Paul and Daisy Soros, Hungarian immigrants and American philanthropists, established their fellowship program for New Americans in order to "give back" to the country that had afforded them and their children such great opportunities. 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.

Program Information

Students who...

  • Have performed exceptionally well in the classroom and demonstrated exceptional leadership on campus and in the community...
  • Plan to attend graduate school, medical school, law school or any other professional school...
  • Are first-generation US Americans..

should consider applying for a Soros Fellowship.

Candidates must demonstrate the relevance of graduate education to their long-term career goals and potential in enhancing their contributions to society. Fellowships are not solely awarded on the basis of academic record. The academic record is relevant as evidence of the candidate's ability to complete successfully a graduate degree program and it strengthens the demonstration of achieving the Program's specific criteria for selection.

A successful candidate will give evidence of at least two of the following three attributes or criteria for selection: (1) creativity, originality, and initiative, demonstrated in any area of her/his life; (2) a capacity for accomplishment, demonstrated through activity that has required drive and sustained effort; and (3) a commitment to the values expressed in the US 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.


Any individual who is (1) is a resident alien, i.e., holds a Green Card; or, (2) has been naturalized as a US citizen, or (3) is the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens. 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.

Application Procedure

No university endorsement is needed for the Soros, but students interested in receiving feedback should contact the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities, and Undergraduate Research (email link) and be prepared to share the following materials:

  • A current, comprehensive resume, including employment, activities and honors. This should be one to two pages.
  • A completed copy of the online application.
  • The two essays discussed in the application
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from professors.
  • Documentary evidence that the applicant meets, as of the date of the deadline , the definition of "New American" as detailed on the Soros website.
  • Transcripts from UVM and any other colleges or universities.

In addition, all applicants will have to submit the relevant graduate entrance exam scores as well as institutional information regarding when the student's undergraduate degree will be completed.

For More Information ...

Office of Fellowships, Opportunities, and Undergraduate Research (FOUR)
50 University Heights North, Suite 017
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: (802) 656-4658