Eligibility Requirements

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is proud to honor the contributions of continuing generations of immigrants and refugees to the United States. Find out the requirements you need to meet to become a Fellow in 2025.

general requirements

You may apply for a Fellowship in 2025 if the following is true as of the October 31st application deadline:

You are 30 years or younger

You must not have reached or passed your 31st birthday as of the application deadline. There is no minimum age requirement.

You are a New American

You are an immigrant or the child of immigrants. If you are an immigrant, you should be a naturalized US citizen, a green card holder, an aslyee or refugee, or someone who graduated from both high school and college in the United States.

You are planning on starting or continuing an eligible graduate or professional degree program

You must be planning to be enrolled in a full-time degree-granting graduate or professional program in the United States in the 2025-2026 academic year. The Fellowship is open to all fields of study and you can apply when you’re applying to graduate school or while you’re in the early years of graduate school.

Photograph of three people standing, the one in the middle is a man in his 20s with medium skin tone, black short hair and a black beard - he is smiling. There is a man on the left in his 20s with medium skin tone and short black hair, on the right a woman in her 20s with light-medium skin tone a cream colored hijab and grey dress - she is smiling. They are both looking at the man in the middle.

Your New American Status

General requirements

  • You are an immigrant or the child of immigrants.
  • Your birth parents must have both 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.
  • Your parents’ current immigration status or location is not relevant. Some Fellows’ parents never immigrated, some have returned to their country of origin, others have naturalized or received their green cards in the US, and others are living in the United States but have not naturalized.

Additional Information

If you are a US citizen by birth:

Both of your birth parents were born abroad as non-US citizens and were not eligible for US citizenship at the time of their births.

You were raised by only one of your birth parents, the parent that raised you was born abroad as a non-US citizen, and your second birth parent was not a part of your life growing up and you have no contact with them.

If you were born abroad as a non-US citizen then one of the following must be true:

Naturalized Citizen: You have been naturalized as a US citizen either on your own or as a minor child under the application of one of your parents.

Adopted: You were born outside of the US or one of its territories and were subsequently adopted by American parents and were awarded US citizenship because of your adoption.

Green Card: You are in possession of a valid green card.

Refugee & Asylees: You have been granted asylum or refugee status in the US.

If None of the Other Categories Above Apply: Graduated from High School and College in the US: If none of the other categories apply to you and you were born abroad, you must have graduated from both high school and college in the US (this includes current and past DACA recipients).

Your Academic Standing

General requirements

  • You will have a bachelor’s degree as of the fall of 2025 when the 2025 Fellowship will begin. You can have a previous graduate degree.
  • You are planning on starting or continuing an eligible fully-accredited graduate or professional degree program full-time in the United States in the 2025-2026 academic year. Online programs are eligible for Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships funding.
  • You can apply to graduate school at the same time that you are applying for the Fellowship. You do not need to have been admitted into a graduate program when you apply.
  • If you are already in graduate school when you apply, you must not have started the third year of the program you are seeking funding for as of the October 31, 2024 application deadline.

If you are already enrolled in a graduate or professional degree-granting program:

You cannot have started a third or subsequent year of that program as of the October 31st deadline.

If you are in a joint- or dual-degree program, the program you are enrolled in for the 2025-26 academic year must meet the eligibility requirements.

Ineligible Programs

Executive graduate programs, joint bachelors/master’s programs in which both degrees are awarded simultaneously, certificate programs, post-baccalaureate programs, graduate programs that are not in the United States, and graduate programs that are not fully accredited.

Photograph of twelve people, all in their 20s with varying skin tones and heritages. They are standing in front of a small body of water with trees in the background, the trees are changing color, indicating fall.

Requirements During the Fellowship Year

Fall Conference

Over the two years of the Fellowship, Fellows are required to attend the annual Fall Conference in New York City, which is paid for by the program. The Fall Conference takes place over a weekend in late October and is an opportunity for the new Fellows to get to know one another and the Fellowship staff, alumni, and community, celebrate, and examine the New American experience.

Campus Visits

The director or deputy director of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships will visit each Fellow on their respective campus during the first fall semester of their Fellowship.

Work & Standing

The Fellowship funding should allow Fellows to focus on their studies full-time, which is why Fellows are not able to work full-time during their graduate program. Fellows are required to remain in good standing in their graduate program while receiving funding. At the close of their two years as an active fellow, Fellows must submit an exit report. More details on the visit and the requirements of the Fellowship are provided when selected applicants sign a contract with the Fellowship. 



Once we receive and review the applications, the top 77 applicants will be designated “finalists” and will be asked to appear for virtual interviews in late January and early February of 2025. 30 of the the 77 finalists will be selected as Fellows and will be notified in March of 2025. The 2025 Fellows will be announced publicly in April of 2025 and they will begin to receive stipend and tuition support from the program in the fall of 2025.

Apply By 2 pm ET on

October 31, 2024

Applicants Notified of Finalist Status

Mid-January, 2025

Interviews with Finalists

February, 2025

Winners Notified

March, 2025

2025 Fellows Announced

Mid-April, 2025

2025 Fellowship Begins

Fall, 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

General Application

Do you make exceptions to the age requirements?

No. In order to be fair to all applicants we make no exceptions. Eligible applicants must be 30 or younger as of the application deadline.

Do you grant extensions?

No, in order to be fair to all applicants we do not grant any extensions. 

If I don’t get selected as a Fellow this year, am I able to re-apply for the scholarship? If yes, how soon can I re-apply?

