Soros Fellowship for New Americans*

Gustavus Fellowships Office

Initial Gustavus Deadline: Late September
Campus Interview: N/A
Gustavus Final Deadline: Late October
Web site:
Campus Contact: Amanda Nienow, Fellowships Coordinator


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 a critical point in their education was an unmet need. Finally, they wished to signal to all Americans that the contributions of New Americans to the quality of life in this country have been manifold.


The Fellowships are grants for up to two years of graduate study in the United States. Each year the Fellow receives a maintenance grant of $20,000 (paid in two installments) and a tuition grant of one-half the tuition cost of the US graduate program attended by the Fellow (up to a maximum of $16,000 per academic year). The Fellowship Program pays the tuition grant directly to the institution. The size of the tuition grant depends on the cost of tuition at the institution the Fellow attends. On average, the program receives 900 applications annually and makes 30 awards.


  • Candidates must qualify as New American. A New American is an individual who is a resident alien; i.e., holds a Green Card or, has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen or, is the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens. A Green Card holder must have had more than one year of IRS filings.
  • The Program is open to individuals who retain loyalty and a sense of commitment to their country of origin as well as to the United States, but is intended to support individuals who will continue to regard the United States as their principal residence and focus of national identity.
  • The applicant must either have a bachelor’s degree or be in her/his final year of undergraduate study. Those who have a bachelor’s degree may already be pursuing graduate study and may receive Fellowship support to continue that study. Individuals who are in the third, or subsequent, year of study in the same graduate program are not, however, eligible for this competition. Students who have received a master’s degree in a program and are continuing for a doctoral degree in the same program are considered to have been in the same program from the time they began their work on their master’s degree.
  • To be eligible you must not be older than thirty years of age as of November 1 of the application year.
  • A successful candidate will give evidence of at least two of the following three attributes or criteria for selection:
    • creativity, originality, and initiative, demonstrated in any area of her/his life;
    • a capacity for accomplishment, demonstrated through activity that has required drive and sustained effort;
    • a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The third criterion includes activity in support of human rights and the rule of law, in opposition to unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty, and in advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society.

Gustavus’ Internal Selection Process

There is no limit to the number of Gustavus students who can apply annually for the Soros. Interested students are strongly encouraged to provide the following material to the Gustavus Fellowships Office by the INITIAL GUSTAVUS DEADLINE (see above) so that the director can help the applicant hone his or her application.

  • A printout of a completed online application form (on-line applications are preferred by the Foundation) including:
  • Two essays on specified topics
  • Resume (1-2 pages)
  • The names of three recommenders and their relationship to you


*Information derived from