Scholars?

They are persons who have been recognized by the Truman Scholarship Foundation as future "change agents."  They have the passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities - be they government agencies, nonprofit organizations, public and private educational institutions, or advocacy organizations - serve the public good.

Who is eligible to receive a Truman Scholarship?

U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals who are college or university students with junior-level academic standing and who wish to attend professional or graduate school to prepare for careers in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors where they will improve the ways these institutions work.  

Do you send out printed material upon request?  Is there a charge for application materials?

All of the materials available, including sample application materials, are posted on our website.  If you were told there was a fee for our application, or were directed to this site from a paid service, you should consult the Department of Education for additional information.

I'm not eligible for your program.  Are you aware of other programs that might fund me?

Please consult grants.gov or benefits.gov for additional programs that might be of interest to you.  Both of these sites are free to use.

I thought Harry S. Truman didn't have a middle name.  Why the period after the "S" in the Foundation's name?

President Truman's daughter Margaret, who was very involved during the early years of the Truman Foundation, was quite adamant that her father tended to use the period after the "S" when he signed his name.  After a lengthy Board of Trustees meeting on the subject, it was agreed that we should have a period follow the "S" in our name as well.  For more information, please consult the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.