Truman Scholarship (juniors)

Campus deadline: ​12:00 pm (noon) on December 4, 2023

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation supports the graduate education and professional development of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership. This scholarship provides funding toward senior year and graduate school for juniors interested in a career in public service.

Wellesley College applicants for the Truman Scholarship must first apply for Wellesley’s nomination. Wellesley may typically nominate no more than four applications to go forward to the national competition for the Truman.

Check out this 5-minute intro to the Truman, the official Truman webinar for students (not short, but great, real content!), and/or our Truman Workshop online to learn more and get tips on putting together a strong application--whether you're a junior, sophomore, or first-year!  

*Did you know that recent Wellesley Truman Scholars include Katelyn Campbell '17, Emily Moss '19, and Eshika Kaul '23?

Application Timeline

See the official timeline here.

Timeline overview for application process:

  • Summer and fall before application:

    • Learn more about the Truman Scholarship via the helpful official website:

    • Talk with academic and professional mentors (who may also be potential recommenders) about the work you hope to do in the world, possible career paths in that direction, graduate/professional degree you might need to pursue this work more effectively, etc. 

    • Start work on your application and essays (it takes more time than you think!) - get helpful advice here.

    • Book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake to talk things over with Kate in the Fellowships office, including application strategy, whom to ask for letters, feedback on drafts, etc. (Appointments are available year-round, and via telephone and video chat as well as in person.)

  • October 30, 2023: Optional Priority Draft Deadline for undergraduate fellowships and scholarships - submit drafts by this deadline via the form here to guarantee a draft review appointment before the campus deadline.

  • December 4, 2023 by 12:00 pm (noon) EST: Campus deadline.

    • Application materials (see checklist below) should be submitted via the online form found here.

    • Letters of reference should ideally be submitted via this link by this deadline but may follow a little later as long as the applicant has submitted all the materials for which they is directly responsible, by the deadline. 

  • December/January: Campus review committee reads applications and typically interviews short-listed applicants (interviews sometimes take place in January) before selecting no more than four applications to forward to the national competition. 

    • All applicants will be able to receive feedback, and nominees will be able to use this to finalize their applications in advance of the national deadline in early February.

  • Early February: Truman Scholarship national deadline.

  • Late February: Finalist confirmation sheet due; scholarship finalists announced.

  • March to early April: Regional panels interview finalists.

  • Mid-April: National Truman scholars announced.

  • Late May: Truman Scholars Leadership Week.


Who is eligible?

  • Full-time students pursuing a bachelor's degree with junior-level academic standing, or those with senior-level standing in their third-year of college enrollment; and
  • U.S. citizens

What makes a strong applicant for this fellowship?

  • A desire to improve the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public;
  • Demonstrated commitment to service and potential to be an agent of change, typically demonstrated by two or more extracurricular activities that relate to the applicant’s career interests and demonstrate leadership capabilities; and
  • A strong academic transcript

Why apply? Katelyn Campbell '17, had this to say: “The Truman Scholarship has so deeply helped me to take a hard look at myself and what kind of public servant I want to be. Although the application process was grueling (particularly the interview), it was an invaluable exercise in stick-to-itiveness, and along the way I've found a group of bright, driven, and hilarious service-oriented friends."

How do I apply?

Wellesley College applicants for the Truman Scholarship must first apply for Wellesley’s nomination. Wellesley may typically nominate no more than four applications to go forward to the national competition for the Truman. You are warmly encouraged to talk things over and seek advice (including feedback on draft essays!): simply book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake or drop by Fellowships Virtual Pop-Ups (see the Fellowships events listings in Handshake).

Application Checklist

  • Three letters of recommendation 

    • Be sure to give your recommender the correct “sample” letter of recommendation form: leadership, academic, commitment to public service).  

    • Please give your recommenders this link to allow them to submit their letters; should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to

Submit the following via the online form found here: