The Harry S Truman Foundation Scholarship Program gives exceptional college juniors who have demonstrated potential to become change agents in public service careers an opportunity to refine their goals and plan their graduate studies. Successful applicants have a history of individual accomplishment as change agents, and are able to show how their past achievements connect to their plans for the future.

Programs Funded

Foundation Scholarships award up to $30,000 for graduate studies in the U.S. or abroad in a very broad range of careers dedicated to public service, including public administration, policy analysis, public health, historical preservation, law, international relations, government, economics, military, social services, education, conservation, environmental protection, and other fields. Truman Scholars participate in leadership training programs, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.  Scholars who plan to gain practical experience after college before entering a graduate program may defer the scholarship for several years.


Candidates are nominated by their colleges/universities. Nominees must be U.S citizens or nationals who are juniors in the upper quarter of their class, and who are committed to a career in public service. This may include professional work 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. All majors are eligible.

Selection Criteria

Screening focuses on the extent and quality of community service or involvement in government or politics, demonstrated commitment to working for the public good, academic performance, writing and analytical skills, and suitability of the nominee's proposed program of graduate study.   Demonstrated leadership resulting in solution of a problem or another important change weighs heavily in the selection.

Application/Nomination Process

Students interested in applying should contact Angel Bradley (angel.bradley@pomona.edu) as soon as possible for access to the Sakai dropbox. The internal deadline for applications is 11/6/17. Interested students should begin work on their application well in advance, as the application requires several essays, including close analysis of a public policy issue. For the internal application, you will need a draft 14-question sample application form, a draft of your policy proposal, an unofficial transcript, and the names of three possible recommendation writers. All materials should be uploaded as Word docs or pdfs to your Sakai dropbox by 11/6/17.

Pomona may nominate a limited number of students. One Scholar or more is selected from each state, and up to 30 additional Scholars are selected at large.


Pam Bromley

Advice for writing policy proposals: http://libguides.soka.edu/EDU_507_policy_and_law/Education_Policy_Analysis_Proposals

Check out this video celebrating Truman’s 40th anniversary, and profiles of past Truman scholars.

Official Harry S. Truman Scholarship Website