Southeast Missouri State University

What exactly is the McNair Scholars Program?

It is a federally-funded grant program designed to assist historically underrepresented students in pursuit of doctoral level education through activities and opportunities that promote readiness and awareness.

Who is eligible for the McNair Scholars Program?

Applicant must be a United States citizen or permanent resident, currently enrolled at Southeast, a first-generation college student AND a member of either a low-income family OR is a member of an underrepresented group in graduate education, has completed 60 credit hours at the time of entry, has maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and is intent on completing doctoral study.

What does first-generation mean?

First-generation is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as any student whose parents, both mother and father, natural or adoptive, have not graduated from a four-year institution of higher education.

How is low-income defined?

Low-income status is based upon guidelines published annually by the U.S. Department of Education.  The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

What groups are considered underrepresented?

The following ethnic and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education by the U.S. Department of Education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiians and Native American Pacific Islanders.

How does a student become a member of the McNair Scholars Program?

Prospective participants must complete an application process.  Application to McNair Scholars does not guarantee admission to the program.

After the student completes the preliminary application form, eligibility for the program is determined.  Once an applicant is determined to be eligible, further information will be gathered from the student, faculty and University.  In addition, the student will be asked to participate in a brief interview.

When the application packet and process has been completed, the Director makes a decision as to who will be admitted.

What is required of a McNair Scholar?

McNair Scholars will be required to attend scheduled meetings and seminars as well as maintain a high level of classroom attendance while researching and completing a quality body of work, under the guidance of faculty mentors, that is both publishable and presentable within a designated period of time.

Scholars are also required to attend study sessions for graduate entrance exams, education fairs and present their own research at national McNair conferences where travel expenses are covered.  Six months prior to graduation, scholars will work with staff in applying to graduate schools of their choice.

How long can a student be a McNair Scholar?

A student can remain in the program until he/she graduates from Southeast.  Participation is voluntary and a student may withdraw from the program at any time.  However, if a student becomes "inactive" that slot may be given to another student.

What services are provided by McNair?

The program provides opportunities for research or other scholarly activities designed to provide students with effective preparation for doctoral study.  This list includes, but is not limited to: summer internships, research and graduate school preparation seminars, tutorial services, academic counseling, faculty mentors, cultural events, access to a computer lab with free printing, laptop computer loans, GRE preparatory manuals, research stipends, financial literacy and planning, travel accommodations for conferences and potentially other forms of financial aid.

Are the services free of charge?

Yes, all services are free of charge to program participants and are provided through federal funding.

What is TRIO?

The federal TRIO programs are a collection of educational opportunity outreach programs showing a commitment to first generation, limited income and students with disabilities in successful advancement throughout the educational pipeline.  Initially, there were three such federally-funded grant programs born out of the Higher Education Act of 1965--thus, the name "TRIO."

TRIO programs now include:  Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Programs, Student Support Services, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Sciences and Veterans Upward Bound.

Funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO programs are committed to providing educational opportunitites for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances.

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