Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Fund

The Hungarian American Coalition established a Scholarship Fund in 1997 for the purpose of providing partial annual scholarships to Hungarian students to pursue studies at U.S. colleges and universities.

The Scholarship Fund was renamed Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Fund as a special memorial by the family and friends of Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss, of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dr. and Mrs. Kiss, members of the Coalition since its founding in 1991, left Hungary after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and settled with their family in Maryland. They demonstrated a life-long commitment to education both in Hungary and in the United States.

Applicant requirements:

  • must be a citizen of Hungary, or member of an ethnic Hungarian community in Slovakia, Romania, Voivodina, Serbia or Ukraine;
  • must have gained admission as a full-time student to a US college or university;
  • should provide proof of scholarship and other sources of financial support (please dowload a Statement of Financial Record here and use it to detail your income and expenses);
  • should provide record of outstanding academic standing;
  • needs to submit two letters of recommendation regarding the applicant’s personal and academic achievements.

If you have not been admitted as a full-time student in the United States, your application will not be considered.  Applications, which do not meet the Scholarship Fund’s requirements, will not be acknowledged.

The average Coalition Scholarship grant is $500-1,000 per year.

Students awarded scholarships are eligible to apply for the following year, but their application will be considered along with all other new applicants for financial assistance.

Scholarship recipients are expected to keep the Coalition informed of their academic progress. 

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, but deadline for application for the 2021/22 academic year is September 1, 2021.

Submission of Applications

The Coalition has created an online database which enables applicants to submit their applications online.

Applicants have to create a user profile and upload the requested documents which are the cover letter, curriculum vitae, recommendation letters, proof of admission, financial statement and academic records.

Applications should be submitted by registering at:
http://scholarships.hacusa.org/

If you need clarification on the registration system, contact us at:
scholarship@hacusa.org

Success stories

Gusztáv Nagy

Recipient of the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship in the 2019/2020 academic year

“A few months ago I graduated from Harvard Law School with an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree. Being a Harvard alumnus and a Fulbright alumnus are two of the most distinguished titles in the world. Superlatives simply run out if one tries to describe the full Harvard experience and the opportunities it offers. Harvard Law School has been the peak of my professional career as a lawyer thus far. This place can inspire you, open new horizons and force you to grow, but at the same time, it can get under your skin in ways you cannot possibly foresee.

During my LL.M. year I have learned a tremendous amount from world-renowned professors and experts about the U.S. democracy, the Constitution and the American legal system in general. I have studied hundreds of Supreme Court opinions and read thousands of pages of textbooks, treatises and articles. I took classes on Constitutional History, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Separation of Powers, Federalism, Legal Theory and Political Economy, just to mention a few; and after each class, I thought „wow, that was something new, I had never thought of it in that way before!” I had the privilege to meet Nobel laureates, Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada, judges of the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court, state officials from different countries, senators, ambassadors, attorneys from big law firms and countless distinguished professors from other universities. I made lifelong friendships with exceptional individuals from countries all over the world. I managed to adjust to peculiar law school teaching methods, the extreme Cambridge weather, the interesting American cuisine, and I learned to appreciate American football (or at least I tried). In addition, as a Fulbright scholar and the only Hungarian at HLS, I tried to embrace the role of a cultural ambassador, and explain occasionally to faculty and colleagues the current Hungarian political situation, our historical background, cultural habits and the basics of our constitutional and legal structure—preferably over a fine, homemade palinka.

In a place as grandiose as Harvard, there will inevitably be moments when you feel like you are insignificant, lost, intimidated, or overwhelmed by expectations, course requirements and financial difficulties. But in these character-building moments, you can also learn an important lesson about how to deal with your vulnerabilities and weaknesses under pressure. These tough moments are great opportunities to find people, share your concerns with them, listen to them and learn from them. Eventually, you may even realize that you found a family away from home and you are not alone anymore; and having these mixed feelings only means that you are human, not a robot. In those precious moments, however, when you actually manage to overcome an obstacle, complete a hard task or achieve an important goal at HLS, you will feel like you can fly.

I have learned that it takes a whole bunch of people to lift someone up. Thus, I am immensely grateful to my family, my wonderful fiancée, my friends and colleagues for believing in me, helping me, and for the sacrifices they made for me. I would like to thank Fulbright Hungary, the Rosztoczy Foundation, the Hungarian American Coalition and the Constitutional Court of Hungary for their continuous support, without which I could never have studied at Harvard. I would also like to thank my professors and mentors for sharing their wisdom with me and inspiring me to pursue ambitious goals.”

Mariann Varga

Recipient of the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship in the 2018/2019 and the 2019/2020 academic years

Mariann Varga, a Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship recipient in the 2018/2019 and the 2019/2020 academic years completed her Master’s in International Policy at Stanford University. Mariann together with two of our other scholarship recipients, Ramóna Győrfi (Lake Forest College) and Dorottya Demszky (Princeton University) returned to Hungary with their diplomas in hand and co-founded the Knapsack Foundation to support the education of underprivileged children. They renovated a community center building and launched an after-school program for tutoring programs, IT training, and arts, music and dance classes for local students. To address challenges during the pandemic, they also provide technological and academic support for remote learning.

“I am extremely happy to have spent my past two years here. I will always remember it as one of the most exciting and inspiring periods of my life. I lived in California, I learned about populism in Eastern Europe, and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, I acquired knowledge about problem solving methods, I worked for UN-Habitat in Kenya and Nigeria, and I completed two research assistantships. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to you, as this grant was a great contribution to my studies. I will always be grateful for your support that helped realize my dream of studying here! I am aware that being a Stanford graduate is a responsibility, and I will work hard to turn the acquired knowledge for the benefit of Hungary, and the world. As to my next steps, I will be moving to DC at the end of the summer where I plan to work on supporting democracy and development civil projects. In the meantime, I received an offer from a professor at Stanford to work remotely on his research. Finally, I am a board member of a Hungarian NGO where we implement education projects in underprivileged Hungarian villages. I remain dedicated to improving our programs in the future.”

Máté Vincze

Recipient of the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship in the 2018/2019 academic year

Máté Vincze pursued a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from the New York University (NYU) Tisch School of Arts. Máté is a Budapest-based filmmaker, who graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest in 2012. His hands-on courses taught him not only the theoretical part of communication and video production, but also ways to combine his storytelling ambitions with the world of digital media. He quickly fell in love with documentaries and continued his studies in the Directing Documentaries M.A. program. In 2017, after focusing on documentaries, Máté decided to shift his educational focus to fictional filmmaking. He applied and got accepted to the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he is currently studying in the Graduate Filmmaking program. His time at NYU has already been a life changing experience. The curriculum and approach to teaching is completely different than what he experienced in Hungary.

“NYU has proven to me that as a modern filmmaker, I have to understand every aspects and genres of filmmaking, so I study arduously at the Graduate Filmmaking program in order to fulfill a dream, to aid to my growth as a responsible, mature filmmaker, to carry on with a long term plan, and to acquire all the skills and knowledge that makes this program so famous, then take it back to Hungary with the aim of making compelling films there. “I am extremely grateful for being able to study at one of the best film schools in the United States. And this would not have happened without the educational scholarship provided by the Hungarian American Coalition.”

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