The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based federal grants to undergraduate juniors who will attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, or elsewhere in public service.


  • Applicants must be in the upper quarter of their junior class at an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals.
  • Candidates should intend to enter public service after completing their graduate studies. ("Public service" is defined as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations, such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged people or to protect the environment.)
  • Candidates should have:
    • Extensive records of public and community service
    • Strong commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in public service
    • Outstanding leadership potential and communication skills

How to apply

  • The application is available online.
  • Applicants must submit a completed application form (which includes several mini-essays and a detailed plan for study), a policy proposal (in response to a problem or issue in the candidate's proposed area of public service), three letters of recommendation and transcripts.
  • Applications must be nominated by Ball State's Truman faculty representative, Barb Stedman, director of national and international scholarships. Candidates may not apply directly to the Truman Scholarship Foundation.
  • Each candidate must work with Barb Stedman in obtaining the university's nomination. At least six weeks before the campus deadline--preferably earlier--students should call 765-285-1024 to schedule an appointment with Barb Stedman or e-mail with questions.
  • Finalists will be invited for an interview in early March.

Truman application guidance for Ball State students

  • Click to access an application packet prepared specifically for Ball State students who apply for a Truman scholarship. It contains tips on creating the best application possible, a timeline and checklist, advice on getting strong letters of recommendation, and sample essays.
  • You will need to enter your Ball State username and password to gain access.


  • The deadline for the 2018 competition is February 6, 2018. All materials must be received by the national deadline.
  • The campus deadline is January 8, 2018.  All materials must be submitted by this date to Barb Stedman in the Honors College.

Duration and amount

  • Truman Scholarships provide support for two years of graduate study.
  • Scholars are eligible to receive support up to $30,000 ($15,000 per year).