Truman Scholarship

Location: United States Experience Type: Nomination Based Fellowship Awards

Truman Scholarships are highly competitive and prestigious federal scholarships granted to U.S. college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and commitment to public service. The $30,000 scholarships are for graduate education to help Truman Scholars realize their aspirations.

Eligibility: Open to US Citizens, US National residents of American Samoa, or those expecting their citizenship by the date of the award, with the plans to pursue careers in public service and becoming “agents of change.”

  • Grinnellians apply in the late spring of their second year – next cycle is for the Class of 2026


GRINNELLL COLLEGE INTENT TO APPLY: You can submit your intent to apply as early as January 25, 2024 and we encourage no later than Friday, March 15, 2024 by 5 p.m. (For students in the Class of 2026 to secure advising appointments and an interview slot.) 

Truman Scholarship Intent to Apply

Recommendations: Please LIST on the Intent to Apply form your three confirmed recommenders’ names, titles, organizations, and email addresses. Ann Landstrom will provide them with details for the submission. NOTE: If you have not yet confirmed your recommenders, type in NOT YET AVAILABLE on the Intent to Apply form. Then by Friday March 15, 2024 or very soon after, please confirm recommendations and provide Ann Landstrom,, with their information as noted above through email. Letters of recommendation are due on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 by 5 pm (same as the application deadline).


GRINNELL COLLEGE CAMPUS APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, April 23, 2024 between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (For students in the Class of 2026, submit the Qualtrics application online and then email Ann Landstrom to confirm the application is complete and to sign up for an interview preparation session and the 10-15 minute interview slot with the campus faculty review committee.)

Truman Scholarship Campus Application

To prepare the application questions in advance of cutting and pasting into the Qualtrics application, use Question Prompts in Microsoft Word​​​​​​​.

Campus Application Checklist for the Class of 2025: Truman Application Checklist, 2023-2024​​​​​​ [Grinnell login required]  The Checklist for the Class of 2026 will be available in early March 2024.

Scholarship URL:

Nominees and all other applicants will be identified by May TBA, 2024. Nominees will be required to participate in preparation meetings in May, and must be able to spend time on application research in Summer 2024 and fully participate in the Fall 2024 Truman Seminar leading to the Tuesday, February 4, 2025 (by 11:59 pm CT) Foundation Deadline.



The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation – the federal memorial to our thirty-third president – awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities, and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government. Truman Scholars take part in the Truman Scholars Leadership Week, which gives scholars the chance to meet other like-minded students from across the nation; learn more about graduate school and scholarship opportunities; interact with past scholars and career public servants; and undertake a community service project. Some Truman Scholars are also able to take part in the Summer Institute after graduation, which includes a nine-week internship in Washington, DC; seminars in public policy; workshops; and social activities with other Truman Scholars. Twenty-four of the Scholars will also be selected to work in DC for one year after graduation as part of the Truman-Albright Fellows Program, which includes a year-long public service position and graduate-level seminars in public policy. Truman Scholars also bypass the written section of the Foreign Service Officer examination and move directly to the oral exam.

The Foundation defines public service 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 persons or to protect the environment. The Foundation seeks persons who aspire for positions in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors where they wish to improve the ways in which federal, state, or local government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations serve the public and protect resources. The Foundation has supported Truman Scholars in many fields of study, including agriculture, biology, engineering, environmental management, physical and social sciences, and technology policy, as well as in traditional fields such as economics, education, government, history, international relations, law, political science, public administration, nonprofit management, public policy, and public health. Past Truman Scholarship winners serve as managers of government programs, legislators and aides for legislative bodies, Foreign Service officers, school teachers, staff members in policy analysis and research organizations, attorneys for government agencies, public defenders, professors, and professional staff in advocacy organizations and not-for-profit institutions to serve the disadvantaged or to protect the environment.

In 2024, one scholarship will be available to a qualified resident nominee in each of the 50 states; the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; and, considered as a single entity, the islands of Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. (Residency is generally determined by home address for school registration, family’s primary residence, and voter registration.) The Foundation may also select up to 15 at-large Scholars. The award may be used only for tuition, fees, books, room and board, or other specifically approved expenses. Payments from the Foundation may be received to supplement, but not to duplicate, benefits from the educational institution or from other foundations, institutions, or organizations. The combined benefits from all sources may not exceed the costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board as prescribed by the institution. Scholars may defer, for up to four years, Foundation support for their graduate studies after completion of their undergraduate studies. Scholars in graduate study programs supported by other means and Scholars in the Armed Forces may request additional years of deferral.

Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving funding. Scholars who are not employed in public service for a total of three years, or who fail to provide proof to the Foundation of such employment, will be required to repay any funds received along with interest. The Foundation will have an appeals process for those Scholars in special circumstances.



To be eligible for Grinnell College’s nomination for a Truman Scholarship, you must meet the following minimum eligibility standards:

  • Be a college junior during the 2024-2025 academic year. Please note Grinnell nominates students during the spring of their second year.
  • Be a strong academic student. (The Truman Foundation requires that students be in the top quarter of their graduating class which at Grinnell is approximately 3.5 or better. Grinnell has nominated students with GPAs of 3.3 and above.)
  • Planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in public service. (The Foundation encourages time between undergraduate and graduate school, so candidates need not commit to going immediately.)
  • US Citizens, US National residents of American Samoa, or expecting their citizenship by the date of the award.

