P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

  • 181028 soros conf a 0430

Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to help you with any questions, but we ask that you first check the following list before reaching out to our office with your question. You can also check in with a university fellowship advisor if your university has one. You can find a listing of universities with advisors here.

The questions and answer below pertain to the application cycle for the 2025 Fellowship. 

On this page, you'll find:

Technical Questions

Recommendation Questions

Application Questions

Eligibility Questions 


Technical Questions

If you don't find the answer to your question on this page, please email support@smapply.io.

I’m having trouble logging into the application. My password is no longer working, and when I click to reset the password, there is an error. 

Be sure you are not trying to log into pdsoros.org, which is our Fellowship website, not our application website. You can find the appropriate link here.

How do I request a new password? 

Click on the "Forgot your password?" link under the green Sign In button on the application site. Click here to access the main application page. 

Recommendation Questions

Is the deadline for recommenders the same as applicants?

Yes. All recommendations must be submitted by October 31, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET. 

I applied last year. Is there a way for one of my recommendations from last year to be transferred to this year's application?

We cannot forward a letter of recommendation from a previous application to a current one. All recommendations must be submitted to the current application. 

Does a recommendation letter signed by more than one person count as one recommendation?

Yes, recommendations signed by multiple people only count as one letter. The application system requires three to five separately registered recommenders. Each recommender must be registered separately so we can verify their identities. A recommender can upload a letter signed by more than one person, but the applicant would still need at least two additional recommendations registered and submitted in the application system to have a complete application.

Can recommendations or application materials be submitted by mail?

We do not accept any materials by mail or e-mail. All materials must be submitted through the online application system.

Is there a page or word limit for recommendations?


What should a recommender do if they have not received the registration e-mail?  

The applicant and recommender should confirm what e-mail the registration e-mail would have been sent to. Applicants should also verify that they have clicked "save" after registering each of their recommenders. Recommenders should check their junk mail folders, since the e-mail is from a smapply.io address that sometimes gets filtered out. If your recommender still hasn't received an email, you can resend the request by clicking the "..." next to their request on your application portal and then clicking "Resend Invitation". Note: there will be no confirmation after you click "Resend Invitation", so only click it once so you don't spam your recommender.

What should a recommender do if they can login but cannot update their letters?  

If you have a question regarding uploading issues within the application system, please contact support@smapply.io. SurveyMonkey is available Monday through Friday 8 am - 8 pm Eastern Time; PD Soros staff are only available 9 -5 pm Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

Can I submit my application before my recommendations have been submitted?

Yes, you can submit your application before your recommendations have been submitted. Once you submit, you'll still be able to login into the system to check on the status of your recommenders. In order for your application to be considered complete it must have a minimum of three recommendations submitted as of the October 31, 2024 deadline.

How can a recommender confirm that their recommendation was submitted?

They should receive a confirmation e-mail.

Would it be possible to upload recommendation letters using Interfolio?

Interfolio should provide instructions on their website. We recommend submitting recommendations directly via our system. 

 For additional information about recommenders and recommendations, please visit Guidance for Recommenders


Application Questions

Do I need to submit an official transcript for the application or is an unofficial transcript sufficient?

Please submit an image of your transcript that includes your name and the institution's name. It does not need to be official. If you are selected as a finalist we will request your official transcript.

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. 

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.

If I use special formatting in my resume or essays, will the application preserve the formatting?

The application will preserve formatting, since it will convert uploaded and filled in fields into PDF format.  

Is there a word limit for the essays?

Yes, the word limit is 1,000 words per essay. This is a hard limit. You'll have to copy and paste your essays into a text box. 

I will not have taken my graduate school entry exam before the October 31, 2024 PD Soros deadline. What should I do?

You can select the option that says you will be taking your test after the deadline, and upload your official scores when you have them, or a screenshot of your online account when the scores are posted. 

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. 

What standardized test scores are required?

Please note that we only require the test scores that you needed for the program you would like the Fellowship to fund. So if you are applying to fund medical school and your medical school only needed the MCAT, you only need to upload the MCAT scores to your application. If you are applying to fund another program, and that program only requires the GREs, you only need to include your GRE scores. If your program requires both exams, you can upload the scores you have with a second page that says you will be taking the GREs on x date and will send in your scores when you have them. 

How should I upload my test scores?

The examinee score report is what you should upload. If you don’t have a PDF of that, a screenshot of your account would be fine. If you are selected as a finalist, you will be asked to provide an official score report. Do not type up your scores in a word document and self-report them. 

There is no way to upload a secure PDF into the online application. There is a password on your GRE PDF. Please try to contact the party who provided you the PDF file to see if they can remove the security restrictions. If that is not possible, then please print out the pages that you would like to upload. Then, scan the printed pages into a valid file format and upload this new document onto the appropriate page on the online application. When you scan your document, please make sure to configure the page size output to be standard US Letter size of 8 in x 11 in.

My university does not use a typical Grade Point Average (GPA) system. How should I report my GPA?

We understand that many universities, and particularly those abroad, to not use a standard GPA system. If your undergraduate or graduate program does not use a typical system, please write “0.00” in the space provided.

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.

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. 

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. 

Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis?

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


Eligibility Questions

Age: Eligibility Questions

Do you make exceptions to the age requirement?

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.

NEW AMERICAN Status: Eligibility Questions

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.  

Academic Status: Eligibility Questions

I am applying to graduate school this year but I likely won't have received admissions decisions by the October 31, 2024 PD Soros application deadline. Am I eligible to apply if I'm planning to go to graduate school fulltime in the US in the 2025-26 academic year but I don't know which school I'll be attending just yet?

Yes! Many of our applicants apply to the PD Soros Fellowship at the same time that they are applying for graduate school. 

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. 

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. 

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.






transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"