AMOUNT: UP TO $90,000

Paul and Daisy Soros, Hungarian immigrants and American philanthropists, established their fellowship program for New Americans in December 1997 with a charitable trust of fifty million dollars. Their reasons for doing so were several. They wished to "give back" to the country that had afforded them and their children such great opportunities and felt a fellowship program was an appropriate vehicle. They also felt that assisting young New Americans at critical points in their educations was an unmet need. Finally, they wished to call attention of all Americans to the extensive and diverse contributions of New Americans to the quality of life in this country.

In 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Soros contributed an additional $25 million to the charitable trust that funds their Fellowships for New Americans. For details, see the Wall Street Journal article at the end of this section.

The program of fellowships they shaped has the following characteristics:

  • It honors and supports the graduate educations of 30 New Americans – permanent residents or naturalized citizens if born abroad; otherwise children of naturalized citizen parents -- each year.
  • At the time of their selection, fellows must be college seniors or early in the graduate programs for which they request support.
  • Each fellow receives tuition and living expenses that can total as much as $90,000 over two academic years.
  • Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States.
  • Fellows are selected on the basis of merit – the specific criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment -- in annual national competitions.  Candidates apply directly.  The program does not depend on recommendations from universities or regional screening.   Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process.
  • Each fellows attends two weekend conferences of fellows. The great majority continue to be involved with the program through regional dinners, service in the selection process for later classes, etc.   


  • Must have been naturalized as a U.S. citizen or be the son or daughter of birth parents who were both not US citizens at the time of their births

  • Must not be 31 or older

  • Must hold a bachelor's degree or be a college senior


  1. Submit online application with official Financial Aid Statement, Student Aid Report and GRE scores

Selection criteria:

The program uses three primary criteria for selection of Fellows and expects that successful candidates will give strong evidence of at least the first two of the following:

  1. The candidate has demonstrated creativity, originality and initiative in one or more aspects of her/his life.
  2. The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to and capacity for accomplishment that has required drive and sustained effort.
  3. The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This would include, but not be limited to, support of human rights and the rule of law, opposition to unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty, and advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society.

In addition, the program considers two further criteria:

  1. The candidate gives promise of continued significant contributions. Those contributions are likely to reflect distinctive creativity, originality and initiative and will mark the candidate as a leading and influential figure within her/his fields of endeavor.
  2. The candidate's graduate training is relevant to her/his long-term career goals and is of potential value in enhancing her/his future creativity and accomplishment.

number of recipients: 30