What is The McNair Scholars Program?
The McNair Scholars program at NMU is federally funded through the Department of Education and strives to help prepare students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Through the following activities the McNair Program will help students gain the skills necessary to succeed in graduate school education.
- Graduate Records Examination (GRE) prep courses
- learning styles assessment
- graduate school awareness
- academic and financial counseling
- research and faculty mentoring
- social activities
Who is eligible for the McNair Scholars Program?
If you are a low-income, first-generation college student, or a student who is a member of a group identified as underrepresented in graduate schools (Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Native American Pacific Islander), you maybe be eligible to be a McNair scholar. Additional qualifications include:
- be a current undergraduate student;
- be dedicated to entering a Ph.D. program;
- have completed at least 40 credit hours with a 2.75 overall grade point average; and
- be committed to completing the summer research component.
Please take the eligibility survey to help find out if you're eligible.
What majors can be a part of the McNair Program?
Almost any of the four-year degree programs at NMU are eligible to take part in the McNair Scholars Program.
How much time do I need to commit to the McNair Program?
During the academic year, you will have meetings with a McNair staff member once a month that you will need to attend, along with several workshops and seminars every semester. As a McNair scholar, you may also have the opportunity to visit regional research schools or present your research findings at conferences.
The relationship you create with your faculty mentor will also require a time commitment. In the semester before you begin your summer research component, you and your faculty mentor will need to set up a schedule to meet regularly to review progress on your research proposal and timeline. During your summer research, you should expect to spend 20-30 hours a week over a six-week period of time working on and completing your research. Some students conduct their research during the academic year. This requires skillful time management but is acceptable and doable. Talk to your potential faculty research advisor about what will work best for you. Additionally, activities such as taking the GRE, applying to at least six graduate schools and preparing a research poster for presentation can also take time and a great deal of preparation.
While scholars put in a lot of time while they are participating in the program, it allows them to get a jump start on their graduate school education.
How do I know if I'm considered "low income"?
The Federal Government has set the guidelines for what is considered low income, based on your family's taxable income. This can be determined by using the chart below and the most recent signed IRS tax return transcript from your family.
View current Federal Low-income levels here.
What is a tax return transcript?
A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. In most cases, your transcript includes all the information a lender or government agency needs. It does not show any changes you or your representative made after you filed. This document allows the McNair program to determine you or your family's taxable income and your eligibility for the program. More information about this document and how to order one can be found here.
What if my parent(s) didn’t file taxes?
We can also use a social security earnings statement if your parent is on SSI. If your parent didn’t file taxes because there was little to no income to report, we can use a signed statement of their earnings and non tax filing.
What if I am an independent student?
Even if your family doesn't contribute to the costs of your education, we still must see your family's tax return transcript. Your own tax return transcript may be submitted for consideration if you meet one of the following qualifications:
- You are 24 years or older.
- You are married.
- You are currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training.
- You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- You have dependents other than a spouse.
- You have been an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any time since the age of 13.
- You are an emancipated minor.
- You are in legal guardianship.
- You were determined at any time since July 1, 2008, to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self supporting and at risk of being homeless.