“Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures – character.”
Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States
Truman awards recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in public service. Truman awards provide up to $30,000 financial support for graduate student and leadership training. Scholars are required to work in public service for 3 of the 7 years following completion of their graduate degree.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements, please consult the Truman webpage. In general, students should:
- Be U.S. citizens.
- Be a full-time junior undergraduate at the time of application.
- Complete the Truman applicant checklist.
The WSU internal deadline is December 1.
At Washington State University, students typically:
- Carefully determine their eligibility for this scholarship.
- Read carefully and thoroughly through the Truman website.
- Meet with the Director of Distinguished Scholarships to discuss ideas (appointments at DistinguishedScholarships@wsu.edu).
- After your meeting, draft your answers to the questions asked in the application on your word processor.
- Forward your draft to the director by email for review.
- Contact two-three references to ask for a reference. Ask for a hard copy of these references one week before the WSU deadline (December 1) to be provided to the director. (Tips for writing references)
- Complete your application and turn in to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships by December 1. Include:
- 14 questions of application + your answers to these questions.
- Three letters of reference mailed in a sealed envelope to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships, CUE 519 (postal code 4530).
- Order transcripts from every college/university where you have received credit. These should be sent to:
Director, Distinguished Scholarships
Smith Center (CUE) 519
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-4530
- Reviews will be held with all applicants during the second week of school in January. Note:
- WSU may nominate only 4 applicants for the Truman Award.
- Nominees will receive online application details.
- WSU will write a letter of endorsement for each approved nominee.
- Turn in your recent photograph.
After the Internal WSU Review
Chosen WSU nominees:
- Complete your essay drafts.
- Complete the online application. Carefully fill in all required fields!
- Confirm that your referees have completed the online review process.
- Proofread your work thoroughly.
- Submit your online application at least one week before the national deadline.
After you have submitted your application
- The Director of Distinguished Scholarships will review the application thoroughly.
- If there’s a problem, the director will contact you by phone to correct it.
- The director will complete the online process and submit each application.
Past WSU Recipients
Prior Cougar recipients of the Truman Scholarship have included:
- Jeffery Franks
- Jesse Lyon