The Harry S. Truman Bursary is the leading graduate bursary for public service leadership in the United States. It is a federally financed fellowship that is offered to U.S. students for demonstrating leadership potential, academic performance, and public service commitment. It is managed in Washington, D.C. by Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, a separate federal organization. In 1975, Congress established the scholarship as a living legacy to America’s 33rd President. Instead of a statue, the Truman Scholarship is its president’s official government memorial. The Washington Post says that “the primary goal of the Truman Scholarship is to choose persons with leadership potential, and to give support to help them accomplish their objectives.” The baccalaureate covers a $30,000 public-service graduate study.
Every year in their junior year, between 50 and 60 university students are designated Truman Scholars following a rigorous application procedure that includes essays, suggestions, and an interview. Historically, one individual from each U.S. state received scholarships. In the United States, each university can nominate only four candidates per year, representing the most successful candidates from that university.
It is the official government memorial to our 33rd president, which is managed by the Truman Foundation. The Truman Scholarship Foundation is an executive branch organization of the federal government that manages the Truman Scholarship programme. President Barack Obama and Congress appointed the agency’s Board of Trustees, which is endowed with a $55 million trust fund in the United States Treasury. It is supported by a staff of five, as well as more than 100 distinguished public servants and former Truman Scholars who take part in the selection process.
In order to apply for the bursary, students must first win a baccalaureate appointment. Each university in the United States has the right to propose up to four students who have studied since the beginning of the year. Every year after appointment, the Foundation receives 900 applications, each year between 50 and 60. An interviewing regional assessment panel picks finalists for each nominated application. The interviews are done by panels of former Truman academics, board trustees, and prominent national officials. These panelists then choose the ultimate winners of the scholarship and normally try to choose one of every 50 states and territories in the United States. During the process, no particular job, service interest, or policy field is preferred. Each year, one or two students from colleges that have never had a Truman scholar are granted the Truman scholarship.
Who qualifies for a Truman Scholarship and how does one apply?
College and university students who have achieved junior-level academic status and who intend to pursue professional or graduate education in preparation for careers in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors, where they will make a positive difference in the way these institutions operate.
Q: How is funded by the Foundation?
The Foundation began as a trusted agency. Most of our funding was obtained by Congress in the late 1970s. By law, the trust fund of the Foundation must be invested in Treasury Securities. Until recently, the Foundation could use our trust fund’s interest. More recently, the Foundation had gotten limited but vital grants from Congress in response to that shortage because of the very low-interest rates on treasury securities.