University of Vermont

The Honors College

Truman Scholarships

Truman Scholarship: UVM Campus Application, 2014

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship seeks to identify and support current juniors who have demonstrated significant leadership abilities and are dedicated to pursuing a career in public service. Students who have an...

  • Extensive record of public and community service
  • Commitment to a career in government or elsewhere in public service
  • Communication skills and a high probability of becoming a "change agent"
  • Strong academic record with likely acceptance by a first-rate graduate school

...should consider applying for a Truman Scholarship.

Up to 80 Truman Scholarships are awarded each year to college juniors with an outstanding potential for leadership in any sector of government. Each scholarship covers up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school ($15,000 for the first year of graduate or professional study and an additional $15,000 for the last year, provided that the Scholar enters public service upon completion of the program. The Truman Foundation's definition of public service includes work for government agencies, public and private schools, many non-profit organizations, and more). One scholar is chosen from every state and U.S. territory and approximately 30 are chosen at large.

The Truman Competition at UVM

Campus Deadline: November 19, 2014

UVM is allowed to nominate up to four juniors to participate in the national Truman Scholarship competition. Any current, full time UVM junior who is a U.S. citizen is eligible to apply. The nomination process takes place during the fall; interested applicants submit the campus nomination materials in November, and the UVM Fellowships Committee meets to interview applicants the week after Thanksgiving. Interviews last about 20 minutes, and applicants are questioned on their interest in public service, their policy proposal, and their career goals. Nominations are announced before December 1, and all nominated applicants will be registered with the Truman Foundation.

Truman Scholarship: UVM Campus Application, 2014

Campus nomination materials include:
  • A resume or CV (no longer than two pages)
  • A policy statement (see attached form)
  • Leadership statement (300 words): Describe one specific example of your leadership. (The writer of your letter of recommendation re: Leadership Abilities and Potential must confirm this experience.)
  • Public Service Statement (300 words): Articulate how you define public service and discuss what role you think a public servant plays in society.
  • Postgraduate Statement (300 words): Describe the issues you hope to address in your public service career. Discuss the graduate education you would like to pursue, including any specific schools or programs you'd like to apply for, that will enable you to address these issues. Discuss the career you hope that this graduate education will enable you to pursue, and talk about the path you see yourself taking to reach your career goals.
  • An official or unofficial copy of all undergraduate transcripts (including UVM and any study abroad institutions)
  • Three letters of recommendation: One letter of recommendation commenting on your academic accomplishments, one letter of recommendation commenting on your leadership experience (letter writer must be able to comment on the leadership experience you describe in your leadership statement), and one letter of recommendation commenting on your commitment to public service.

All nominated students are expected to stay in contact with the Office of Fellowships Advising and complete at least one draft of the Truman application form during winter break. Final application advising taking place during the first weeks of the spring semester. The national Truman Scholarship deadline is February 3, 2015.


To be eligible, you must be U.S. citizen, or a U.S. national or permanent resident of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. You must also be in the top quarter of your class. Finally, you must have a demonstrated interest in a career in government or related public service at the federal, state, or local level.

Application Procedures

Internal Application: The internal application is due November 19, 2014. UVM will select candidates to interview on the basis of the internal application deadline:

  • On-campus interview: Candidates with promising applications will be invited to interview with the Fellowships Committee. We will try to interview junior year abroad students by phone. On the basis of the application and interview, up to four nominees may be selected. Nominees will be notified of their status by the first week in December.
  • Winter Advising: All nominees are expected to work closely with Fellowships Director Aimee Hutton and Associate Dean Alec Ewald through the end of the fall semester and winter break. The Truman application takes a lot of thought and reflection; nominated students need to make the commitment to put in that time before accepting the university's nomination.

    External application: The online external application must be submitted online two days prior to the external deadline, includes the following:

    • A very demanding 5-page application form. This asks you for four separate lists of extracurricular activities: college and high school activities, public service and community activities, government activities, and part-time and full-time jobs and non-government internships. It also asks you for short answers to several questions: for example, "describe one specific example of your leadership" and "describe a recent particularly satisfying public service activity."
    • A 1-page (plus footnotes and references) policy proposal, addressed to the most relevant government leader. This will usually be a refined (and edited to a maximum of 500 words) version of the policy proposal you submitted in your internal application.
    • Three letters of recommendation, one which speaks to your leadership abilities and potential, one to your public service record, and one to your academic achievements.
    • An official transcript.

    After The Application is Submitted

    On the basis of this application, the Finalists Selection Committee selects finalists to interview. Finalists are announced on the Truman website at the end of February or beginning of March. Being selected as a finalist is a great honor. Finalists are interviewed in mid-March, in their home state or region. Fellowships Director Aimee Hutton will arrange for one or more formal mock interviews to help finalists prepare. Winners are announced by April 14.

    Last modified December 22 2014 01:59 PM