Candidates can be:

  • pursuing any major likely to lead to a public service career;
  • any age;
  • interested in any graduate degree other than the MBA; and,
  • considering either domestic or international programs for their graduate education.



  • Accomplishedproven, and effective leaders
  • People who have taken or shown initiative by starting or exploding organizations or ideas
  • Vision and creativity
  • Interest in policy or solutions at a systemic level
  • Interest in politics or political means to an end
  • Intelligent, articulate, and well-versed in a variety of topics
  • Energetic

The Truman Scholarship website has an excellent list of FAQs for applicants, which should be reviewed by all interested applicants.



Because the Truman Scholarship’s national application is quite extensive and in-depth, Grinnell’s four nominees from the Class of 2026 will meet weekly as a group with Ann Landstrom throughout the fall semester of 2024 to work on completing the many components of the application. This commitment is big; past nominees have compared the experience to being the equivalent of a 1- to 2-credit course. Nominees will be expected to write short answers on a near-weekly basis; read and comment on one another’s work; and conduct research on their topic of interest, for their policy proposal, and about possible graduate education courses and career opportunities. Nominees should expect to spend two to five hours per week preparing their application throughout the fall semester. Nominees who are abroad during this time will be integrated into the group as possible via technology.



Although the Truman Scholarship application process is quite intensive and time-consuming, nominees will be constantly encouraged to focus on the benefits of the process of applying. Here is an opportunity to think seriously about who you are, what you have accomplished, what your life goals are, and what is important to you. Nominees also have the chance to think seriously about graduate school, to conduct in-depth research on a topic of particular interest to them, and to hone and practice their interviewing skills. Regardless of whether the nominee is named as a finalist or wins the Truman Scholarship, our aim is for the process to justify the amount of work that goes into producing a high-quality application. Applicants also benefit by having the opportunity to work closely with and get to know three peers who are similarly interested in and dedicated to careers in public service.



All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.




  • Sara Booher ’25 (finalist)
  • Joyce Ceballos ’25 (finalist)
  • Zachary Spindler-Krage ’25 (finalist)
  • Luke Stefan ’25 (finalist)


  • Eleanor Corbin ’24
  • Ellen Hengesbach ’24
  • Emmy Potter ’24


  • Trinisa Fung ’23
  • Kayley Ronnkvist ’23
  • Loyal Terry ’23 (scholar)
  • Aaron Yost ’23


  • Sarah Beisner ’22 (scholar)
  • Sharene Gould Dulabaum ’22
  • Destiny Magnett ’22 (scholar)
  • Danielle Mydlo ’22


  • Oscar Buchanan ’21
  • Hallela Hinton-Williams ’21
  • Lana Katai ’21
  • Cinthia Romo ’21 (finalist)


  • Angela Frimpong ’20
  • Eric Kasprzyk ’20
  • Regina Logan ’20
  • Allie Pearce ’20 (finalist)


  • Kaya Prasad ’19
  • Naomi Runder ’19


  • Yesenia Ayala ’18 (scholar)
  • Evelyn Nkooyooyo ’18
  • Anna Schierenbeck ’18 (finalist)
  • Austin Wadle ’18


  • Rachel Aaronson ’17
  • Toby Baratta ’17
  • Sophia Gatton ’17
  • Aniqa Rahman ’17


  • Dylan Bondy ’16
  • Patrick Kinley ’16
  • Emma Lange ’16 (finalist)
  • Dana Lindenberg ’16


  • Opeyemi Awe ’15 (finalist)
  • Lilianna Bagnoli ’15
  • Anna Banker ’15 (finalist)
  • Keaton Cameron-Burr ’15


  • Cynthia Amezcua ’14
  • Brian Buckley ’14 (finalist)
  • Leah Lucas ’14 (finalist)
  • Jeremy Sanchez ’14


  • Anika Manzoor ’13 (finalist)
  • Amanda Muskat ’13 (finalist)
  • Charity Porotesano ’12 (scholar)
  • Jenny Peek ’13 (finalist)


  • Claire Griffith ’12
  • Joe Maloney ’12
  • Annie Tomlinson ’12 (finalist)
  • Thomas Van Heeke ’12


  • Aaron Barker ’11
  • Claire Branigan ’11
  • Allison Brinkhorst ’11
  • Rebecca Heller ’11


  • Winnon Brunson, Jr. ’10 (finalist)
  • Hart Ford-Hodges ’10
  • Caitlin Galer-Unti ’10
  • Jacob Reisberg ’10 (finalist)


  • Tommy Jamison ’09
  • Dan LaFountaine ’09
  • Alec Schierenbeck ’09 (scholar)
  • Emily Stiever ’09 (finalist)


  • Linn Davis ’08 (finalist)
  • Hannah Garden-Monheit ’08 (finalist)
  • Christina Reynolds ’08
  • Mary Pat Twomey ’08


  • Katie Jares ’07 (scholar)
  • Elena Rubin ’07
  • Kristin Snavely ’07
  • Ben Weyl ’07 (finalist)


  • Jenny Dale ’06 (finalist)
  • Vashti Davis ’06
  • Jason Rathod ’06
  • Eli Zigas ’06 (scholar)