Truman Scholarship (juniors)

Campus deadline: ​11:30 pm on December 6, 2021

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.

Check out 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!  Also watch this short webinar, which addresses the unique issues of the 2020 cycle here.



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

Did you know?
Katelyn Campbell, Wellesley College class of 2017, won the Truman Scholarship in 2016! Here’s what Katelyn had to say about it: “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."

And Emily Moss, Wellesley College class of 2019, won the Truman in 2018!  Read more here.

Might you be the next Wellesley Truman Scholar?

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. Before proceeding with your application, it is important to discuss your plans with Kate Dailinger in Wellesley’s Fellowships office. Please make an appointment with Kate online through Handshake.

Cannot find an available appointment? Drop by Fellowships Pop-Up Advising: no appointment required. See our Events listings for details. 


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:

☐ Completed sample Truman Scholarship application (
☐ Policy proposal (see helpful advice on the Truman website)
☐Unofficial transcripts- Wellesley (the unofficial grade report that you can pull from online), study abroad, and any other institutions
☐ Resume (not part of your official application but helpful to the campus committee, thanks)
☐ Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials)

Application timeline

See the official timeline here

Summer and fall before application

  • Learn more about the Truman Scholarship via the helpful official website:
  • Talk with academic and professional mentors 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. (some of these folks will be those you ask for letters of reference, and preliminary conversations with them about your aims and aspirations make it easier for them to write in support of your application).
  • 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.)

Campus deadline: 11:30 pm on​ December 6, 2021

  • Letters of reference should ideally  be submitted by this deadline but may follow a little later as long as the applicant has submitted all the materials for which she is directly responsible, by the deadline; letters should be submitted by their writers via this link - should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to
  • Application materials (see checklist above) should be submitted via the online form found here.


  • 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

National Truman scholars announced

Late May
Truman Scholars Leadership Week

Email or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.