At a time when budgets are being scrutinized, the federal government gave a resounding “yes” to WVU’ McNair Scholars program. The program will receive continued funding for the 2015-2016 year, according to a Grant Award Notification from the Department of Education.

“The continued funding for our program is an affirmation that we are doing our job well,” says Betty Mei, director of the McNair Scholars program. “We’ve met and exceeded the benchmarks the federal government has established for the McNair Scholars program.”

Beginning on Oct. 1, this year’s grant will fund the fourth year in a five-year grant contract. The $219,998 awarded will support student stipends, travel, cultural events, research assistance and program personnel.

The McNair Scholars program is a federally-funded TRIO program that helps high-achieving first-generation and underrepresented students prepare for graduate school. WVU’s program was established in 1999. Since that time, there have been 13 McNair alumni who have attained doctoral degrees. There are more than 20 WVU McNair alumni who currently are in doctoral programs across the country.
“The McNair program is an essential part of WVU’s excellent undergraduate offerings,” says Sue Day-Perroots, associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs. “The opportunities available for McNair Scholars and the unparalleled guidance they receive ensures these students will continue their achievements into graduate school and beyond.”

According to Mei, every McNair student talks about the doors that are opened to him or her because of the program.

“The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program is one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my college career,” says Hanah Conlan, a junior psychology major. “Without this program, I would lack the knowledge, support and guidance to get myself to and through graduate school.”

The continued funding ensures that WVU’s McNair Scholars program can continue making graduate school dreams come true for first-generation and underrepresented students.



CONTACT: Dr. Betty Mei / McNair Scholars

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