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.
The fellowship honors and supports the graduate educations of 30 New Americans. It is intended for United States immigrants and children of immigrants. To be eligible, an applicant's birth parents must have been born outside of the US as non-US citizens, and both parents must not have been eligible for US citizenship at the time of their births.
At the time of the selection, fellows must be college seniors or early in the graduate programs for which they request support. 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.
Fields of Study:
- Arts and Creative Fields
- Business and Law
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- US Citizen
- US National or Permanent Resident
- Citizen of another country
- Underrepresented racial or ethnic group
- Up to $90,000 over two years