Education Department Awards $3.4 Million in McNair Grants to Help Disadvantaged Undergrads Obtain Doctoral Degrees

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Education Department Awards $3.4 Million in McNair Grants to Help Disadvantaged Undergrads Obtain Doctoral Degrees

September 28, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education today announced 15 grants totaling more than $3.4 million to institutions in a dozen states to help disadvantaged undergraduate students obtain doctoral degrees.

Under the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, higher education institutions compete for the grants which prepare eligible students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

“These funds will lend a helping hand to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated strong academic potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “They will help institutions support those students, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of people from underrepresented segments of our society who have doctorates.”

Institutions work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements. The institutions encourage students to enroll in graduate programs and then track students’ progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees.

Projects must offer opportunities for research and other scholarly activities at the recipient institution or graduate center, such as: summer internships, seminars, tutoring, academic counseling, and activities to help students enroll in graduate programs.

The projects also may provide services to improve financial and economic literacy, mentoring, and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

McNair is one of seven programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO is the Education Department’s oldest college preparation and student support effort. The Federal TRIO Programs have a long history of providing support to low-income students and students whose parents never completed college.

The program is named for Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., the NASA astronaut who died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986.

Following is a list of the new McNair grant recipients.

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
New Grants
Office of Postsecondary Education
CFDA 84.217A

State City Recipient Grant
AL Talladega Talladega College $245,550
CA Los Angeles Loyola Marymount University $220,000
CA Monterey Bay California State University/ Monterey Bay $220,000
CO Greeley University of Northern Colorado $252,846
CT Storrs University of Connecticut $220,000
IL Chicago Loyola University Chicago $220,000
MA Boston Suffolk University $220,000
MN Bemidji Bemidji State University $220,000
NY Ithaca Cornell University $220,000
NY New York CUNY/ Hunter College $220,000
OH Cleveland Cleveland State University $219,520
OH Kent Kent State University $228,800
PA Indiana Indiana University of Pennsylvania $228,800
TX Dallas Southern Methodist University $220,000
WY Laramie University of Wyoming $288,000
   Total $3,443,516