What Is The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program?

Two graduating students thinking about grad school

Flickr user OakleyOriginals

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is one of eight programs that make up the Federal TRIO Programs. While the aim of all programs within the Federal TRIO Programs is to provide assistance and support to students from underrepresented sections of society, each program focuses on a different aspect.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program focuses on helping more students from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain graduate degrees.

Eligibility Requirements for the McNair Program

To qualify for assistance under this program, students must come from a low-income family or be a first-generation college student or belong to an ethnic minority that has been historically underrepresented in graduate programs.

In addition, students must also meet the requirements listed below:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Demonstrate interest in pursuing a doctoral education
  • Demonstrate academic excellence
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Successful complete minimum 54 credits before commencement of the summer institute

How the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program Works

Through a grant competition, the McNair program awards funds to institutions of higher education. These institutions work closely with participating students, helping them to first complete their undergrad requirements and then encouraging them to enroll in suitable graduate programs. The institution continues to stay involved with the participants after they enter graduate programs by tracking their progress and offering support and assistance right till they successfully complete their advanced degree.

What You Can Expect As a Participant of the McNair Program

If you meet the requirements and are accepted into the McNair Program, you can expect to get a tremendous amount of assistance and support that will help you realize your full potential.

As a participant of the McNair Program you can expect to get assistance in the form of:

  • Academic counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Opportunities to participate in research and other academic activities
  • Help with preparing for graduate school entry exams such as GRE, GMAT, and others
  • Seminars and other educational activities that will help you be better prepared for doctoral study
  • Assistance with writing personal essays
  • Summer internships
  • Opportunities to participate in activities that can make impressive additions to your academic resume
  • Financial assistance that will help cover the fees of your graduate program

Besides the mandatory activities, McNair projects may also provide additional assistance depending on need. These supplementary activities may include:

  • Mentoring programs
  • Counseling to improve economic and financial literacy of students and their families
  • Exposure to a wide range of academic programs and cultural events that are usually not easily available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds

What is Expected From Participants

As a participant of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program you are expected to commit to putting in the time and effort required to complete the program successfully. In addition, you are expected to attend regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings to chart your progress and help you stay on track.

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