Yes, you can re-apply as long as you still fit the eligibility requirements.

Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis?

No. Applications are not reviewed until after the application deadline.

New American Status

If my parents or I were born in a US territory would I be eligible for the Fellowship?

Both of your parents must have been born outside the US and must have not been eligible for US citizenship at the time of their respective births.

If you were raised by only one of your birth parents, the parent that raised you must have been born abroad as a non-US citizen, and your second birth parent must not have been a part of your life growing up and you have no contact with them. 

For the final New American eligibility option, if I graduated from college in the US, but went to high school at an American School abroad, would I still be eligible for the fellowship given that I didn’t go to high school in the US, but rather an American school outside of the US?

No, you would not be eligible. If you’re born abroad and not a naturalized US citizen, green card holder, refugee or asylee, or someone who graduated from both high school and college in the US then you would not be eligible.  

I’m having trouble with the naturalization documentation part of the application. What should I do?

We no longer require applicants to submit this information. Instead, applicants are asked to provide the date they received their documentation. You will be asked for supporting documentation if you reach the finalist stage.


I am applying to graduate school this year but don’t know where I will be going. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes! Many of our applicants apply to the PD Soros Fellowship at the same time that they are applying for graduate school. You should be planning to be enrolled in a graduate program in the 2025-2026 academic year.  

I will be in my third, fourth, fifth or sixth year of graduate school as of October 31, 2024. Am I eligible?

No, in order to be eligible, applicants must be applying to graduate school or applicants must not have started or passed the third year of the graduate program that they are seeking funding for in the 2025-26 academic year as of October 31, 2024. 

There are only spaces for four graduate programs on the application. What should I do if I’m applying to more than four?

You should list the four schools/programs you are most likely going to attend in the spaces available. You can then upload a full list of your programs and schools as an exhibit. 

I am a first-year graduate student and currently have no grades to report on my transcript. Do you request that my transcript be submitted anyway?

Yes. In most cases your transcript will show the courses that you are enrolled in and it will also validate your attendance.  

I am going to attend a US graduate school in the Caribbean. Am I eligible? 

Only graduate programs that are US institutions and based in the United States are eligible. 

My school is not among those listed on the online application. How should I note it on the application?

Please select “other” at the end of the dropdown list options. A box will appear asking you to type in your school’s name. Our list of schools is not complete, and several schools are not on the list.

I’m in a PhD program that includes a master’s degree. If I completed my master’s and am now in the first two years of the PhD portion of the degree am I eligible?

That would depend on your program. Many applicants are in PhD programs in which the first two years are spent completing a master’s degree, then after a qualifying exam, they continue into a PhD program. In that case, the master’s and PhD are considered one program, so year one of the PhD would be year three of their graduate program, assuming that the master’s degree was two years long. If your PhD and master’s programs are not related, and you had to complete an entire application process for both separately, then the programs might be considered separate and eligible. If the programs are separate but you transferred credits from your master’s to help fulfill the second degree, then you would not be eligible.

If you are in the second year of your master’s by the October 31, 2024 application deadline, then you’d be eligible for the PD Soros Fellowship in this selection round in either case. 

I may receive another fellowship or award that would overlap with the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships. How would that work?

PD Soros does not limit the number of awards a student can receive simultaneously. Many of our Fellows also receive awards like NSF, NDSEG and NIH while receiving the PD Soros fellowship. We work with other awards to try and get Fellows the maximum benefit from all their sources of funding, and will work within the limits of other awards. The only limitations the PD Soros award has are the following:

  1. The first year of the Fellowship cannot be deferred. If you’re applying in 2024, then you must be planning to be enrolled full-time in a graduate program for the entire 2025-26 academic year. Year two of the funding may be deferred up to one calendar year.
  2. PD Soros pays 50% of tuition and fees, not including health and housing fees, up to $10,000 per semester, or $6,667 per quarter. If a Fellow is receiving other funding for tuition, or if 50% of tuition is less than the maximum amount, the Fellow will not receive the maximum amount of tuition funding for the semester. PD Soros cannot exceed the tuition and fees cost, and tuition funds cannot be reallocated as stipend.
  3. The maximum PD Soros stipend is $25,000 per year, capping all stipend awards at $50,000 per year. This means that a Fellow can receive up to $25,000 in stipend per year from sources other than the Fellowship. If the Fellow receives over $25,000 in stipend from other sources, then PD Soros will reduce their stipend payment to fall within the $50,000 cap.


Can I submit an exhibit if it’s something I made with other people?

Yes, but you should provide some context on why you are including the exhibit and what your contribution was to the project.  

For technical works, such as research papers or comment letters, should I submit just the front page?

You can submit an abstract or summary of your research papers, or an excerpt of your work, the whole paper, or a link to the paper.

Do I need to explain why the exhibit is important? Can I use one of the exhibit slots to write up a brief document explaining the importance of the other exhibits?

It is sometimes helpful to include a sentence or two about why you are including an exhibit, and what it shows about you. If it is obvious why you included it, this may not be necessary. You can upload the brief descriptions as a separate document, or on each exhibit. 

Can’t find an answer to your question?

Ready to Apply?

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans offers unparalleled support for immigrants and children of immigrants pursuing graduate studies in the United States. As a Fellow, you will join a vibrant community of trailblazers who are making significant impacts across diverse fields. The Fellowship provides financial assistance and a network of accomplished alumni dedicated to driving positive change.