Oregon State University student Jax Richards has been selected as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, considered one of the most prestigious and selective scholarships in the United States.

Richards is a third-year honors student quadruple majoring in economics, public policy, political science and communications. He is from Beaverton.

The Harry S. Truman Foundation’s finalist selection committee selected 189 students from 126 institutions to interview virtually with the foundation’s regional review panels between March 1 and April 4. The Truman Scholars will be announced by April 15.

Scholars receive $30,000 towards graduate school, and the school where they’ve been accepted to graduate school will match the scholarship with another $50,000 in scholarships and other benefits, such as leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. 

Oregon State has never had a Truman scholar, and has only had one previous finalist, said LeAnn Adam,  director of national and global scholarships advising.

In his first year at Oregon State, Richards started a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides a platform for youth to advocate for higher quality youth services. He attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow to advocate for more equitable and accessible youth services. Additionally, he's served as a legislative aide in the Oregon Senate and is currently an intern in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Richards is an Honors College ambassador and serves as the student trustee on the Oregon State University Board of Trustees. If he receives the Truman Scholarship, he wants to pursue concurrent master’s programs in public administration and social work in order to address the public policy gap within social services.

Richards has been admitted to the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. This is a seven-week summer program with a curriculum that includes economics, quantitative methods, policy analysis implementation and evaluation, and leadership and community engagement – all designed to sharpen students’ quantitative, analytic, and leadership skills.

For more information about applying for the Truman Scholarship or other national and international scholarships and fellowships, contact  Adam at [email protected] and visit: http://topscholars.oregonstate.edu